The name William is primarily a male name of English origin that means Will, Desire And Helmet, Protection.
From the Germanic wil "will or desire" and helm "helmet or protection". The name William has never really gone out of style, remaining one of the most popular given names for boys in the last 100 years. The name is an English cognate of the German name Wilhelm. Common nicknames for the name William include Will, Willie, Bill, Billy, and Liam. William has been historically abbreviated as Wm.
There are several British royals that have been named William, including Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, future King of England. The first William of England was known as William the Conqueror. There were also royal Williams in The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Luxembourg.
U.S. presidents with the name include William Jefferson Clinton, William Henry Harrison, and William Howard Taft. William Shakespeare is probably the most famous of literary Williams, along with William Faulkner, William Golding, and William Butler Yeats. Will.i.am (nee William Adams) is an American musician from The Black Eyed Peas. William Randolph Hearst was a publishing mogul and business leader.
Fictional characters include Baby William from the television show The X-Files and Will Turner from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. William Brown is the title character of the Just William series of books by English author Richmal Crompton. "William Wants a Doll" is a song from the television show, Free to Be, You and Me, which broke down gender prejudices in the 1970s.
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