Origin:German
Popularity:12
Meaning:resolute protector; will, desire; helmet, protection
A name of kings and conquerors, William is a powerful and popular boy’s name. First introduced to England by William the Conqueror in 1066, the name has stood the test of time and remains fashionable throughout the English-speaking world. Despite this, William is actually German in origin. It derives from the Germanic Wilhelm, whose roots wil (“will, desire”) and helm (“helmet, protection”) combine to mean “resolute protector”—a bold meaning that will mark baby out as a defender of the vulnerable. On a lighter note, William also has several endearing and playful nicknames. These include Will, Willy, Bill, Billy, and even Liam—diminutives that will let baby William distinguish himself on the playground.

Famous People Named William

Wondering who else shares this name? Check out these well known people who made this baby name famous.
  • William
    Princess Diana and Prince Charles
  • William Blake
    Artist, Poet
  • William Butler Yeats
    Poet
  • William Faulkner
    Author
  • William Golding
    Novelist
  • William Hanna
    Cartoonist
  • William Henry Harrison
    United States President
  • William H. Macy
    Actor
  • William Holden
    Actor
  • William Howard Taft
    United States President
  • William Hurt
    Actor
  • William McKinley
    United States President
  • William Moseley
    Actor
  • William S. Burroughs
    Artist
  • William Shakespeare
    Playwright
  • William Wordsworth
    Poet

Popularity Trend Chart

Roll over the visual for detailed rankings by year.

Source: Social Security Administration

Not sure you have the perfect name? Search to add more baby names to your My Favorites list.