Meaning and Origin of: Bill

Family name origins & meanings

  • English and German : from a Germanic personal name, either a short form of compound names such as Billard, or else a byname Bill(a), from Old English bil ‘sword’, ‘halberd’ (or a Continental cognate). (Bill as a short form of William was not used until the 17th century.)
  • English : metonymic occupational name for a maker of pruning hooks and similar implements, from Middle English bill, from Old English bil ‘sword’, with the meaning shifted to a more peaceful agricultural application (see Biller 5).

Famous people with this first name