Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Wilson

Wilson is the transferred use of an English surname meaning “son of William”. William is an Old French name of Germanic origin. The name is derived from the Germanic word “wil” which translates to “will, desire” added to “helm” which means “helmet, protection.” Put them together, you’ve got a desire for protection; thus, the name William has come to stand for a valiant protector. William is by far the most successful and enduring of all the Old French names of Germanic origin. The name William was brought to England by way of the Norman Conquest in 1066 and quickly rose the ranks of popularity. Ironically, the leader of the pack was William the Duke of Normandy, who later became William the Conqueror – and, of course, after his successful invasion, became King William I of England. Wilson developed as a surname to identify a son of William (hence the ubiquity of the last name Wilson and why there exists more than seventy Coats of Arms).

All About the Baby Name – Wilson

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME WILSON

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME WILSON

Wilson is one of those surnames turned first names which has had a long history as a given name in the United States. Wilson was already in use as a forename long before Woodrow Wilson became President of the United States in 1913 and led this nation through the First World War. In fact, in the late 1800s, Wilson was pretty much a Top 200 favorite. The name saw slow and steady decline in usage throughout the 20th century. In more recent years, Wilson is settling down on the charts at a position of very low-moderation. Wilson is only lightly used today compared to other “son of” surnames like Jackson, Harrison, Jameson or Anderson (although he fares better than Jefferson, Benson, Branson and Edison). There are two interesting yet elusive pop-culture references to the name Wilson. One, it’s the name of the never seen neighbor from the hit T.V. show “Home Improvement” (1991-1999). Wilson is Tim Taylor’s “go-to” man for advice on his marriage and Wilson always offers sagacious counsel in return. Secondly, in the movie “Cast Away” (2000) with Tom Hanks, Wilson is a volleyball who becomes Chuck’s personified friend. In both cases, these Wilson “characters” are full of poignant mystery and elusive wisdom. It makes us like this name even more. If you like the name William but don’t care for how common it is, then consider Wilson as an alternative (especially if the baby’s father is named William).

Quick Facts

ON WILSON

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

633

PRONUNCIATION:

WIL-sən

SIMPLE MEANING:

Son of William (valiant protector)

Characteristics

OF WILSON

Inspirational

Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright

Uplifting

Truth-seeker

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Wilson

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME WILSON

George Wilson is a minor but pivotal character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic, The Great Gatsby. Poor George is a poster boy for the axiom “Bad things happen to good people”. He is a hard working man who is faithful to his wife (in fact, he adores her), and what happens to him? He finds out his wife is having an affair, he confronts her, and she dashes into the street and is killed by the fateful oncoming hit-and-run automobile. Mistakenly thinking it is Jay Gatsby who was the driver; George kills Gatsby and then turns the gun on himself. What a bum rap!

Pudd’nhead Wilson is the title character of Mark Twain’s novel, Pudd’nhead Wilson, first published in book form in 1894. Young Wilson is an attorney from the North who moves to Dawson’s Landing and is mistakenly thought of by the locals as somewhat less than all there – a “pudd’nhead”, in fact. Unable, therefore, to sustain a law practice, Wilson gets along on odd jobs, and has the rather eccentric hobby of collecting fingerprints. Nonetheless, Wilson is friendly with the town’s leading citizen, Judge Driscoll, as well as with the Italian twins, Luigi and Angelo. Wilson plays his most dominant part toward the end of the novel, a complex maze of duels, imposters, babies “switched-at-birth”, slavery, murder and mayhem, when he represents the twins in their trial for the murder of the judge. His “hobby” comes in handy, as he is able to prove their innocence and the guilt of the true murderer. No pudd’nhead, he, after all!

Popular Songs

ON WILSON

Brian Wilson
a song by Barenaked Ladies

Brian Wilson Said
a song by Tears For Fears

Church of Wilson
a song by Cotton Mather

Lion Wilson
a song by Relient K

Wilson
a song by Saint Etienne

Famous People

NAMED WILSON

Wilson Cary Nicholas (early American politician)
Wilson Brown (Civil War hero)
Wilson Caldwell (distinguished African American)
Wilson Álvarez (baseball player)
Wilson Delgado (baseball player)
Wilson Cruz (actor)
Wilson Valdez (baseball player)
Wilson Betemit (baseball player)
Wilson Chandler (basketball player)
Wilson Palacios (soccer player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED WILSON

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Wilson

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME WILSON

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States serving two terms throughout the 1980s. Prior to that, Reagan was the Governor of California during the late 60s and 1970s. Previous to that, Ronald Reagan was a successful radio, film and television actor. What a life he had! As president, Reagan set about to fulfill his campaign promise to restore “the great confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism.” His presidency is remembered for his “Reaganomics” – which included the reduction of taxes, manipulating the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of industries and decreasing Government expenditures (except, that is, when it came to building up our military strength). America became prosperous again and Reagan was easily re-elected to a second term as national confidence soared. Reagan’s second term is remembered mainly for its foreign policies – the ending of the Cold War, the war with Libya and the disgraceful Iran-Contra situation (from which Reagan deftly distanced himself). Reagan would die 15 years after leaving office of Alzheimer’s disease, leading some to speculate over his “lucidness” during the last years of his presidency. Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan is remembered fondly (if not nostalgically) and still ranks high in public opinion polls. He is the last great hero of the Republican party.

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States serving two terms throughout the 1980s. Prior to that, Reagan was the Governor of California during the late 60s and 1970s. Previous to that, Ronald Reagan was a successful radio, film and television actor. What a life he had! As president, Reagan set about to fulfill his campaign promise to restore “the great confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism.” His presidency is remembered for his “Reaganomics” – which included the reduction of taxes, manipulating the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of industries and decreasing Government expenditures (except, that is, when it came to building up our military strength). America became prosperous again and Reagan was easily re-elected to a second term as national confidence soared. Reagan’s second term is remembered mainly for its foreign policies – the ending of the Cold War, the war with Libya and the disgraceful Iran-Contra situation (from which Reagan deftly distanced himself). Reagan would die 15 years after leaving office of Alzheimer’s disease, leading some to speculate over his “lucidness” during the last years of his presidency. Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan is remembered fondly (if not nostalgically) and still ranks high in public opinion polls. He is the last great hero of the Republican party.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson won the 1912 election (beating out Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft for President) and served between 1913 and 1921. The former President of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey, Wilson is often referred to as our most academic or collegial president (he's the only President to hold a PhD). Not exactly warm and fuzzy, Woodrow Wilson was disciplined, methodical, principled and religious. One of the first things he did when coming into office was to found the Federal Reserve (probably his most lasting legacy). Even more memorable, Wilson was also a "war president" whose 2nd term in office covered the period during World War I, often referred to as "The Great War". At first, Wilson pledged neutrality. But then came the sinking of the American passenger ship Lusitania by the Germans in 1915. Wilson’s presidency became consumed by foreign affairs and he finally asked Congress for a Declaration of War in 1917. Nineteen months later, the Germans surrendered (thanks to General Pershing to whom Wilson delegated almost complete control). After the war, Wilson was the first President to travel to Europe during office and he was well-received in England, France and Italy as the "savior from the West." His great obsession was the formation of the League of Nations, but Congress (mainly the Republican opposition) defeated it much to Wilson's chagrin (he still won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, though). Wilson's first wife Ellen died of Bright's Disease shortly into his first term. He remarried Edith whom he met while still profoundly grieving his first wife. She is often called "the first woman to run the government" or the "Secret President" after her husband suffered a stroke in the last years of his second term. Apparently, he was little effective at this point and Edith covered up the severity of the situation.

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States serving two terms throughout the 1980s. Prior to that, Reagan was the Governor of California during the late 60s and 1970s. Previous to that, Ronald Reagan was a successful radio, film and television actor. What a life he had! As president, Reagan set about to fulfill his campaign promise to restore “the great confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism.” His presidency is remembered for his “Reaganomics” – which included the reduction of taxes, manipulating the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of industries and decreasing Government expenditures (except, that is, when it came to building up our military strength). America became prosperous again and Reagan was easily re-elected to a second term as national confidence soared. Reagan’s second term is remembered mainly for its foreign policies – the ending of the Cold War, the war with Libya and the disgraceful Iran-Contra situation (from which Reagan deftly distanced himself). Reagan would die 15 years after leaving office of Alzheimer’s disease, leading some to speculate over his “lucidness” during the last years of his presidency. Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan is remembered fondly (if not nostalgically) and still ranks high in public opinion polls. He is the last great hero of the Republican party.