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Gender: M Meaning of William: "resolute protection" Origin of William: English from German William's Popularity in 2013: #5

Popularity: this week.

William has been among the most enduring of classics, currently standing at a solid Number 5, exactly where it was last year, chosen by almost 17,000 American parents as being ideally conservative yet contemporary. For 400 years, William has been second only to John as the most popular name in the English-speaking world. And now of course it's also a newsy name, thanks to Britain's high-profile Prince William.

In terms of short forms, yesterday's Bills and Billys have given way to today's Wills -- or Williams, with no diminutive--though a few hip Billys, including Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton's, have surfaced recently. But Will, sometimes used on its own, is still the most stylish William nickname. Riding the William bandwagon are the Irish spin-off Liam now in second place) and, to a lesser extent, the Dutch Willem.

The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, and has long reigned as a royal name in the UK. There are tons of worthy namesakes called William, including William Shakespeare, Bill Gates, and four U.S. presidents.

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Famous People Named William

William Henry "Hank" Green, American comedian, YouTuber and educator
William I the Conqueror, first Norman King of England
William II and III, Kings of England
William IV, King of the United Kingdom
William Shakespeare, English poet and writer
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, 42nd U.S. president
William Arthur Philip Louis, Prince of the United Kingdom, Duke of Cambridge
William I-V, Princes of Orange
William I-II, Kings of the Netherlands
William Henry Harrison, 9th US president
William McKinley">McKinley, 25th US president
William Howard Taft, 27th US president
William Cuthbert Faulkner, American novelist
William Henry Seward, American politician, governor and senator from New York
William Bradley "Brad" Pitt, American actor
William Henry "Bill" Gates, American founder of Microsoft, Inc.
William "Bill" Paxton, American actor
William Hall Macy, American actor
William Peter Moseley, English actor
William James "Wil" Anderson, Australian comedian
William Turner Walton, English composer
William Wilberforce, English abolitionist politician
William Denby "Bill" Hanna, American cartoonist of Hanna-Barbera
William James Adams aka Will.I.Am., American R&B singer
William Temple Todd, son of U.S. First Lady Dolley Madison
William Tyndale, English martyr who translated the Bible into English
William "Billy" Dean Martin, musician of American bad Good Charlotte
William "Adam" West (Anderson), American actor
William Emerson "Will" Arnett, American actor
William Justus Goebel, American politician, governor of Kentucky
William Stephens Smith, husband of Abigail "Nabby" Adams, son-in-law of U.S. President John Adams
William Miles "Will" Dunn, English actor
William Daniel Phillips, American physicist and Nobel prize winner
William Thomson, British mathematical physicist and engineer
William Henry Bragg, physicist, mathematician & Nobel-prize winner
William Lawrence Bragg, Australian-British physicist & Nobel prize winner
William John Paul "Liam" Gallagher, lead singer of English band Oasis
William Ford Gibson, American novelist
William "Bill" Shatner, Canadian actor
Richard William "Wil" Wheaton, American actor
William Caxton, English printing pioneer
William Wallace Lincoln, son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
William Commons, son of Scottish Footballer Kris Commons
William True, son of actress Kirstie Alley
William Luca Costa-Marsden, son of actor James Marsden

Pop Culture References for the Name William

William Sherlock Scot Holmes, full name of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show "Sherlock"
William "Bill" Weasley, a character in Harry Potter
William "Bill" Compton, character from the TV series 'True Blood'
William Riker, character from 'Star Trek: the Next Generation'
William "Will" Truman, character from the series 'Will & Grace'
William "Will" Shuester, character from the series 'Glee'
William "Will" Herondale, character from the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare
William Birkin, character in the video game series "Resident Evil"
William Baker, character from "Spiderman"
William 'Will' Turner, character from Pirates of the Caribbean
Det. William Murdoch, character from "Murdoch Mysteries"
William, character from the movie 'Chatroom'
William 'Will' Gardner - character from 'The Good Wife'
William 'Will' Parry - character in His Dark Materials
William, the name of Scully's baby in "The X files"
William, second footman in "Downton Abbey"
William Townsend, character in Yesterday's child, by Barbara Wood

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