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English and French: from a Germanic personal name composed of
the elements haim, heim ‘home’ + ric ‘power’,
‘ruler’, introduced to England by the Normans in the form
Henri. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously
popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of
the personal name were equally popular throughout Europe (German
Heinrich, French Henri, Italian Enrico and
Arrigo, Czech Jindrich, etc.). As an American family
name, the English form Henry has absorbed patronymics and many
other derivatives of this ancient name in continental European
languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.) In the period in
which the majority of English surnames were formed, a common English
vernacular form of the name was Harry, hence the surnames