Of old Germanic origin.
Derives from the Teutonic name Willahelm. There were two elements in that name, “wil” meaning “will, desire” and “helm” meaning “helmet, protection”.
It was common among the Normans. It became very popular in England after William the Conqueror was recognized as first Norman king of England.
Three other kings of England were named William, as well as rulers of Netherlands, Scotland and Sicily.
William of Gellone, who was Charlemagne’s cousin was immortalized in the “Chanson de Guillaume”. His high esteem is accounted for the name’s great popularity among the European nobility.
Shortened forms of the name are Bill, Will, Liam, Willy, Billy, Billie and feminine form is Willa.
Famous bearers of the name are William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, William Butler Yeats, Prince William, William Holden, William Hart, William Petersen, Billy Gibbons, Billy Joel, Billy Corgan.
William is a popular name in Australia, Denmark, Norway, United States, Canada, England & Wales and New Zealand.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth II.
He is engaged in several humanitarian and environmental causes.