|Word/Name||France and Ireland|
|Meaning||Desire, Protector, Helmet|
|Region of origin||France and Ireland|
|Related names||William, Will, Bill, Gwilym, Guillermo (Latin form)|
|Look up Liam in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Liam is a short form of the Irish name "Uilliam", itself a derivative of the Frankish, "Willahelm". The original name was a merging of the Old German elements, vila ("will" or "resolution") and helma ("helmet"), and therefore, means "helmet of will" and "Protector". 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".
Although Willahelm and Guillaume were 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, 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.
According to the Office for National Statistics, Liam was the 2nd most popular baby name in the UK in 2013, after being the 22nd most popular baby name in 2008 and the 6th most popular baby name in 2012.
In other languages
In Arabic, the word لِئْم, with a pronunciation equivalent to the Irish name Liam, means "harmony in opinion or feeling".
In Persian, the word لیام is the name of a plant in southern part of Iran, means "protector and supporter".
In Hebrew, the name Liam can be spelled two different ways with the same meaning of "My Nation" or "My People": לִיעַם or לִיאַם. לִיעַם is also an acronym for "לא ידע עמי מלחמה" meaning "My nation will not know war." However, ליאם is most often used when referencing the more common English/Irish name, while ליעם is usually used when emphasising the Hebrew roots, but this isn't hard and fast.
- Liam Abernethy, Irish hurler
- Liam Aiken, American actor
- Liam Aylward, Irish politician
- Liam Anthony, an Australian rules footballer
- Liam Brady, footballer
- Liam Byrne, British Labour Party politician
- Liam Callanan, American author
- Liam Clancy, Irish folk singer
- Liam Cunningham, Irish actor
- Liam Cunningham, Irish politician
- Liam Finn, New Zealand musician and songwriter
- Liam Foran, New Zealand Rugby League player
- Liam Fox, British politician
- Liam Fulton, Australian Rugby League player
- Liam Gallagher, lead singer of the English rock band Oasis
- Liam Garrigan, English actor
- Liam Gill, Australian Rugby Union player
- Liam Hemsworth, Australian actor
- Liam Howlett, DJ and member of The Prodigy
- Liam Highfield, English professional snooker player
- Liam Irwin, former Gaelic football player
- Liam James, Canadian child actor
- Liam Lawrence, footballer
- Liam Lynch, American singer/dancer
- Liam McIntyre, Australian actor
- Liam McKenna, Irish television presenter
- Liam Miller, footballer
- Liam Neeson, Irish actor
- Liam O'Brien, American voice actor
- Liam O'Neill, Gaelic Athletic Association administrator
- Liam Thomas, American child actor
- Liam Payne, British singer and member of boyband One Direction
- Liam Ridgewell, footballer
- Liam Waite, American actor
- Liam Walsh (hurler) (born 1963), former Irish hurler
- Liam Walsh (boxer) (born 1986), English boxer
- Liam Watson (disambiguation)
- Liam Watts, drummer for the band The Enemy
- Liam Watts, English rugby player in position of prop for Hull Kingston Rovers
- Liam Weldon, Irish folk singer
- Liam Williams, Welsh rugby player
- Liam Wilson, bass player for The Dillinger Escape Plan
- Liam Andrew Wright, British film director, screenwriter and producer
- Staff (2004–2012). "Guillaume". Think Baby Names. Thinkbabynames.com. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2012). "helmet". Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Sean Crist. "Search results". Germanic Lexicon Project. Germanic Lexicon Project. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- A Revised History of Names in Britain