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Harry - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

The name Harry

The name Harry originally stems from the Old German 'Heimirich', meaning 'Home ruler'.

Harry is technically a diminutive of Henry, but using it as a de facto first name is not a modern phenomenon. Most of the English King Henrys were referred to in their time as Harry – most notably Henry V in Shakespeare's famous rallying cry: "God for Harry, England and St George!"

Famous people called Harry:

Prince Harry, royal (born Henry Charles Albert David)

Harry Styles, One Direction singer (born Harry Edward Styles)

Harry Houdini, escapologist (born Ehrich Weiss)

Harry S. Truman, US president

Harry Connick, Jr. (born Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr.)

Harry Hill, comedian (born Matthew Keith Hall)

Harry Redknapp, football manager (born Henry James Redknapp)

Harry Potter, star of J.K Rowling's record-breaking book series

Can be shortened to: Hal, Hank, or the full version Henry

Surnames to avoid Harry with:

Surnames beginning with an 'I' sound, ie. Inman or Ingman, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words are slurred together end up sounding like one. Families named Henderson should probably also give Harry a miss, lest their offspring be confused with the hairy star of Harry and the Hendersons.

Similar names:

Foreign variants include Enrique (Spanish), Enrico (Italian), Henk (Dutch), and Henning (Scandinavian) as well as the Scottish version, Hendry.

Similar English names include Henry, Harold, Harrison, Harvey and Hugo.

Female variations:

English variations include: Henrietta, Harriet, Hattie, Hettie, Etta, Hallie, Halle

Celebrities who named their baby Harry:

Ray Quinn

Minnie Driver

Billy Bob Thornton

Hank Azaria (named his son Hal)

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