Meaning and Origin of: William

Boy name origins & meanings

William baby name

  • Spanish : Resolute, protector
  • Teutonic : Valiant protector

The name William is one of the most popular boys names of all time and is of Germanic origin. The name was first introduced to England by William the Conqueror. It is a compound of two words, "wil" meaning "will or desire" and "helm" meaning "helmet, protection". 

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : from the Norman form of an Old French personal name composed of the Germanic elements wil ‘will’, ‘desire’ + helm ‘helmet’, ‘protection’. This was introduced into England at the time of the Conquest, and within a very short period it became the most popular personal name in England, mainly no doubt in honor of the Conqueror himself.

Famous people with this first name


According to Social Security Administration data, William has remained in the number three position for three years in a row, after remaining in the number five position for four years in a row. It has been in the top 10 names since 2001. Its nickname Liam, has become quite the popular name in its own right.

However, it is the 47th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years William was at its peak popularity in April 2019.

The name William has been one of the most popular baby boys names for centuries. In fact, it first became popular in 1066 with the Norman conquest of England. It is one of the most popular classic names to ever exist. The number one name for boys, Liam, is actually a shortened version of William. Its popularity can be attributed to many notable Williams throughout time including William Shakespeare, Britain’s Prince William, Bill Clinton, William Faulkner, Bill Gates, and many more.

Where is it Popular?

William was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for William

  • Bill
  • Liam
  • Will
  • Willy

Pairs well with these middle names