Henry Name Meaning

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What Does Henry Mean? 

Henry is a very common French name for boys. It’s believed to be derived from the French name Henri, which in turn is thought to be derived from the name Heimeric, an old German name that means “house ruler.” The name is made up of two parts: “Heim,” which means home and “Ric,” which means ruler.  Henry is also a common surname in Ireland and France.

Even though it’s usually traced to French and German roots, the exact origin of the name is often debated. The most famous person with the name might be Henry VIII, a controversial King of England. He had six wives and beheaded two because they couldn’t have sons for him.

Henry is typically a masculine name. Female variants like Harriet and Henrietta are often considered by parents who want to give a variation of the name to their baby girl. Henry is a dignified name. Henry and its variants have been given to several kings and noblemen across Europe. It was introduced to England by the Normans where it was subsequently given to eight kings.

  • Origin: The origin of the name is often debated. The earliest origin it can be traced to is Ancient Germany where it was derived from the name Heimeric.
  • Gender: Henry is typically given to boys, but it can be given to babies of any gender.
  • Pronunciation: Hen-ree

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best. 

How Popular Is the Name Henry? 

Henry and other variations of the name are very popular. Its variant Harry was so common at a point in England that the phrase "every Tom, Dick, and Harry" was born and used to refer to men in general.

Henry is particularly popular in the United States and English-speaking countries across the world. In 2007, it was on the top 100 most popular names for boys list in Australia, England, Wales, and the United States.  According to 2020 data from the Social Security Administration, Henry is the ninth most popular name for boys in the United States.

Name Variations 

A common variant for the name Henry people find interesting is Harry or Herry. The name was a spoken form of Henry in medieval England. Many Kings of England in that time who were named Henry were also called Harry. 

Henry has several name variations from cultures all across the world. Some of the most popular include: 

  • Anri (Georgian) 
  • Einri (Irish) 
  • Enric (Catalan) 
  • Enrico (Italian) 
  • Genrikh (Russian) 
  • Harri (Welsh) 
  • Harry (English) 
  • Heimirich (German)
  • Heiner (German) 
  • Heinrich (German)
  • Hendry (Scottish) 
  • Henrik (Danish, Armenian, Swedish) 
  • Henrikas (Lithuanian) 
  • Henrique (Portuguese)
  • Henryk (Polish) 
  • Hinrik (Icelandic) 
  • Indrikis (Latvian) 

Similar Names

If you like the name Henry but are still on the fence, consider some other names that have a similar feel: 

  • Arthur 
  • Benjamin 
  • Charles 
  • Finn 
  • Jack 
  • James 
  • Leo 
  • Oliver 
  • Owen 
  • Samuel 
  • Theodore 
  • William 

Suggested Sibling Names

Some potential sibling names for Henry may include:

  • Alexandra
  • Amelie
  • Edward
  • Eleanor
  • George
  • Noah
  • William

Famous People Named Henry    

Across the last century, several notable people have been given the name Henry. Celebrities like Julia Roberts and Heidi Klum have named their sons Henry. 

If you are thinking of naming your baby Henry, here are some inspiring people who your baby will share a name with:

  • Henry Cavill, British actor 
  • Henry Czerny, Canadian stage and television actor 
  • Henry Fonda, American actor 
  • Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer 
  • Henry Hudson, arctic naval explorer 
  • Henry J. Heinz, founder of Heinz Ketchup company 
  • Henry James, British novelist 
  • Henry Winkler, American actor and producer 
  • William Henry Bill Gates, businessman, philanthropist, and co-founder of Microsoft 

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ancestry. Henry Family History.

  2. Social Security Administration. Popularity of Names. Updated 2021.