Henry is a common masculine name that’s been used for centuries. In my studies, I’ve found the origins and meaning of the name Henry, which you can access on this page.
Meaning of the name Henry: Derived from the Frankish name Heimeric, which was derived from the Germanic name Haganrich, the meaning of the name Henry is “home ruler,” “ruler of the home” or “ruler of the household.”
Origins of the Name Henry
The name Henry has origins dating back to the Middle Ages. Historical documents show that in the 8th century Germany, some of its variants, including Haimerich and Heimerich, were used as given names for boys. It’s believed that the Normans – a civilization of Vikings from Normandy, France – used these and other variants as common given names. As the Normans embarked on expeditions to discover new land, they encountered the Germans who took these variants and converted them to Henry.
Although it originated in Germany, the name Henry quickly spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. It wasn’t long until royal family members were named Henry. England, for example, has had eight kings named Henry, including Henry I, Henry II, Henry the Young King, Henry III, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Henry VII, and Henry VIII. In France, there have been five kings named Henry. Even the Holy Roman Empire had a half-dozen emperors named Henry.
The spoken form of Henry in England was initially Harry, meaning that kings and other people named Henry were called Harry. Around the 17th century, however, Henry became more popular and eventually superseded Harry as the spoke form.
The popularity of the Name Henry
The name Henry was most popular during the 1800s, though it’s made a comeback in recent years. In 1880, it was the 9th most popular boys’ name in the United States. Just one year later, it ranked as the 8th most popular boys’ name. In 1920, Henry was the 17th most popular boys’ name. Its popularity has since declined, but Henry was still the 57th most popular boys’ name in 2011, with birth records showing that more than 7,100 boys were given this name during that year.
Along with kings and emperors, other famous people have been named Henry. Henry Roxby Beverley was an English actor and comedian who frequently performed at the Covet Garden Theatre during the early 1800s, while Henry Hathaway was an American film producer who created Western movies featuring John Wayne.
Popular variations of the name Henry include Hank, Henri, Harriet, Hendrick, and Hena.
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