William Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: WIL-yəm (key)

Origin of the name William:

From the Old Norman French Willaume, which is derived from the Old High German Willehelm, a compound name composed from the elements willeo (will, determination) and helm (protection, helmet): hence, "resolute protector." William is the most popular name introduced to England by the Normans. It was borne by William the Conqueror (1027? - 87), who invaded England and defeated Harald at the Battle of Hastings, and by three other kings of England.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Looking for the perfect name? Try the Name MatchMaker to find the perfect baby name for you!


US Popularity of William Over Time

Sister & Brother Names

Know a William? What are his siblings named?

Name Lists Featuring William

Contribute your knowledge to the name William

Comments and insights on the name William: | Edit

I'm pregnant with my second child, a boy, and he might be a William. I especially like the nickname Will.

Personal experiences with the name William: | Edit

We named our 2nd child William when he was born 14 years ago - and we call him Will. Still love it. Funny thing though, when he was in 1st grade he changed his name to "Billy" because he was tired of being last on the list at school.

We named our son William, and call him Liam for short. Liam really suits him, it just feels right when you see him - could be the red hair and green eyes, lol... We weren't to fond of Will or Bill, but if he decides to change his nickname, or what he goes by as he grows up, he has plenty of options! looking forward to finding the perfect name for our second child, who we are now expecting :-)

Nicknames for William: | Edit

Guy (From Guillaume)

Meanings and history of the name William: | Edit

Origin: English
Meaning: Strong-willed Warrior, Warrior of God

Famous real-life people named William: | Edit

Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge
William Henry Harrison, 9th president of the USA
William McKinley, 25th President of the USA
William Howard Taft, 27th President of the USA
Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the USA
William Faulkner, writer
Sir William Golding, British novelist, poet, and playwright. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983 and knighted in 1988.
Billy Corgan Musician "The Smashing Pumpkins"
William Bradley "Brad" Pitt, actor
Bill Gates, businessman
Bill Paxton, actor
William H. Macy, actor
William Hurt, actor
William Shatner, actor who flirts with Misha Collins
Will Ferrell, comedian
William G. Morgan, inventor of volleyball
William Frawley, actor
Will Smith, rapper and actor
William Shakespeare, playwright and poet
William Butler (W.B.) Yeats, Irish poet and laureate of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature
William Carlos Williams, modernist poet
Bill Cosby, comedian and actor
Billy Ray Cyrus, actor and country singer
Bill Hader, comedian
William "Smokey" Robinson, singer and songwriter
Billy Crudup, actor
Will Arnett, actor and comedian
William Haynes, YouTuber on SourceFed and SourceFedNerd
William "Will" Blair, American singer
William Moseley, British Actor
William Beckett, former lead singer of American pop-punk band The Academy Is...
Wil Wheaton, actor, writer, most awesome geek in history of the earth
William Brent, aka Billy Unger, American actor
William Karlsson, professional ice hockey player (Vegas Golden Knights)
William Wolf Howey (b. 2009), son of American television actress Sarah Shahi

William in song, story & screen: | Edit

Will Traynor from "Me Before You" book by Jojo Moyes
"Free Willy" (movie)
Fathers Day Images
"Good Will Hunting" (movie)
Mr. Bill from "Saturday Night Live"
William "Bill" Weasley from "Harry Potter"
Willy Wonka
Will Truman of "Will and Grace"
William Tell, legendary archer, and the "William Tell Overture" from Rossini's opera
"William, it Was Really Nothing" by the Smiths
+ William 'Will' Turner from the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' trilogy
+ Bill Compton, from Charlaine Harris's series 'The Southern Vampire Mysteries'
Billy Costigan, Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Departed
Billy Elliot, excellent movie
William the Bloody aka Spike from the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
Commander William Ryker (Star Trek: Next Generation)
"(Won't You Come Home) Bill Bailey", JFK's favorite popular song
"Where Have you Gone, Billy Boy, Billy Boy"
Detective William Murdoch, forward thinking central character in the Murdoch Mystery novels/TV series 'Murdoch Mysteries'
Bill the Frog from "Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
William Cutting AKA Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York (Film/Book)
Bill the Cat from Bloom County
William "Will" Herondale from Cassandra Clare's trilogy "The Infernal Devices"
William Mason, Second Footman at Downton Abbey
William Merriman from the American Girl Felicity books
William "Liam" Henstridge in the popular TV show "The Royals"

No Way
No Way
No Way
No Way
No Way
No Way
No Way
No Way


No Way


No Way


No Way


No Way


No Way


No Way