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

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2019

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2019 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 11 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 549 baby girls
  2. Emma, 517
  3. Alice, 513
  4. Charlie, 499
  5. Charlotte, 497
  6. Lea, 465
  7. Florence, 418
  8. Livia, 407
  9. Rosalie, 354
  10. Beatrice, 343

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 695 baby boys
  2. William, 659
  3. Thomas, 648
  4. Leo, 596
  5. Noah, 585
  6. Logan, 561
  7. Nathan, 505
  8. Felix, 492
  9. Raphael, 489
  10. Edouard, 482 (tied)
  11. Emile, 482 (tied)

In the girls’ top 10, Rosalie re-enters and ousts Zoe (now ranked 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Raphael and Emile replace Jacob (now ranked 12th).

Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Allegresse, Berangere, Clarity, Daxia, Elixanne, Fenskerly, Gersia, Hugh-Laury, Izalie, Judicia-Wonder, Klermona, Lyriel, Merope, Nelsy, Ophelia Gipsy, Pleroma, Qetzia, Ryzlene, Sarassie, Tulugaq, Umi, Virgo, Waapikun, Xochitl Lilou, Yrina, ZackaelleAzai, Bonheur, Chalifix, Delson, Espoir, Fesley, Guerby, Heliodore, Inupak, Jeff-Smart, Keawolf, Light-Shine, Miami-Liam Zion, Nendley, Osric, Pelly, Quintus, Ronnoco, Skysun, Tiki Bolt, Ulrick, Vainqueur, Wibnerley, Xayren, Yalas, Zephyr Meteor

Background and/or possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Allegresse (allégresse) means “elation, joy, gladness” in French.
  • Hugh-Laury…a reference to English actor Hugh Laurie?
  • Merope is one of the seven Pleiades.
  • Tulugaq means “raven” in Inupiaq.
  • Bonhuer means “happiness” in French.
  • Espoir means “hope” in French.
  • Vainqueur means “conqueror” or “victor, winner” in French.

(More of Quebec’s unique baby names can be found on my Patreon page!)

In 2018, the top two names in Quebec were Emma and William.

Sources: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Wiktionary

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Alberta, 2019

baby names in Alberta, 2019

According to the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province in 2019 were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 229 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 188
  3. Sophia, 181
  4. Emma, 178
  5. Ava, 161
  6. Amelia, 159
  7. Emily, 150
  8. Abigail, 141
  9. Hannah, 137
  10. Elizabeth, 124

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 275 baby boys
  2. Liam, 234
  3. Oliver, 225
  4. Ethan, 213
  5. Jack, 198
  6. William, 185
  7. Lucas, 174
  8. Owen, 167
  9. Benjamin, 163
  10. Jacob, 162

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah returns and ousts Harper.

In the boys’ top 10, Owen replaces Logan, Alexander, and James. (It’s uneven because there were two ties in the 2018 top 10.)

Rare baby names that were bestowed just once in Alberta last year include…

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Anesidora, Aviendha, Brungus, Castrence, Calluna, Doxa, Eilish, Fitia-Jane, Giannajoe, Historia, Isleigh, Jennathul, Kriscilla, Kipper, Lilith-Luna, Loonskin, Maxeld, Neepin, Ovalah, Phoemella, Ruftael, Starbrit, Tenacious, Timely, Uzuvira, Verily, Waskway, Xanthal, Yuvleen, ZsanelleAbundance, Apollo-July, BlueJay, Couloir, Cousteau, Despot, Ellejon, Felix-Ivan, Gravity, Handsome-Jack, Humbly, Iguttaq, Iskotew, Jenzieland, Kitterick, Luxton, Maxjay, Nomatic, Ozmo, Pétain, Ranxel, Revic, Sprocket, Thundersky, Uael, Varis, Whirlwind, Xiron, Ylan-Maël, Zagger

Explanations and/or potential influences for a few of the above:

  • Aviendha was a character from Wheel of Time book series (1990-2013) by author Robert Jordan.
  • Waskway is the Cree word for “birch” or “birch tree.”
  • Couloir is the word for “a steep gully in alpine terrain” (from the French word for “corridor” or “hallway”).
  • Iguttaq is the Inuktitut word for “bumblebee.”
  • Iskotew is the Cree word for “fire.”
  • Nomatic is a company that creates minimalist travel products.
  • Revic (“revolutionary” + “optics”) is a company that makes rifle scopes.

(More of Alberta’s unique baby names can be found on my Patreon page!)

In 2018, the top two names in Alberta were Olivia and Liam.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Alberta reveals top baby names of 2019, Online Cree Dictionary, Couloir – Avalanche.org

Popular Baby Names in Western Australia, 2019

According to Western Australia’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Western Australia in 2019 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are WA’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 190 baby girls
  2. Isla, 186
  3. Charlotte, 175
  4. Ava, 171
  5. Amelia, 160
  6. Grace, 146
  7. Mia, 143
  8. Harper, 137
  9. Ella, 124
  10. Lucy, 118

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 228 baby boys
  2. Noah, 218
  3. Oliver, 209
  4. Lucas, 181
  5. Leo, 160
  6. James, 156
  7. William, 149
  8. Thomas, 148
  9. Mason, 143
  10. Charlie, 137

In the girls’ top 10, Ella and Lucy replace Chloe, Willow and Zoe. (Lucy rose to 10th all the way from 21st.) In the boys’ top 10, Mason replaces Ethan and Logan.

The girls’ top 50 includes Poppy, Bonnie, and Eloise; the boys’ top 50 includes Harvey, Kai, and Jasper.

Finally, in 2018, the top names were Ava/Charlotte and Oliver.

Sources: Olivia and Jack top the list as WA’s most popular baby names revealed, Popular Baby Names – DOJ – Govt of Western Australia

Name Quotes 84: Al, Gene, Sonatine

Welcome to the monthly quote post! There are a lot of celebrities in this one, so let’s start with…

Actor Emilio Estevez — who pronounces his surname ESS-teh-vez, instead of the Spanish way, ess-TEH-vezdiscussing his name [vid] on Talk Soup with Nessa in 2019:

So I was born on 203rd Street in South Bronx. And, at the time, my father had this very Hispanic-sounding last name. […] A lot people, a lot of these agents, and folks said, if you wanna work in this business, you gotta have a more Anglo-sounding name. Of course times have changed, but there was that moment where he was finally on Broadway — 1965, ’66 — and his father came from Dayton (he was from Spain, of course) and looked up on the marquee, and saw the three names that were starring in the play, and one of them was “Martin Sheen” and not his real name, Ramón Estévez. And my grandfather just looked up, and he just shook his head, and he was so disappointed. And my father saw that. And so when I began to get into this business, we had that conversation. And he said, don’t make the same mistake I did.

…A few sentences later, Estevez added:

I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me on the street and said, you know, just seeing your name on a poster, just seeing your name on screen, meant so much to me, you have no idea.

(Martin Sheen’s stage name was created from the names of CBS casting director Robert Dale Martin and televangelist archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.)

Singer Billy Idol, born William Broad, discussing his stage name [vid] with Karyn Hay on the New Zealand TV show Radio with Pictures in 1984:

Q: Why did you choose the name Billy Idol, especially in a time when [there’s] Johnny Rotten, Ret Scabies, you know?

A: Exactly, I mean that’s the point. That’s exactly the point. […] I thought, first of all, of course, of I-D-L-E, you know, idle. Cause this chemistry teacher when I was at school — I got 8 out of 100 for chemistry, I hated chemistry — so he wrote, “William is idle,” right? And I thought that was great to get 8 out of 10 [sic] for chemistry, cause I hated the hell out of it. So I thought that was respectable, so I thought it was worthwhile being called I-D-O-L, idol. Also, it’s good fun making fun of show business. I’m not into show business, I’m into rock ‘n’ roll.

Composer Bear McCreary’s baby name announcement from mid-2014:

Raya and I are proud to announce our greatest collaboration is finally here. 

Sonatine Yarbrough McCreary was born 6/2/14 and is filling our lives with joy, music… and poop.

(The musical term sonatina means “small sonata” in Italian. A sonata refers to a piece that is played — as opposed to a cantata, a piece that is sung.)

From an article about Amy Schumer legally changing her son’s name:

The I Feel Pretty star revealed her decision to change her 11-month-old son’s name on the newest episode of her podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Tuesday. Schumer and her husband Chris Fischer named their first child Gene Attell Fischer, born May 5, with his middle name serving as a tribute to their good friend comic Dave Attell.

“Do you guys know that Gene, our baby’s name, is officially changed? It’s now Gene David Fischer. It was Gene Attell Fischer, but we realized that we, by accident, named our son ‘genital,'” Schumer told cohosts Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett, and Keith Robinson.

…More to the point, from Amy’s Instagram:

Oh, like you never named your kid Genital fissure!!!!!!!

Three quotes from a fantastic article in the NYT about Weird Al Yankovic (discovered via Nancy Friedman).

…On his Alfred-ness:

Although Alfred’s grades were perfect, and he could solve any math problem you threw at him, his social life was agonizing. Imagine every nerd cliche: He was scrawny, pale, unathletic, nearsighted, awkward with girls — and his name was Alfred. And that’s all before you even factor in the accordion.

…On how his surname turned him into an accordion player:

[The accordion] came from a door-to-door salesman. The man was offering the gift of music, and he gave the Yankovics a simple choice: accordion or guitar. This was 1966, the golden age of rock, the year of the Beatles’ “Revolver” and the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde.” A guitar was like a magic amulet spraying sexual psychedelic magic all over the world. So Yankovic’s mother chose the accordion. This was at least partly because of coincidence: Frankie Yankovic, a world-famous polka player, happened to share the family’s last name. No relation. Just a wonderful coincidence that would help to define Alfred’s entire life.

…On his Alfred-ness again:

The nickname “Weird Al” started as an insult. It happened during his first year of college. This was a fresh start for Alfred — a chance to reinvent himself for a whole new set of people. He had no reputation to live down, no epic humiliations. And so he decided to implement a rebrand: He introduced himself to everyone not as Alfred but as “Al.” Alfred sounded like the kind of kid who might invent his own math problems for fun. Al sounded like the opposite of that: a guy who would hang out with the dudes, eating pizza, casually noodling on an electric guitar, tossing off jokes so unexpectedly hilarious they would send streams of light beer rocketing out of everyone’s noses.

The problem was that, even at college, even under the alias of Al, Yankovic was still himself. He was still, fundamentally, an Alfred.

Comedian Kevin Hart on choosing baby names:

I wish I could say that I am the main guru, [but] I am awful when it comes to the names. That is not my expertise. […] I say the same thing every time. It’s either Kevin or Kevina. I got two names. That’s it. So if you never go with either one of those then I’m no good to you.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.