May 29, 2008


Henry ~ Ruler of the home ~ German

Dignified. Historic. Royal. The name Henry couldn't get higher status if it wanted to. Eight kings of England and more than 10 kings of other European countries have borne this name, as have many other royal figures (including 16 Bavarian dukes alone). The name seemed destined for greatness from the very beginning, as the meaning is a combination of german words meaning "rule" and "home".

Even with all its noble qualities, Henry began taking a plunge in popularity in 1920. In particular, the 60s–the 90s was the worst period this name had seen, when parents were looking for down-to-earth and contemporary names like Brian or Eric. Henry seemed like the name of an elderly professor, and society needed names to match female counterparts like Kimberly and Michelle.

But among several other trends, the past decade has seen the use of old-fashioned names, particularly from colonial and frontier eras of American history. And Henry fits right in, with the earliest records showing it was ranked at number nine in 1880. As a result, the past 10 years has brought new life to the name, and it has risen in the charts by 45 places.

Today Henry seems a little less like the name of an old professor, and a little more like the name of a dashing prince. Its previous decline in use means the slate has been wiped just a little bit cleaner. The old-fashioned feel it has adds to its appeal, while we've come to discover we actually don't know any professors named Henry.

  • Henry is ranked at 33 for 2014. It still hasn't reached its peak!
  • Variations
    • Enrique
    • Hal
    • Hale
    • Hank
    • Harry
    • Hendrik
    • Heinrich
    • Henri
  • Feminine forms:
    • America
    • Hallie
    • Hattie
    • Harriet
    • Henna
    • Henrietta
  • Famous Henrys include: Henry James, Henry Hudson, Henry David Thoreau & Henry Ford
  • Henry is the name of Julia Roberts' son, born in 2007


  1. Henry is the name of my brother. I never knew any other Henry's growing up (he's 36 now), but in the last decade (you're right), I keep hearing of parents who've named their kids Henry. It's true, as you say, we realized we no longer knew any professors named Henry =)

  2. We named our son Henry (after Henry Huggins) and thought we were being unique. Suddenly it seems like everyone has named their sons Henry. Oh well :p


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