Liam first name popularity, history and meaning

Find out how popular the first name Liam has been for the last 50 years (from 1974 to 2023) and learn more about the meaning and history.

Meaning of Liam

A masculine name of Irish origin meaning "strong-willed warrior".

Popularity of Liam by gender

Based on the last 50 years of data, Liam is more commonly used as a male name, with approximately 100% of people named Liam being male.

For the most recent data in 2023, there were 20,802 male babies and 30 female babies born with the name Liam.

Yes—according to the SSA data, 30 baby girls were named Liam in 2023, despite it being a predominantly male name. We'd love to know why!

Year Male Count Female Count
2023 20,802 30
2022 20,456 25
2021 20,365 30
2020 19,828 33
2019 20,601 30
2018 19,957 24
2017 18,849 38
2016 18,259 19
2015 18,400 21
2014 18,478 32
2013 18,150 22
2012 16,816 23
2011 13,448 13
2010 10,930 22
2009 8,565 21
2008 5,980 11
2007 5,141 11
2006 4,514 11
2005 4,152 9
2004 3,827 15
2003 3,565 17
2002 3,381 0
2001 3,029 0
2000 2,781 12
1999 2,708 8
1998 2,209 0
1997 2,112 0
1996 1,747 0
1995 1,206 7
1994 668 0
1993 401 0
1992 304 0
1991 271 0
1990 276 0
1989 224 0
1988 170 0
1987 147 0
1986 151 0
1985 150 0
1984 146 0
1983 146 0
1982 157 0
1981 123 0
1980 115 0
1979 120 0
1978 112 0
1977 97 0
1976 72 0
1975 81 0
1974 74 0

The history of the first name Liam

The name Liam is derived from the Irish name Wiliam, which itself is a form of the Germanic name William. The name William originated from the medieval Celtic name Gwilym, an amalgamation of two Old Germanic words – "wil" meaning desire and "helm" meaning protection. The name Liam first emerged as a shortened form of William in Irish Gaelic.

The name gained widespread popularity in Ireland in the Middle Ages, with the earliest recorded example dating back to the 12th century. In the Annals of Ulster, a chronicle of medieval Irish history, the name is mentioned in reference to Liam Ua Conchobair, who was King of Ireland from 1156 to 1186.

In the 16th century, the name Liam was borne by Liam O'Donnell, an Irish chieftain who played a significant role in the Nine Years' War against English forces. Another notable figure was Liam Mellows, an Irish republican and socialist who was executed by a firing squad in 1922 for his role in the Irish Civil War.

Moving forward in time, Liam Cosgrave, born in 1920, served as the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland from 1973 to 1977. Liam Neeson, the acclaimed actor born in 1952, has brought international recognition to the name through his successful career in films such as Schindler's List and Taken.

In literature, the name Liam features in works by Irish writers like James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. Liam O'Flaherty, born in 1896, was a prominent Irish novelist and short story writer known for his works like The Informer and Famine.

While the name Liam has its roots in Irish culture, it has gained global popularity in recent decades, with people of various backgrounds adopting it for their children. The name's enduring appeal lies in its strong connection to Irish heritage and its melodic sound.

Data source

The first name data used on this page comes from the Social Security Administration (SSA). They've been collecting data on baby names since 1880.

The history and meaning of the name Liam was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Liam, please contact us.

Reference this page

We spend a lot of resources downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Liam first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 12, 2024. http://namecensus.com/first-names/liam-meaning-and-history/.

"Liam first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/first-names/liam-meaning-and-history/. Accessed 12 July, 2024

Liam first name popularity, history and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/first-names/liam-meaning-and-history/.

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