From the little research I have done, I have found Liam to be an Irish alternative form of William . This doesn't mean that "Liam " can't be used as a nick-name, because I'm sure some people do use it as one. But by today's standards, ANY name can be a name in its own right. (We make them up all the time around here!) If you are so concerned with the name having its own meaning (William means "determined guardian", so Liam would mean the same as it's an alternate form of William ), perhaps it would be best to choose another name. This is just my opinion;I'm sure someone else will say different. Although, I personally love the name Liam as a first or middle name.