If you like the name ‘William’, but for whatever reason you just want to find names similar to William, then here are some names to consider.
Cillian/Killian – Replace the first and last letter of William and you find this traditional Gaelic name. It shares a lot of similar sounds with the name William, and has an easy one syllable nickname ‘Kill’ which is one letter away from ‘Will’. This is also a less common name that can honor an Irish heritage. Bonus: It’s a Saint’s name.
Graham – The first syllable is different, but this nickname-proof name has the exact same ending and same distinguished British vibe that you get with William.
Wickham – This name doesn’t get the love or appreciation it should, but it is so similar to William, I have to mention it. It obviously shares the same beginning and ending sounds, but has the sharper ‘k’ sound in the middle. Wickham also has some major literary cred as a character from Pride and Prejudice, and so it feels quite British as well. Despite the fact that I never see this name listed on major naming websites, I had a great uncle ‘Wick’ who was remembered fondly, so it is very wearable for any trendsetters looking to find a unique name with history.
Dillon – Welsh variation ‘Dylan’ is currently more popular than ever, ranking at #32 in the US. It’s two syllables and shares a lot of the same sounds as William, but it’s still a comfortably familiar name and a definitively modern pick.
Finnian – Another great option. It’s one way to get to the nickname ‘Finn’, while still maintaining the history of being associated with an Irish Saint. The two syllables, soft ‘i’ sound and ‘ian’ sound all remind me of William.
Callum – The more I hear this name, the more I love the nickname ‘Cal’, but even in its full form, Callum matches that double ‘ll’ middle and ends in ‘m’, just like William. Like other names on this list, this name is Irish in origin, and it’s a name I think is vastly underappreciated.
Phillip – If all of the names above are too modern, then consider Phillip. Most Phillips go by the nickname ‘Phil’, but the full name Phillip is actually a great, classic alternative to William. They both sound similar, and I secretly suspect that Phillip might start to become more popular in the world of classic names. It’s a name that has a long history, and like William, it has a very royal pedigree. If you love the classic popularity of William, this is an equally strong name with the added bonus of working well cross-culturally – Felipe or Filip are great variants too.