Liam

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Liam
Pronunciation/ˈl.əm/LEE-əm
GenderMale
Origin
Word/NameFrancia and Ireland
Meaninghelmet of will
Region of originFrancia and Ireland
Other names
Related namesWilliam, Will, Bill, Gwilym, Guillermo (Latin form)[1]
 
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Liam
Pronunciation/ˈl.əm/LEE-əm
GenderMale
Origin
Word/NameFrancia and Ireland
Meaninghelmet of will
Region of originFrancia and Ireland
Other names
Related namesWilliam, Will, Bill, Gwilym, Guillermo (Latin form)[1]

Liam is a short form of the Irish Gaelic name, "Uilliam", itself a derivative of the Frankish, "Willahelm". The original name was a merging of the Old German elements, vila[2] ("will" or "resolution") and helma ("helmet"), and therefore, means "helmet of will".[3] When the Frankish Empire was divided into two parts, the name developed differently in each region. In the French half, Willahelm developed first into "Guilielm", and then into "Guillaume".

Contents

Origin

Although the name was well known in England prior to 1066, through Saxon dealings with Guillaume, Duc de Normandie, it was viewed as a "foreign" name. The Norman Conquest had a dramatic effect on English names. Many, if not most Saxon names, such as Ethelred, died out under the massive influx of French ones. Since the Royal Court now rang with names such as Alain, Guy, Aeginald and William,[4] they were quickly adopted by the English, the Welsh, and eventually the Irish.

Within a generation, the "new" names had become so completely assimilated that they were regarded as homegrown, and variant forms evolved and thrived alongside one another. In Wales, both William and Gwilym became popular, as did the short forms Wil and Gwil, and almost every village had its own Gwilym Williams (the final "s" represented "son of" or "descendant of"). The Norman conquest of Ireland followed a similar pattern to that of England a century earlier. Within a generation, the Irish Uilliam was found alongside William, and the short form of both was Liam.[5]

21st century

In 2008. according to the Office for National Statistics, Liam was the 22nd most popular baby name (male and female) in the UK; in 2009, it ranked as the 24th.[6]

People

References

  1. ^ Staff (2004-2012). "Guillaume". Think Baby Names. Thinkbabynames.com. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Guillaume. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001-2012). "helmet". Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=helmet. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Sean Crist (Unknown). "Search results". Germanic Lexicon Project. Germanic Lexicon Project. http://web.ff.cuni.cz/cgi-bin/uaa_slovnik/gmc_search_v3?cmd=formquery2&query=helma&startrow=1. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=William
  5. ^ A Revised History of Names in Britain
  6. ^ http://www.statistics.gov.uk/babynames/babyname.html