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Henry Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Henry including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Henry Overview

  • Meaning: The name Henry means “ruler of the house.”
  • Gender: Henry is traditionally a male’s name.
  • Origin: The name Henry originated in Germany.
  • Pronunciation: Henry is pronounced, “HEN-ree.”
  • Popularity: The name Henry is most popular in the United States, Germany, and France.
  • Nicknames: Hank, Hen, Harry, Ry, Hens, Hal.
  • Variations: Heinrich, Henrik, Hendrik, Henri, Enrico, Enzo, Herry, and Harri.
  • Namesakes: King Henry Vlll, King of England.

What Does Henry Mean?

The name Henry means “ruler of the home,” “home-ruler,” or “estate ruler.” Variations of the name also hold meanings such as “powerful,” “mighty,” and “distinguished.”

What is the Origin of the Name Henry?

The name Henry originates from Germany, although it has roots in France and England as well (1). Henry originally came from the German name Heinrich or Heimrich, “Heim” meaning home and “rich” meaning ruler.

The name Henry is also a common surname with origins in Irish, English, and French cultures.

How Popular is the Name Henry?

The name Henry has experienced its ups and downs in popularity over the centuries, however, its classic nature has kept it ranking in name lists all around the world.

The name has been used for hundreds of years, although its popularity has been recorded since the late 1800s. In the United States, the name was at its peak in popularity in 1881 and was most recently ranked #9 (2). In 2020, the name Henry ranked #11 in England and Wales and #14 in Canada (3).

How Do You Pronounce Henry?

Henry is a simple name to pronounce in any language.

  • In English, Henry is pronounced, “HEN-ree.”
  • In French, Henry is pronounced, “AHN-ree.”
  • In German, Henry is pronounced, “HEIN-rick.”

Is Henry a Boy or Girl Name?

Henry is a name that can be used for both males and females, although it is most commonly considered to be a masculine name. There are several female variations, such as Henrietta or Harriet.

Variations of Henry

There are many variations of the name Henry, some of which can be used for either gender. Each culture spells and pronounces the name a bit differently.

  • Henri (French)
  • Henrik (Scandinavian)
  • Hinrik (Scandinavian)
  • Anri (Japanese and Abkhazian)
  • Heinrich (German)
  • Enric (Catalan)
  • Hendrick (English, Danish, Old German)
  • Henricus (Latin)
  • Heimirich (German)
  • Herry (Old French)
  • Hendry (Scottish)
  • Enrico (Italian)
  • Hennie (French)
  • Harri (Welsh, Finnish)
  • Henny (French)
  • Henning (German)
  • Eanraig (Gaelic)
  • Henriette (French)
  • Henrietta (French)
  • Enzo (Italian)
  • Harriet (French)
  • Harriett (French)
  • Harriette (French)
  • Hattie (German)
  • Hettie (German)

Nicknames for Henry

Although Henry is a short name on its own, there are plenty of nicknames that can be derived from it. The most common nickname for Henry is Hank.

  • Hank
  • Hal
  • Harry
  • Henny
  • Ry
  • Huck
  • Rye
  • Hen
  • Heinz

When you consider a nickname from Henry, it is important you take a few factors into consideration. It is vital that you think about how the nickname is pronounced to ensure that nothing negative or rude can be derived from it. Culture, language, and personality are also important to consider.

Similar Names to Henry

Henry is a strong and classic name. If you’re not sure that Henry is the right choice for your baby, it can be used as a jumping-off point for other similar names that hold equal gravitas and dignity.

Middle Names for Henry

Due to its classic nature, there are dozens of great middle names that can go with Henry.

  • Henry Alexander
  • Henry Archer
  • Henry Blake
  • Henry Carter
  • Henry Conner
  • Henry David
  • Henry Douglas
  • Henry Dylan
  • Henry Ellis
  • Henry James
  • Henry Joseph
  • Henry Knox
  • Henry Mason
  • Henry Michael
  • Henry Oliver
  • Henry Patrick
  • Henry Scott
  • Henry Silas
  • Henry William
  • Henry Wyatt

Middle names are also a good way to honor family members and close friends. If you’re not sure what middle name to pick, think of the people in your life that you love and how their name would sound alongside Henry.

Sibling Names for Henry

You may want to consider how the name Henry will work with other sibling names. Thankfully, Henry is an excellent name that goes with a variety of unique male and female names.

Famous People Named Henry

There are numerous famous people named Henry that could influence your final naming decision. It is a name that has been given to a number of famous actors, novelists, athletes, politicians, and monarchs.

  • Henry Cavill: A British actor.
  • Henry Hudson: An Arctic explorer.
  • Henry David Thoreau: An essayist, poet, and philosopher.
  • Henry Kissinger: An American politician.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: A poet and teacher.
  • Henry Fonda: An American Actor.
  • Henry Burr: A musician.
  • Henry Tudor VIII: A British monarch.
  • Henry Ford: An American engineer and industrialist.
  • Henry “Hank” Aaron: An American baseball player.
  • Henry James: A British novelist.

Henry in Popular Culture

Many popular characters in film and music have the name Henry.

  • Henry Hawk: Character from the TV series “Looney Tunes”
  • Henry Branwell: Character from the movie “The Infernal Devices”
  • Henry Bowers: Character from the book It
  • Henry F. Potter: Character from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”
  • Henry Pym: Character from the movie “Ant-Man”
  • Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Junior: Character from the movie series “Indiana Jones”

Henry FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Henry.

Is Henry a Popular Name?

Henry has been a popular name throughout history. It peaked in the United States in 1881 as the 8th most popular name in the country and is currently the country’s 9th most popular boys’ name. In 2020, the name Henry ranked #11 in England and Wales and #14 in Canada (4).

Is Henry a Royal Name?

Henry has been given to more than a dozen kings throughout history, primarily in England, France, and Germany. It was extremely popular among royalty during the Middle Ages as well.

Is Henry a Feminine Name?

Henry is most commonly given as a masculine name. However, there are feminine variations such as Henrietta or Harriet, each with its own unique nickname.

Is Henry a Good Name?

Henry is a strong, regal, and classic name that has mass appeal in a variety of cultures. It also brings to mind concepts like honor, tenacity, dignity, and enduring strength.

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