The classic name Liam is high in popularity with it’s meaning and origin being well known. Liam is believed to be a derivative of the longer Irish name Uilliam and the traditional Germanic name William. The name Liam has a very big past so parents who are interested in a rich history will love this name!
The original name William stems from the combination of two Germanic elements, that being ‘willa’ (meaning ‘resolution’ or ‘will’) and the word ‘helma’ (meaning ‘helmet’). Therefore, the meaning of William is ‘helmet of will’ or ‘guardian’. The name ventured into France during the divide of the Francia Empire and different variants began to emerge. Some you may have hear of today, such as Willelm, Willaume and Guillaume. When the name reached England, the name was written as William, which can be dated as far back as 1066.
Since then, the name William travelled far and wide, reaching all corners of the United Kingdom and eventually Ireland. Nicknames of traditional names such as William and Guillaume, were becoming popular, modern first names, like Will, Guil and Liam. However, it was not until the late 1700’s that the name Liam started growing in popularity.
With every year that passed, it rose higher and higher up the popularity scale.
Liam was mainly known within Ireland, being also a nickname of Uilliam. From 1845 to 1852, during the Great Famine (also known as The Great Hunger) in Ireland, over 1.5 million people immigrated to other parts of the now United Kingdom. And brought the name Liam along with them! Our research shows that the name Liam was not recorded in England or Wales until the year 1932.
From then on, the name Liam only became more and more loved! With every year that passed, it rose higher and higher up the popularity scale. The Office for National Statistics states that by the year 1996, Liam ranked number 10 for the most popular baby boy names in England and Wales. Although since 1996 it has fallen in popularity within the UK, it’s comes as no surprise that Liam is now at number 1 in the US.
Overview Of Liam – Name Meaning, Origin And Popularity
Popular Countries: United States, Ireland, England, Wales.
Nicknames For The Name Liam: Lee
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Meaning Of The Name Liam
The origin of the name Liam, as stated above, comes from the Irish name Uilliam and the German name William, meaning ‘helmet of will’ or ‘guardian’.
Popularity Of The Name Liam
If you are looking for a unique and rare name for your baby boy, I’m afraid Liam is not it! But if you are want a strong and prominent name that will never go out of style, then Liam is the name for you. It currently sits at the top of the US most popular baby names for boys and has been for a while now (since 2017). It’s popularity has diminished in other countries, partly due to it being over-used. In the year 2019, Liam ranked number 56 in it’s birth country of Ireland and number 17 in Germany. However, the US is not bored of the name yet!
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Variants Of The Name Liam
We have put together a list below of a few related names to the name Liam. Most of them are traditional, classic names with a deep history. And some are variations of the name Liam in other languages.
- Wilhelm (German)
- William (German, English)
- Gwilym (Welsh)
- Will (nickname of William)
- Guillaume (French)
- Guillermo (Spanish)
Names That Sound Similar
The phonetics of Liam are easy to pronounce in most languages. Parents also love the short, 2 syllables compared to the 3 syllables of William. For those readers who are craving a name that is a less used, consider these 10 more unique alternatives:
Famous People With The Name Liam
Liam has been around for centuries, so there are an endless number of famous people baring the same name. Below we have listed a few note-worthy celebrities of our time whom you may have heard of before:
- Liam Neeson: Actor from Northern Ireland
- Liam Cosgrave: Irish politician
- Liam Fox: British politician
- Liam O’Brien: American voice actor, writer, and director
- Liam Hemsworth: Australian actor
- Liam Clancy: Irish folk singer
Do You Have Any Tips About The Name Liam?
We love hearing your feedback here at Kid Names! We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Kid Names is a community of parents, expectant mamas and obsessors of baby names. Our researchers are experts in what they do but we also value our readers first hand knowledge! If you have any suggestions for the name Liam, it’s meaning, origin or popularity, please let us know! Or if you called your baby Liam, then let us know here or leave a comment below!