August 27, 2014 § 4 Comments
Diminutive of “William“, meaning “will-helmet”.
VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bil, Bill, Billie, Billy, Gwil, Liam, Lyam, Pim, Vila, Vili, Viljo, Ville, Wil, Wilkie, Wilkin, Wilky, Will, Willis, Willy, Wim, etc.
REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Willie, the poor lost soul whose grief drives young Roland Mortimer to distraction, and nearly to death, in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
– Willie, a shopboy who works at the Chicago shoe factory where Carrie first finds employment, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
– Willie Gentle, the young minstrel in Captain Cully’s band of freebooters, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
– Willie (Will) Wentworth, a friendly, level-headed Boston boy in “That Little Smith Girl” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
– Willie Gilbert (1916-1972), American author and playwright.
– Willie Morris (1934-1999), American editor and writer.
– Willie Rushton (1937-1996), English actor, author, cartoonist, comedian, and satirist.
– Willie Yeadon (1907-1997), English historian.