Wolf

Wolf comes from Proto-Germanic *wulfaz via Proto-Indo-European *wĺ̥kʷos (wolf). It’s used to refer to the animal, wolves have long been a symbol of the wild and untamed, but also dangerous and predatory. Wolf can also be a nickname for names such as Wolfgang (meaning “wolf path”) and Wolfram (meaning “wolf raven), as well as also being a surname.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Wulf (German)
  • Wolfe (English)
  • Úlfr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Uffe (Danish)
  • Ulf (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)

 

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Willow

Willow comes from Old English welig from Proto-Germanic *wiligaz via Proto-Indo-European *wel meaning “to turn, to wind, twist”. Willow is the name of a tree or shrub from the genus Salix, which grows along damp or watery areas. They are tough and flexible. It’s also a surname originally referring to somone who lived near a willow tree.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

 

 

Wynstan

Wynstan is a variant spelling of Wynnstan, an Old English name meaning “joy stone” from elements wynn (joy) and stan (stone). It could also be a variant spelling of Winston, which could either be derived from Wynnstan, or else it derives from the name of a town made up from Old English wine/win (friend) and tun (settlement) meaning “friend’s settlement” or “Wine’s settlement”, Wine being a personal given name from Old English win/wine. It’s also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Old English

Variants:

  • Wynnstan (Anglo-Saxon)

 

William

William comes from Germanic name Willahelm meaning “desiring protection” or “willful protection” from Germanic elements wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection).

Nicknames: Will, Willy/Willie, Bill, Billy/Billie, Liam

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Willahelm (Ancient Germanic)
  • Wilhelm (German, Polish)

 

Female forms:

  • Wilhelmina (Dutch, German, Polish, English)
  • Wilhelmine (German)
  • Willa (English)