Perhaps no other name invokes literary thoughts as this one does. William Shakespeare first jumps to mind, as do poet William Blake, and contemporary authors William Faulkner and William S. Burroughs. Germanic in origin, the name is derived from the words “will” and “helmet.” It has belonged to several rulers of England, Prussia, and Germany, including William the Conqueror who was the first Norman king of England, and, more currently, Kate Middleton’s husband Prince William of Wales, not to mention several former U.S. presidents. While almost as common as John, William is a classic name that will stand the test of time.


  • German: Resolute protector or guardian; brilliant



Famous Namesakes

President William Jefferson Clinton, Playwright William Shakespeare, Actor William Hurt, Poet William Yeats, Poet Wiliam Blake, Actor William Macy, Writer William Faulkner

Celebrity Babies

Son of Billy Bob Thornton, Son of Abraham Lincoln, Son of Billy Crudup, Son of Kimberly Williams, Son of Mel Gibson, Son of Mary-Louise Parker, Son of Colin Firth, Son of Christompher Reeve