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See also: bill and bíll



Hypocorism of William. It is unclear how the initial W became a B; this could have been part of the medieval trend of swapping letters, similar to Dick for Rick.


  • IPA(key): /bɪl/, [bɪɫ], enPR: bîl
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪl

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A diminutive of the male given name William.
    • 1974, John le Carré, Tinker. Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Simon&Schuster, published 2002, →ISBN, page 7:
      "My other name's Bill," he said. "I was christened Bill but Mr Thursgood calls me William." / "Bill, eh. The unpaid Bill. Anyone ever call you that?" / "No, sir." / "Good name, anyway." / "Yes, sir." / "Known a lot of Bills. They've all been good 'uns."
    • 1998, Nick Hornby, About A Boy, Victor Gollancz, published 1998, →ISBN, page 208:
      One of his neighbours opposite, a nice old guy with a stoop and a horrible little Yorkshire terrier, called him Bill - always had done and presumably always would, right up till the day he died. It actually irritated Will, who was not, he felt, by any stretch of the imagination, a Bill. Bill wouldn't smoke spliffs and listen to Nirvana. So why had he allowed this misapprehension to continue? Why hadn't he just said, four years ago, "Actually my name is Will"?
  2. A surname.
  3. (Britain, slang) A nickname for the British constabulary. Often called "The Bill" or "Old Bill"

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • Peter Burke (1997). Varieties of Cultural History. Cornell University Press. p. 51.
  • Israel, David (2015): The Origins of Nicknames

Further reading[edit]


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A transliteration of the English male given name Bill.


Proper noun[edit]

Bill m

  1. a male given name from English, equivalent to English Bill



From English Bill. First recorded as a Swedish given name in 1895.

Proper noun[edit]

Bill c (genitive Bills)

  1. a male given name
    • 1994, Maria Gripe, Egna världar, →ISBN, page 272:
      —Vem är Bill, mamma?
      Jag väntade mig inget svar, men mamma skrattade:
      —Vet du inte det? Jo, det kommer från farmor. När pappa var liten brukade hon på skoj kalla honom för Bill...Lille Bill...Vilde Bill...Det tog han efter sen och kallade sig ofta Bill. Fast för min del sa jag alltid Birger.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)