Middle Names for William (Classic, Modern, & Unique Options)


Finding a middle name that fits with William might seem like a daunting task but there are a ton of options that could work. As a parent with three children (and another one on the way as we speak), I can definitely relate to the challenge of picking a baby name that everyone loves.

There are many middle name options for William to choose from depending on if you want a classic, modern, or more unique name. Here are the best middle name ideas for boys named William.

While the perfect name doesn’t exist it is possible to find something that you love and your son will be proud of throughout his life. Here are over 100 suggestions to get you started along with some important watch outs so that you don’t make an embarrassing mistake with your baby’s name!

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The meaning and history behind William

William is a very popular name that has been popular not only recently but all throughout Western history.

In fact, William reached the #29 spot on the 2019 list of popular boy names so far this year.

Believe it or not, William was over 10 times more popular in the year 1880 when over 86,000 out of every baby born had this name!

The name itself originates from the Old German ‘Willehelm’ which found its way into the Old Normal French name ‘Willaume.’ Once the Normans conquered England in 1066 the name was introduced into English society and morphed into the popular spelling of ‘William’ that we know today. It is really a combination of two words, willeo and helm, which mean determination and protection, respectively. It can also mean ‘Warrior of God.’

Over the years, there have been too many important historical figured named William to count including English Kings and Princes as well as three US Presidents. Whatever your background, William is a strong name to give a boy.

William also has a lot of nicknames including ‘Will,’ ‘Willy,’ ‘Bill,’ ‘Wilby,’ and even Liam (I tackled middle names for Liam as well recently!)

Help finding the right middle name

The fact that you have made it here means that you have already spent a lot of time laboring over what you want the first name to be and you might feel like you are out of energy when it comes to finding the middle name.

Don’t give up! You are almost there!

A great first name like William deserves a great middle name. Hey, you could even decide to choose two middle names if you wanted to get extra credit! In the United States, you are only legally required to declare a first and last name for your child but it’s much less fun to leave a child without something in the middle. These days, the overwhelming majority of folks are going to stick with the traditional three-name setup.

Having a little fun when choosing your middle name for William is just fine, by the way, because you can get away with less traditional names when they aren’t used all of the time. Still, most people choose to be pretty traditionally or at least stick with a modern or trendy name rather than something totally out of left field.

Let’s talk about where we can find ideas for the middle name as well as what we should avoid when choosing.

Where to find inspiration for the middle name

If you are stuck finding ideas for inspiration during your middle name search you can start with a few of these suggestions. If nothing else, they will get you thinking about possibilities.

  • Traditional or family names – Starting with the family is a great strategy because there are often really cool names spread throughout the family tree that you can use. As they say ‘what was once old is new’ so you might find that a name from generations back now sounds trendy. It’s also a great way to honor your loved ones and family history.
  • Use your second choice for first name – If you found yourself struggling to pick between two first names before you made it to the middle name selection then you might be able to have your cake and eat it too by using the losing name as your middle name. This won’t always work but many first names also make great middle names!
  • Two can be better than one – If you want your baby to sound like English royalty then picking two middle names will get you at least part of the way there! Double middle names is becoming more trendy these days and it gives you the opportunity to be even more creative.
  • Memories or favorite places – Not every name that spawns from this idea will work but it’s still a great source of inspiration. Think back to places you’ve visited (London, Essex) or your favorite places in general (Brooklyn, Israel, Savannah) and you’re bound to find a few that you like!

What to watch out for when you choose the middle name

Even though it’s a creative and fun time picking a middle name there are still a few areas where you might want to pump the brakes to avoid causing your baby problems down the road with something embarrassing. Keep these things in mind:

  • Potential nicknames – Even though it’s not a great reason to avoid naming your child what you want to it’s still a good idea to run some potentially bad nicknames through your head before you make your final decision. You will probably have to think a little childishly for this one.
  • Initial spellings – Your baby will use his initials quite often throughout his life and they will frequently be written down on important documents. If you are naming your baby William and your last name is Edwards you might want to avoid the middle name Essex or you’ll turn the initials into ‘W.E.E’ Similarly, you might want to avoid something like ‘W.O.O’ or ‘W.A.K.’
  • Monogram spellings – Boys don’t have to worry about monograms as much as a little girl might but they could still come up. Just remember that monograms still use the first letter of each name but they are listed in the order of FIRST, LAST, MIDDLE names.
  • The overall flow of the name – After you have decided on a full name that you and your spouse can agree on it’s a good idea to say it out loud several times to see how it flows. One of the tricks you can use is to pretend like you are yelling at your son when he’s in trouble by using the whole name. If you can’t take yourself seriously or there are awkward stops it might be worth reconsidering.

With ALL of that being said – let’s get to the names! I’ve scoured the internet to get some great ideas for your baby boy William’s middle name and separated them into the classic, modern, or unique category. You might not find your dream name here but I think there are some good ones to get you started at least!

Classic middle names for William

Many names are classic for a reason – they just sound timeless in every situation without sounding old. These middle names won’t ruffle any feathers and will further contribute to the strength of William as a first name.

  1. William Alexander

  2. William Vincent

  3. William James

  4. William Henry

  5. William Isaac

  6. William Robert

  7. William John

  8. William George

  9. William Michael

  10. William Patrick

  11. William Thomas

  12. William David

  13. William Edward

  14. William Daniel

  15. William Maxwell

  16. William Samuel

  17. William Harrison

  18. William Stephen

  19. William Lewis

  20. William Arthur

  21. William Blake

  22. William Jackson

Modern middle names for William

Those of you looking for a little extra ‘cool factor’ in your boy’s middle name but don’t want to go too crazy will want to check out one of these modern names. Each of these are just fresh enough to escape being labeled classic but still has the ability to be traditional or timeless.

  1. William Declan

  2. William Marcus

  3. William Dean

  4. William Owen

  5. William Xavier

  6. William Scott

  7. William Oliver

  8. William Morris

  9. William Hugh

  10. William Forrest

  11. William Reid

  12. William Boyd

  13. William Shepherd

  14. William Luke

  15. William Bennett

  16. William Beckett

  17. William Blair

  18. William Heath

  19. William Allen

  20. William Curtis

  21. William Cooper

  22. William Francis

  23. William Boone

  24. William Rockwell

  25. William Reed

  26. William Clark

  27. William Hudson

  28. William Lee

  29. William Graham

  30. William Carson

  31. William Paul

  32. William Parker

  33. William Saul

  34. William Angus

  35. William Sutton

  36. William Taylor

  37. William Dexter

  38. William Grey

  39. William Trent

  40. William Connor

  41. William Marcel

  42. William Rafferty

  43. William Rory

  44. William Sterling

  45. William Quade

  46. William Garrett

  47. William Vaughn

  48. William Booker

  49. William Cole

  50. William Austin

  51. William Finnegan

  52. William Lucas

Unique and fun middle names for William

If you are looking for something more creative, unique, or fun then you should check out some of these names. Obviously the limit here is your imagination but there are a bunch here to get you started that I have found and enjoyed myself.

  1. William Dominic

  2. William Zane

  3. William Barnaby

  4. William Sinclair

  5. William Gallagher

  6. William Fox

  7. William Ivo

  8. William Beau

  9. William Archer

  10. William Valor

  11. William Justice

  12. William Flynn

  13. William Jasper

  14. William Noble

  15. William River

  16. William Rayne

  17. William Basil

  18. William Bastien

  19. William Evren

  20. William Maverick

  21. William Kale

  22. William Leif

  23. William Cairo

  24. William Orion

  25. William Piers

  26. William Jayce

  27. William Tiernan

  28. William Tavish

  29. William Cato

  30. William Zephyr

  31. William Jett

  32. William Griffin

  33. William Kerr

  34. William Scout

  35. William Asher

  36. William Otto

  37. William Finn

  38. William Magnus

  39. William Leo

Last Thoughts

I hope that you have managed to find some helpful inspiration and tips to get you going with your middle names for William!

Remember not to get too worked up over finding a name because you should have months to decide. Wait, you didn’t wait until the last minute did you? Of course not! Just let those name combinations soak in and marinate in them for a while. In many cases, the names you like early on might not make it till the end and that’s okay.

Also, be careful about sharing the names you love with too many people because you might find some unwelcome criticism of a name that you and your spouse love. At the end of the day, it is your decision. The most important thing is that you can find a name that you love and your child will be proud of growing up!

Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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