Most people have traditional or classic names which can become common because everyone is bearing the same name as you. If you want to be different and unique, then you have to appreciate been called by a nickname.
Nicknames have a personalized touch that makes them preferred.
William is one of the classic names of all times. Even the nickname has become very common, as a result, we went to work to bring you nicknames of the name William that you have not heard before.
If you intend to name your baby William but want a nickname that will be special, this is the article for you.
If you are already a William, it is not too late to get yourself a new nickname, especially if you don’t like the one you are called now.
Table of Contents
The history behind the name William
When you hear the name “William,” you think English. You are somehow right; the name actually evolved from the original Old High German name “Wilhelm.” The literal translation of the Wilhelm simply is “Willeo means desire” and “helm means helmet.” Other representations of the Wil is “determination” and “will” while “helm” has been implied to mean protection.
Although the spelling of the name has taken different forms over the years before finally settling to the worldwide acceptable “William,” however, the meaning is still the same- “resolute protector.”
Tracing history, the Old High Norman French called the name “Willaume,” before it was introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England in the year 1066. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles also calls it “Willhelm.” Later the name took on the typical Old Norman form of “Willame.”
William, the Conqueror, was the first Norman descendant to become king of England. This royal made the name fully established in the English soil. Since then the name has spread like wildfire and is one of the most popular English names of all times.
Dutch legend claims that the name was derived from the Germanic word “Gildhelm” which means “Golden helmet.” It became a title of bravery on the war front. This introduced the “G” variation of the name “William.”
The Irish and Americans also adopted the name, and it has since become a favorite all across the world. William is a classic name that has been borne by a significant number of royals in different parts of history and the world. From Britain, Germany, Sicily, France, Dutch, and even Cameroon have all had Kings, Princes, and Nobles who have been called William.
In the present century, there are role models in entertainment, sports and the very distinguished Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
Now enough of history, let’s get into the nicknames that have been derived from the unique name “William.” It will interest you to note that the right pronunciation for “William” is WIL-yəm.
Famous People Named William
Do you need more convincing about the greatness of the name “William”? If you do, below are a list of famous Williams’ you may know, heard of or never heard of. Some of them had nicknames like the ones listed below.
- William Jefferson Clinton – Known as Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of United States of America (1993-2001).
- William Henry Gates – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, philanthropist
- William Shakespeare – Famous poet and Playwright (1564-1616)
- William Henry Cosby Jr. – Bill Cosby, Comedian, actor, activist and author
- William Martin Joel – Billy Joel, American Pianist, singer-songwriter. He wrote “Piano Man” in 1973
- William Felton Russell – Bill Russel is a retired professional basketball player who played for Boston Celtic
- William Joseph Baldwin – Actor, producer, and writer. Brother of Alec, Stephen and Daniel Baldwin. His movies include Flatliners, Silver, Fair Game, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Parenthood.
- William Clark – Explorer
- William Bob Thornton – Billy Bob Thornton, actor, filmmaker
- William Ray Cyrus – Billy Ray Cyrus, Singer, songwriter, and actor. Miley Cyrus dad.
- William Franklin – Billy Graham, Christian evangelist and spiritual adviser to many American Presidents.
- William McKinley – The 25th President of the United States of America (1848-1901)
- William Howard Taft – The 27th President of the United States of America (1857-1930)
- William James Adams, Jr – Professionally known as will.i.am. Founding and lead member of the The Black Eyed Peas.
Why Is Bill as a nickname for William?
The name Bill is the most common nickname for William. What is the relationship? You may wonder, why Bill and not Will? Centuries ago the English tended to use a hypocorism. This means switching a letter in the name for another. This method of swapping letters was a common trend in the middle ages. Letters that rhyme together were often interchanged in a name. A belief behind this trend is that it is easier to call hard consonants than soft ones. In this case, “B” is harder and more prominent to the ear than “W.”
List of William Nicknames
We have classified the nickname for William into different themes below. The popular nicknames of William, female version of William and the funny nicknames of William. If there is a particular theme that interest you, you can simply go to the section
Popular William Nicknames
It is amazing how the name William has stayed popular through ages and even in modern times. In the year 2016, William ranked number 3 in New Zealand and number 11 in both Wales and England. 2017, this evergreen name ranked number 2 in Australia and number 1 in Sweden. Why not join the trend!
- Guigui – The French adaptation of the name
- Guiguille – In France, this is the common version of William.
- Guille – A Spanish preference
- Liam – Of Irish origins
- Will – As classic as you can get.
- Am – From the famous singer, William James Adams, Jr. Pronounced “Will I am”
- Willy or Willie
Funny William Nicknames
Nicknames are more memorable when they generate laughter, mirth, and humor in both the bearer and hearer. Here are some funny William nicknames that will have you giggling and smiling.
- Big W – This is ideal for Hunk. Especially if the bearer is tall and big
- Good Will Hunting
- Guy – a short version of Guillaume
- Memo – South Americans including Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica are known to use this nickname.
- The Willster – For a William with questionable behavior
- Ville – Almost sounds as if you are saying the word “”
- Wil Yam – Sounds as if a toddler is trying out the name for the first time.
- Willionaire – Ideal for a rich William
- Wilmo – Mimicking the cartoon character “Elmo” in Sesame Street.
- Wombat – The nickname Princess Diana called Prince William
- Wull – Scottish abbreviation of the name William
- Wullie – Scottish origins
- Yum – Perfect for a very handsome William
Female William Nicknames
If you have a daughter and you were hoping to name your child William. Or, you want to continue the family tradition of naming a child William, but you got a girl. Don’t worry we got you covered. Below are female versions of your favorite name, and your girl will be proud to be called any.
- Willow – Will Smith, the famous actor, named his daughter “Willow.” A cute version of his first name.
Variants of William and Its Origins
An understanding of the different variants or alternative to the name William is necessary. This may be your preferred nickname of choice for your own William. The spelling difference or the origins of the name are an added attraction. There are many other interpretation and variations, but here are the few we know will intrigue you.
- Billem – Batak
- Cugilerme – Neapolitan
- Gllaome – Modern Norman
- Guglielmo – Italian
- Gilen or Guilen – Basque
- Guilielmus – Latin
- Guildhelm – Old Dutch
- Guim – Catalan
- Guillen – Aragonese
- Guillermo – Spanish
- Guilherme – Portuguese
- Guillerme – Galician
- Gugghiermu – Sicilian
- Gwilym – Welsh
- Gwilherm – Breton
- Uilleam – Scottish Gaelic
- Uiliam – Bulgarian
- Vilem – Czech
- Vilhjalmur – Icelandic
- Vilim – Croatian
- Vilmos – Hungarian
- Vilius – Lithuanian
- Viljam or Wiljam – Hebrew
- Viljams – Latvian
- Viljami – Finnish
- Vilyam – Turkish
- Weilian – Chinese
- Wiriamu – Japanese
The list of the famous William pet names goes on and on…. Because, let’s face it, there is no limit to the number of nicknames that can be derived from the name “William.”
So, get creative and form yours in a way that suits you or the William you want to give a pet name.
Also, do not hesitate to share any good William nicknames that you might have come across in the past.