William's longevity makes Michael's 60-plus years at the top seem downright paltry. A classic name which lends itself nicely to nicknames (Liam, Billy, Bill, Will or Willie), William has been a perennial favorite since 1900. German and English in origin, William means "protector," which is appropriate, since many men bearing the name have done exactly that throughout history. In fact, there have been too many famous and influential Williams to keep track of. A sampling includes former President Bill Clinton, baseball player Willie Mays and world-renowned playwright William Shakespeare. Let's not also forget the dashing young heir to the British throne, Prince William.