The name William is a boy's name of English origin meaning "resolute protection". William is ranked #3 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Classic Baby Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "DROP 2 ADD 1 BOY Namessss".
From the experts:
William has been among the most enduring of classics. It's among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it 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 spinoff 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 U.K. There are tons of worthy namesakes called William, including William Shakespeare, Bill Gates and four U.S. presidents.
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