When it comes to classic names, you really can’t beat William. And while it’s been around since, like, forever, it’s one of those few names that can be timeless and trendy at the same time. If you like the name (but don’t want to have a whole lot of Williams in your kiddo’s preschool), you’ll probably want to know about
these baby names if you like William.
Chances are, you probably know a William — or four. Originally, the name derived from the German name Wilhelm, with
William having direct roots to William the Conqueror, Nameberry.com reported. It translates into “resolute protection”, from "wil" meaning "will" and "helm" meaning a "helmet", or some other form of protection. Maybe that's why William has been such a popular boy’s name for centuries.
But if you like the name William and want to name your child something similar-sounding or with the same significance, you can opt for these baby names that will be as classically cool as your kiddo.
Who says that you have to give your child a full first name? Although Will is a derivative of William, you can always go bold and just name your child Will. Who knows, maybe they’ll have a strong, you know, will.
If there are a lot of Liam’s in your older child’s Pre-K class, there’s a good reason why.
Liam is the most popular baby boy name, according to the Social Security Administration. And Liam, coincidentally, is the Irish form of William (and it’s also the last four letters of William, too).
A fresh take on the name William, Willem is also becoming increasingly popular. Nameberry.com reported that
Willem is a common name in Holland. The Dutch variation gives Willem a more European vibe.
Let’s say that you love the name William — but you’re having a girl. Of course, you could always give your gal a boy’s name… or you could keep most of the letters from William and shorten it to Willa, a beautiful girl’s name.
When William feels too common, you can always add some
sazon to the name and look for versions in other languages. Take Guillermo, for example, which is a Spanish-language version of William, Scary Mommy cited.
While it's not a derivative of William, James is also an equally classic (and popular) boy’s name. It
ranks as the 6, the SSA reported. And if you have your heart set on William, you could always use James as a middle name, since it’s short and sweet. th most popular boys’ name South_agency/E+/Getty Images Benjamin can be a great alternative to William. Meaning “the son of the right hand” as The Bump reported, Benjamin has the same number of syllables as William — and sort of sounds like it, too. Plus, you have a plethora of plucky nicknames to choose from, like Ben, Benjie, and Benny.
Again, if it’s all pretty in pink coming your way, you can find ways to work William into a girl’s name. Enter
Wilhelmina, a super strong girly name of Germanic origin, Nameberry reported. Although it’s a pretty name, it’s also pretty uncommon, which means that if you give your baby girl this name, she’ll probably be the only one in daycare with it.
Wyatt is one of those names that was once popular and is slowly seeing a resurgence. With its
meaning of “war strength,” according to TheBump.com, it ranks within the top 50 baby boy names. Even though Wyatt has often been associated with strong male figures (Wyatt Earp, anyone?), Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis named their daughter Wyatt as well. If you want to give your child a name beginning with W, Weston just might work. It’s not a crazy popular name (it ranked #180 on BabyCenter.com), and has its roots in England. It means “Western town,” and if you remove a few letters from both words, you can see how Weston is actually a cool contraction of sorts.
Once a popular name (like back in the 1880s), Henry has come back hard to become one of the trendiest names today. In fact,
the name Henry has seen a steady rise since the year 2000 (when it ranked 126) to 2019, when it snatched the 12 th spot, the SSA.gov reported. And just like William, it’s a classic name that doesn’t go out of style.
At the beginning of the millennium,
Matthew was . It held the number three spot for two years in a row, and has slowly become slightly less popular over the years (it ranked 23 the name for baby boys rd in 2019). But it’s still a traditional name, like William, and has that W sound if that’s what you’re after.
Let’s say that you like a name that’s synonymous with strength (as William does). Well, how about Andrew? With its origins in Greece,
Andrew means “manly”, according to Babynames.com. It’s also a Biblical name, since Andrew was one of Christ’s apostles. Fiordaliso/Moment/Getty Images
Making the top ten of most popular baby boy names, Ethan is a solid pick if you’re looking for a name that embodies strength. In fact,
it literally means “strong, firm,” according to Nameberry.com. It’s a classic Hebrew name that has deep ties to the Old Testament.
Toying with names that are similar to William?
You might want to try out Thomas. It means “twin”, TheBump.com reported, and it has Aramaic origins. It’s a distinguished name that can be found in popular culture as well as back to Biblical times, as Thomas was one of the 12 apostles, too.
There’s no denying that William is a wonderful name. But if you want to try something similar yet different, you can pick any of the above names that will be perfect for your baby.