Liam Name Meaning

Baby boy in overalls pointing.

Getty Images / Mireya Acierto

Liam is an Irish name meaning "strong-willed warrior" and "protector." It's a shortened version of the Irish name Uilliam (which came from the Frankish name Willahelm) meaning "helmet of will." Liam is also a fun, modernized alternative to the traditional boy name William.

  • Origin: Liam is an Irish name meaning "strong-willed warrior" and "protector." It is the shortened version of the Irish name Uilliam, meaning "helmet of will."
  • Gender: Liam has traditionally been used for baby boys.
  • Pronunciation: li-am

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Liam?

The name Liam has been one of the fastest-rising Irish names in the United States. Its popularity seemed to explode in the mid to late 2000s when the Social Security Administration showed its drastic jump from the No. 75 spot in 2008 to No. 15 in 2011.

Around this time, the massively popular movie franchise, "Taken," made its debut, starring Irish actor Liam Neeson. This undoubtedly contributed to the name's sudden popularity. Actor Liam Hemsworth may have also played a role after his debut in the 2012 movie "The Hunger Games," based on the popular novel by Suzanne Collins.

Liam became the No. 2 most popular U.S. boys name in 2014, staying there until its victorious transition to No. 1 in 2017. Since then, it has remained the most popular boy name in the United States—but its newfound fame doesn't stop there. Parents around the world have started to recognize the appeal of Liam, including those in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Name Variations

Variants of the name Liam include:

  • Lyam (German)
  • William (German)
  • Lliam (Irish)

Similar Names

Other popular names for those who like Liam:

  • Lucas
  • Logan
  • Carter
  • Oliver
  • Elijah
  • Levi
  • Noah
  • Aiden
  • Ethan
  • Mason
  • Grayson
  • Owen
  • Oliver
  • Elijah

Other Irish boy names:

  • Finn
  • Rory
  • Kieran
  • Declan
  • Flynn
  • Brody
  • Cillian
  • Quinn
  • Aidan
  • Keagan
  • Cullen
  • Murphy
  • Mack

Other boy names that start with L:

  • Landon
  • Lucas
  • Lee
  • Lennon
  • Layton
  • Leland
  • Legend
  • Lennox
  • Luke
  • Lincoln
  • Leo
  • Lane
  • Lorenzo

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Ethan
  • Emma
  • Olivia
  • Lily
  • Sophia
  • Lillian
  • Laura
  • Aden
  • Owen
  • Jack
  • Connor
  • Chloe
  • Ava

Famous People Named Liam

The popularity of Liam was inspired mainly by these pop culture celebrities:

  • Liam Gallagher, English lead singer of the '90s rock band Oasis
  • Liam Payne, English singer and member of the former boy band One Direction
  • Liam Neeson, Irish actor, known for his roles in "Schindler's List" and the "Taken" franchise
  • Liam Hemsworth, Australian actor, known for starring in "The Last Song" and "The Hunger Games" franchise

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

By Alex Vance
Alex Vance is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from pregnancy and parenting to health and wellness. She is a former news and features writer for and Blog Writer for The HOTH. Her motherhood-related pieces have been published on Scary Mommy, Motherhood Understood, and Thought Catalog.