National Liam Day falls on August 8. Liam is an Irish name meaning ‘protector’ and ‘strong-willed warrior.’ It is a contracted version of the Irish name ‘Uilliam,’ which, in turn, came from the Frankish name ‘Willahelm.’ The merging of two Old German elements — ‘willa’ (‘will’ or ‘resolution’) and ‘helma’ (‘helmet’) — created the name ‘Willahelm,’ meaning ‘helmet of will’ or ‘guardian.’ When the Frankish Empire was divided, the name evolved differently in each province. In the Northern region of the Empire, Willahelm morphed first into ‘Willelm’ and then into ‘Willaume’ in Norman and Picard. It transformed into ‘Guillaume’ in Ile-de-France French. Today, people use Liam as a fun, modern alternative to the traditional boy name ‘William.’
History of National Liam Day
Even though the names ‘Willahelm’ and ‘Guillaume’ were well-known in England before 1066, they were still viewed as foreign names. The Norman Conquest affected English names, leading to most Saxon names dying out under the massive inflow of French ones. At this time, the Royal Court bore names such as Alain, Reginald, Guy, and William. They were quickly taken up by the English, the Welsh, and eventually the Irish.
Within a generation, these new names had become so completely assimilated that they were regarded as homegrown. Different forms evolved and thrived simultaneously. In Wales, both William and Gwilym became trendy, in addition to the short forms ‘Wil’ and ‘Gwil,’ with most villages having their own Gwilym Williams.
Liam gained massive popularity in the U.S. in the 1990s and the trend seems to be growing rapidly around the world. However, in the United Kingdom, the opposite rang true. There, the name was in fashion before 1996 but its popularity has been diminishing since then.
The name ‘Liam’ has variations in other countries. These include ‘Guillem’ in Catalan, ‘Wilhelmus’ in Dutch, ‘Vilhelm’ in Finland, ‘Ulick’ in Irish, ‘Guilherme’ in Portuguese, and ‘Gwilym,’ ‘Gwil,’ or ‘Gwilim’ in Welsh.
No saint bore the name ‘Liam.’ There were, however, several saints in history by the name of William. The most popular of them was St. William of Gellone, also known as William of Aquitaine. He was a warrior, a nobleman, and a monk. St. William is remembered for joining his cousin Charlemagne to fight in defense of Christianity. His feast day is observed on the day of his death, May 28.
National Liam Day timeline
Liam Neeson, the popular Irish actor, is born William John Neeson.
Liam Hemsworth makes his major official debut in “Knowing,” where he plays the role of an M.I.T. student.
Liam Payne is put into a group with four other “The X Factor” contestants to form the boy band One Direction.
Neeson protests against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's anti-horse carriage campaign.
National Liam Day FAQs
How many Liams are there in the world?
It is estimated that there are about 250,000 Liams in the world.
What does Liam mean in Hebrew?
The Hebrew meaning of Liam is ‘determined guardian.’
What is a good middle name for Liam?
Asher, Arthur, Knox, Bennett, Ashton, Mason, and Blake are a few of the names that go well with Liam.
National Liam Day Activities
Dive into history
Learn more about the name ‘Liam.’ Go as far back in time as you can and see what interesting facts you can dig up.
Name your baby
Are you expecting a baby boy and looking for a good name? Liam would be a great one to give your little one.
Hug a Liam
If there are any Liams in your life, give them a heartfelt hug. Gifting them would be a fantastic bonus.
5 Facts About ‘Liam’ That Will Surprise You
Saying Liam is easy
Liam is a relatively straightforward Irish name to pronounce, unlike most others.
Liam is Canada's favorite
Liam has been the most popular boy's name in Canada since 2013.
Liam is also loved in America
According to the Social Security Administration, Liam was the second most popular name for boys in the U.S. in 2013.
Payne’s journey began in a contest
In 2008, Payne auditioned for Season Five of “The X Factor” at only 14 years old.
Hemsworth’s movie gets recognition
In 2020, Hemsworth's series "Most Dangerous Game," received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.
Why We Love National Liam Day
We celebrate famous people
From actors to singers, to radio presenters, to athletes, to writers named Liam, this day recognizes them. We celebrate their lives and achievements.
We learn history
The name ‘Liam’ has a rich history. On this day we learn more about its origins up until the present usage.
We eat cake
National Liam Day is a time to party. We eat cake and raise a glass in honor of all Liams around the globe.
National Liam Day dates