Especially U.S.: transferred use of the surname, which is probably derived from the Old English personal name Wilheard, from wil ‘will, desire’ + heard ‘hardy, brave, strong’. It is associated with the Jamaican opera singer Willard White (b. 1946).
Scottish: 1. nickname for a person with red hair or a ruddy complexion, from Older Scots reid ‘red’. 2. topographic name for someone who lived in a clearing, from Old English rȳd ‘woodland clearing’. Compare English Read.