Changes in English names of people
For example Bill Gates and Bill Clinton are actually Williams.
I guess if you first make it short for Will then you can go from there to Bill and from Richard you can first go to Rick and then to Dick... English speakers seem to form their nicknames like that.
But it just seems very strange to a native Finnish speaker. I think nicknames here in Finland pretty much never change the first letter, and rarely alter any of the whole first syllable of the name when converting to a nickname. I think it would make typing initials a little confusing too! Are the first letters of first names not that important to English speakers?
The other part of the question is, how long has this been going on. What are some of the earliest examples of Williams being called Bills and Richards being called Dicks?