Willow Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Willow Name Meaning and Origin

Willow is primarily a feminine name from the Old English word welig, meaning “willow” and “freedom.” Willow trees are generally associated with grace and elegance, giving meaning to the word “willowy.” Willow came into use as a given name after the willow tree. Other names related to willows include Arava, Willoughby, Dozier, Wellesley, Selby, and Salton. 

What Does Willow Mean?

Originating from an unattested Old English word, wilig or welig from wei- “to bend, to twist,” the meaning of Willow is “willow tree.” It later got modified to Middle English wilghe, wilowe, and finally, Willow. Being a lovely name that is as graceful as its inspiration, the meaning of Willow is ‘Slender; graceful,’ representing the willow tree noted for its slender, graceful branches and leaves. 


Willow is a tree or shrub of the Salix family. The great thinker Hippocrates wrote about the medicinal properties of the leaves and bark of the willow tree in the fifth century BC. In mythology, the willow tree symbolizes nature, fertility, and life. Willow is a relatively modern name that came into use in the late 19th century when floral and botanical names became popular. Willow may also be a topographic name referring to ‘someone who lived in an area where willows grew or by a conspicuous willow tree.’




  • Will-oh
  • Will-low


 2 Syllable


 6 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Variations of Willow are equivalents of the original name but differ from it in its specific external form. The following is a list of other spellings of Willow and Willow name variations that may be modern substitutes that may sound very fashionable or up to date:

Name Origin
Willa German
Willie German
Willy German
Harlow English
Wilhelmina German
Wilda German
Wilma German

How Popular Is the Name Willow?

According to Social Security Administration data, Willow has been consistently popular, breaking into the top 50 baby names for the first time in 2019. The Willow baby name ranking stood at 761 in 2000 and broke into the top 100 in 2016, at which point it rapidly scaled up the popularity chart. This ancient tree figures in Shakespeare’s literary works to Harry Potter and possesses magical powers. The name has also been chosen by Will Smith, Jade Pinkett Smith, Michelle Monaghan, and Pink as their daughter’s name, along with the fictional character of Willow being introduced on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997. Due to such influences, the Willow popularity ranking can be seen fast climbing up the charts and other Will names Willa, William, and Will.

Interest in Willow – Worldwide

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A consistent search value of over 50 has been recorded on interest for Willow’s name, reaching 100 in May 2014. The lowest value was recorded was at 54 in March 2020.

Interest in Willow – US

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Search trends for the name Willow show a search value of over 50 reaching 100 in May 2014. It scored the lowest value of 54 in November 2016.

Popularity of the Name Willow

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Willow Worldwide

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Interest in Willow’s name has been highest in the United States in the past 10 years. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, and Australia have secured themselves within the top five positions. Relatively free of nicknames, Willow has become a popular choice for parents of the United States looking for a standalone name that sounds ultra-modern in terms of popularity yet feels slightly vintage in a way.

Search trends of Willow in the US

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Pennsylvania leads among the sub-regions in the US for maximum searches for the name, followed by Alaska, South Dakota, Illinois, and Minnesota over the last 10 years. 

Middle Names That Go With Willow

Finding middle names that pair perfectly well with the first name can be a pressing yet fun task at hand. Some best double names with Willow that help to maintain a balance of uniqueness and relevance between names:

Aisha Anna
Alice Amelia
Eliza Annabella
Arabella Erin
Esme Florence
Nancy Hannah
Penelope Heidi
Martha Imogen
Mabel Freya
Jasmine Felicity
Isla Lola

Famous People Named Willow

Talented personalities are role models to the young. Some most popular personalities named Willow who may motivate children with their outstanding achievements:

Celebrity Name
Profession/Famous For
Willow Bay
American Newscaster
Willow Camille Smith
American Actress/Singer; Daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Willow Sage Hart
Daughter of Pink and Racer Carey Hart
Willow Bianca Faye Palin
Daughter of Todd and Sarah Palin
Willow Katherine White
Daughter of Michelle Monaghan and Peter White
Willow Sheilds Actress
Willow Katherine White
Daughter of American actress Michelle Monaghan
Willow Rhodes Instagram Star
Willow Dawson
Canadian Cartoonist
Willow Macky
New Zealand Songwriter

Similar Names & Last Names

Baby names like Willow reflect the style and character of the formal name in a clever way. Willow’s family names may accentuate the beauty of a given name and make sure the full name flows and sounds good together. Here are some of the other names for Willow that may make suitable choices for your baby:

Other Baby Names
Suitable Family Names
Wren Clerk
Juniper Kohn
Sage Martinez
Poppy Garcia
Iris Davis
Clover Thomas
Winter Anderson
Autumn Taylor
Olive Moore
Nova Rodriguez
Aurora Thompson

Names That Sound Like Willow 

Names that rhyme with Willow is easily recognizable and very easy to pronounce. Here are some of the names that sound like Willow to have a relative familiarity with the given name:

Meadow Wilburn
Wilfredo Wiless
Wildon Wilmar
Willimod Willfried
Willson Willard
Willkie Wilberforce
Willie Willson
Wilkinson Wilmore
Wilse Wilkins
Wilf Willbur

Sibling Names Related to Willow

Siblings closely connected by blood relation may have thematic names that may go well together to cement the bond. Here are some of the best sibling names that go with Willow to foster a healthy relationship and create childhood memories. These sister names for Willow and Brother names for Willow go well with each other, helping you choose matching names for all your children!

Sister Names for Willow
Brother Names for Willow
Matilda Lucian
Jenna Everett
Tara Lennox
Beth Edwin
Delia Arthur
Scarlett Jasper
Orla Keon
Helena Cormac
Erica Griffin
Poppy Dante
Tess Edwin
Zoe Forrest

Nicknames for Willow

Nicknames are a sign of intimacy, love, and bond that allows for an emotional connection to grow between parents and children. Here is a roundup of some of the best nicknames for the name Willow can let your children know how much they mean to you.

Lolo Willow Pillow
Lola Wiwo
Wini Low
WillowBlossom Lillow
Wilsy Wilzo
Willow Wonky Willa Bear
Dark Willow Wilsy
Wini Wilma
Pillow Lil Wila
Princess Willow Willow Bean
Winnie Willow Will Will

Parents looking for a daughter’s name that has a close connection to nature can consider Willow. This name brings to mind a long-limbed, lissome tree with a sweeping canopy of green leaves that stands out in a field. This is quite similar to their beloved child standing out in the crowd. Thus, this name is sure to remain fresh in the popularity chart in years to come.


Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Willow Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&geo=US&q=Willow
Willow Name Popularity Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&q=Willow
Willow Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&geo=US&q=Willow
Willow Name Interest Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&q=Willow

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