How popular is the baby name William in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name William.

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Popularity of the Baby Name William


Posts that Mention the Name William

The 16 Children of William of Orange

William of Orange

Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).

William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”

Here are the names of all 16:

  1. Maria (born in 1553)
  2. Philip William, (b. 1554)
  3. Maria (b. 1556)
  4. Justinus (b. 1559)
  5. Anna (b. 1562)
  6. Anna (b. 1563)
  7. Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
  8. Maurice (b. 1567)
  9. Emilia (b. 1569)
  10. Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
  11. Elisabeth (b. 1577)
  12. Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
  13. Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
  14. Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
  15. Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
  16. Frederick Henry (b. 1584)

Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:

This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles Belgique Hollande (b. 1655).

Sources:

  • Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • William the Silent – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Denmark, 2020

Denmark

According to Statistics Denmark, the most popular baby names in the country last year were Alma and Alfred.

Here are Denmark’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Alma, 514 baby girls
  2. Agnes, 456
  3. Ella, 448
  4. Freja, 439
  5. Clara, 432 (tie)
  6. Emma, 432 (tie)
  7. Sofia, 423
  8. Karla, 398
  9. Anna, 375
  10. Ellie, 363

Boy Names

  1. Alfred, 520 baby boys
  2. Oscar, 516
  3. Carl, 503 (tie)
  4. Noah, 503 (tie)
  5. William, 497
  6. Oliver, 463
  7. Aksel, 454
  8. Arthur, 453
  9. Valdemar, 432
  10. Lucas, 429

In the girls’ top 10, Ellie replaced Olivia.

In the boys’ top 10, Aksel and Valdemar replaced August and Malthe.

In 2019, the top two names in Denmark were Emma and William.

Sources: Names of newborn children – Statistics Denmark, Alma and Alfred the most popular names of 2020

Popular Baby Names in Jersey, 2020

Jersey Island

According to Jersey’s Superintendent Registrar, the most popular baby names of 2020 on the island of Jersey (located in the English Channel) were Isabella and Lucas.

Below are Jersey’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names for each of the last five years:

Girl Names

20162017201820192020
1OliviaOliviaSiennaOliviaIsabella
2EmilyMiaAvaAvaWillow
3AvaPoppyAmeliaAmeliaEmily
4MiaEmilyMiaEllaEva
5SophieGraceSophiaEmiliaIsla
6MatildaEvieLunaIslaSophie
7AbigailIsabellaLillyLilyAlice
8MayaMillieCharlotteMiaSophia
9DaisyAmeliaFreyaIsabellaAva
10IvyRubyEmilyCharlotteHallie

Boy Names

20162017201820192020
1HarryCharlieLeoOliverLucas
2OliverHenryOliverJackGeorge
3NoahLucasJacobLucasWilliam
4JackOliverWilliamMasonHenry
5LeoNoahNoahOscarAlfie
6EthanEdwardJoshuaArchieOscar
7DylanSebastianCharlieGeorgeArchie
8TheoJacobHenryAlfieOliver
9JoshuaIsaacLoganArthurNoah
10JamesArchieJackBenjaminLiam

A total of 863 babies (419 females and 444 males) were born on the island in 2020.

Sources: 2020 Superintendent Registrar Annual Statement [PDF], Isabella And Lucas Lead Baby Names List, REVEALED: Jersey’s most popular baby names in 2020

Baby Name Story: Mikado

The Mikado

From mid-1885 until the end of 1886, English actor James Danvers appeared in the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company’s touring production of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Mikado.

During that period — specifically, in early 1886 — he and his wife welcomed a baby boy in Liverpool.

What did they name him?

William Mikado Danvers.

That baby grew up to become comedic entertainer Billy Danvers. He appeared in music hall and variety shows from the age of four until the year he died (1964).

The Japanese word mikado, pronounced mih-KAH-doh, was formerly used as a title for the emperor of Japan. (These days, the preferred term is tenno.)

Sources: James Danvers – The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Willie Mikado Danvers – FamilySearch, Don Ross and ‘Thanks for the Memory’ – Voices of Variety, Tenno – Japanese title – Britannica

Name Quotes #101: Nick, Nylic, Honeysuckle

Singer/rapper Lil Nas X talking about his birth name [vid], Montero Hill, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in early 2021:

Jimmy: So, where does Montero come from?

Nas: Ok, it’s slightly embarrassing, but not embarrassing. So my mom wanted the car, the Montero, you know? And she never got one…

Jimmy: What’s a Montero?

Nas: It’s a Mitsubishi. So, yeah, I’m named after a car.

From the 2004 book The Agassi Story, in which Andre Agassi‘s father, Emanoul, recounts renting a room on his first night in America (after emigrating from Armenia):

“Name?” asked the clerk.

Names are so important; they have so much to do with an individual’s personality, with what kind of person he or she becomes. Take the name Phil. Have you ever met a Phil who wasn’t easygoing? My oldest son is named Phil, Phillip, and that’s just what he is: Easygoing. Or consider the name Andre. It’s an aggressive name, a flamboyant name, and that’s just how my son Andre turned out to be.

So I thought a moment, and answered “Mike Agassi.” Mike was a simple name and I liked it. It sounded American. Honorable. More importantly, it was a name I could spell.

From an article about professional baseball player Nick Solak in the Dallas News:

Nick Solak is named after a sports bar.

[…]

Back in the 1980s, Nick’s Sports Page sat on the triangular plot of land where Chicago Road and Lincoln Avenue intersected in Dolton, Ill., one of those working-class suburbs on the South Side of Chicago. The exterior featured shaker shingles, chocolate-stained diagonal sheathing and baseball bats for door handles. On Feb. 5, 1985, it hosted Carlton Fisk Night, where patrons could meet the White Sox catcher, whose work ethic screamed South Sider, even if he actually grew up in New England.

Nobody recalls if South Siders Mark Solak or Roseann, née Pawlak, took home Fisk’s autograph, but they did take home each other’s phone numbers. Four years later, they were married. And when they were about to start a family in 1995, Nick — OK, officially, Nicholas — was the clear choice for a boy. They both liked the name. Plus, it had sentimental value as a nod to their South Side roots.

From a 2013 article about actress Honeysuckle Weeks in the Independent:

With the names Honeysuckle Weeks and Charity Wakefield starring in the UK premiere production of These Shining Lives directed by Loveday Ingram, you can only imagine what rehearsals are like. It sounds as if they should all be in a Jilly Cooper novel – not a hard-hitting play about employees’ rights in the workplace.

From the book Strange Fascination (2012) by David Buckley, the story of how singer David Bowie (born David Jones) chose his stage name:

‘Bowie’, pronounced by the man himself and all his ‘die-hard’ fans to rhyme with ‘slowie’, as opposed to ‘wowie!’ as used by most ‘casual fans’ and chat-show presenters, was chosen for its connection with the Bowie knife. Jim Bowie (pronounced to rhyme with ‘phooey’) was a Texan adventurer who died at the Alamo in 1836, and carried a single-bladed hunting knife. Bowie’s description of why he chose the name is typically highly ambiguous. In the 70s, Bowie proclaimed that the knife signalled a desire to cut through lies to reveal hidden truths (a highly ironic comment, [given] Bowie’s capacity for deceit), while in a recent Radio 1 interview he said that he liked the connotations of a blade being sharpened from both sides, a signifier for all sorts of ambiguities. In fact, the Bowie knife has only one cutting edge, and is not double-bladed. This mistaken belief was held not just by Bowie, but by William Burroughs too. The choice of stage name nevertheless indicated a sense of being able to cut both ways, perfect for the pluralistic 60s. The name also derived, despite its association with Americana (a connection the English David was obviously happy about, his whole career musically being an English take on a largely American form), from a Scottish heritage, and Bowie quite liked that regional distinctiveness, too.

From a 2004 article about the usage of brand names as personal names in the Baltimore Sun:

When Virginia Hinton, a professor emeritus at Kennesaw State University, was researching a book on the history of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Milledgeville, Ga., she came across a girl named Nylic who was born around 1900. Nylic’s mother was an organist at the church, and her father was the local representative for the New York Life Insurance Co. — abbreviated NYLIC.