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Updated April 15, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

What does Liam mean and stand for?


  • Irish: Strong-willed warrior and protector
    Germanic: Helmet of will, guardian
  • Hebrew: Determined Guardian, My people
  • Celtic/Gaelic: Unwavering protector

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Liam is pronounced lee-um

Liam is a shortened version of the popular Germanic name William, which dates all the way back to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The meaning of Liam is  "helmet of will" or "guardian". It also comes from the Irish name Ulliam. It is a more modern take on the classic name and has only recently been widely used beginning in the 1980s in the UK.

Boy name variations

How Popular Is The Name Liam

Famous people with this first name

Liam in Pop Culture

  1. Liam Dunbar from Teen Wolf (TV Series) - Played by Dylan Sprayberry, Liam is a young werewolf with anger issues, navigating the complexities of high school and supernatural threats.
  2. Liam Court from 90210 (TV Series) - Portrayed by Matt Lanter, Liam Court is the bad-boy heartthrob with a complicated family background, who evolves throughout the series.
  3. Liam Spencer from The Bold and the Beautiful - A character torn between his love interests.
  4. Liam McPoyle from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (TV Series) - Liam, played by Jimmi Simpson, is part of the bizarre McPoyle family, known for their odd behavior and frequent run-ins with the main characters.
  5. Liam Gallagher from Shameless (TV Series) - The youngest of the Gallagher family, Liam is portrayed by multiple actors throughout the series due to the character's growth.

Popularity of the Name Liam 

According to the Social Security Administration data, Liam has held the title of the most popular name for boys in the United States since 2017, demonstrating its widespread appeal across the country. The name has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade, breaking into the top 10 in 2012 and showing no signs of slowing down. While the origin of the name Liam is rooted in Ireland, meaning "resolute protection", its appeal has crossed cultural and geographic boundaries, resonating with a wide audience. 

Historical figures with the name Liam include Nobel Prize-winning author Liam O'Flaherty; additionally, there is actor Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) and actor Liam Neeson, known for his roles in movies such as Schindler's List and the Taken series. Other actors and characters named Liam has also become a favorite for fictional characters, appearing in TV shows like Shameless and the blockbuster movie franchise The Hunger Games, further cementing its popularity among the public. Other well-known celebrities named Liam include Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and One Direction member Liam Payne.

Where Is the Name Liam Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Liam

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby

  • Li

Liam Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

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