“I’ve never in my life been called Wilhelmina. It’s a frightful name. Everyone calls me Bill. After all, people call William Bill for short, don’t they? So my brothers said they’d call me Bill, short for Wilhelmina! If any of you calls me Wilhelmina I shall be miserable. I shan’t feel I’m myself.”

(Enid Blyton, Third Year at Malory Towers, 1948)


“Such a very proper English name. I adore it. It suits you perfectly. You look so dark and brooding, and you behave with such gravity.”

(Anne Perry, Weighed in the balance, Headline, 1996)


His eldest son, [was] christened Washington by his parents in a moment of patriotism, which he never ceased to regret.

(Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost, 1887)


I ventured to say I thought William a nice, simple name and reminded him he was christened after his Uncle William who was much respected in the city.

(G & W Grossmith, Diary of a Nobody, 1892)


“With a million names to choose from, these ruddy creatures called one ruddy son Wilbert and the other ruddy son Wilfred and both these ruddy sons are known as Willie. Just going out of their way to mislead the innocent bystander. You’d think people would have more consideration.”

(P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, 1960)


“I would have liked him anyway, just for being called Woodrow…”

(Bill Bryson, A walk in the woods, Doubleday, 1997)