Bill (name)

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Bill is a short form of the forename William. There are two main types of such shortenings: they are convenient for writing, e.g. in lists; or they are essentially spoken pet-names, and thus informal. (See Conventional abbreviations for forenames.)

Short form Long form Informal or written Other short forms Remarks
Bill William informal Billy; Will(ie)

There is a list of similar names at Conventional abbreviations for forenames, as well as the category:short names

Note that any informal form may be spelled in different ways. Notably, any spelling listed that ends in '-ie' may be written with the ending '-y', and vice versa.

Famous Bills include:

    • Wild Bill Hickock (1837-1876), a famous Marshall (law-enforcement officer) in the Wild West. He was born James Butler Hickock and nicknamed Bill after his nose, which was broad and splayed out, fancied to be lkke a duck's bill.
    • Buffalo Bill (1846–1917), born William Frederick Cody, nicknamed 'Buffalo' Bill after killing over 4000 bison (American buffalo) in eight months to feed the workers building railroads in the American West. He served the US Army as a scout. In 1883, as the Wild West was quietening down, he founded 'Buffalo Bill's Wild West', a circus-like show that toured the world, with depictions of wagon trains, Indian raids, etc.
  • The Bill (shortened from '[the] Old Bill') is a slang word for 'the police'. It is most commonly used a a collective noun for the whole Police Force, or a part of it such as the (London) Metropolitan Police; but sometimes it is used for an individual policemen. It is unclear whether, or how closely, it is related to the forename.

See Bill (disambiguation) if you were looking for help that this page does not give. It is possible that you also want to see Billy.