I hear my brother goes by Bill these days. He's actually the fifth of the Billy line (if he were as interested in Shakespeare as I am, he would go around telling people, "I am the youngest of that name." But he isn't.), and when I was a kid, I could never understand why my dad's siblings all called him 'Billy' when the rest of the world called him 'Bill'. As with so many other things, all has become clear. Billy is their proper name, by the way: Our family has a curious habit of giving nicknames as proper names. None of this 'William' stuff for us.
|There's no way I was going to pass|
this up. Source.
Short form of William, meaning "resolute protector" (quick mental rundown of the ones I know-- yep, I agree), and the change from W to B at the beginning may be an Irish thing. Plenty of variations in plenty of languages. Peaked in popularity (in the U.S.) in the 1920s, when it was the 20th most popular boy's name.
|Billy's the one in the suit.|
Also, do not be deceived
by this pic: Both my siblings
are quite a bit taller than I.
We were standing on a slope.
Fictional Billys: Billy Elliot, Billy the Blue Power Ranger, Billy Madison.
My Billys: Pretty much covered, except I have no characters called Billy or Bill. I do have a William on my WIP character list, but the odds of him getting into the story? Not good. I don't use any family names, in fact, after a lifetime of family reunions where you could call one name and five people would yell "What?" back.
Do you know any Billys? Bills? Famous ones you wish I'd mentioned?
Behind the Name
Baby Name Wizard