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  #121  
Old 01-13-2016, 10:17 PM
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Queen Elizabeth II's paternal uncle, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was sometimes referred to as Harry by family members.
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  #122  
Old 01-14-2016, 12:13 AM
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I've always thought that the British nickname of "Harry" for Henry came about after the Conquest when the non-French-speaking English populace attempted to pronounce the French "Henri" and instead of "On-Ree" it came to be "Hah-Ree" or "Heh-Ree".
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  #123  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:03 AM
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I've always thought that the British nickname of "Harry" for Henry came about after the Conquest when the non-French-speaking English populace attempted to pronounce the French "Henri" and instead of "On-Ree" it came to be "Hah-Ree" or "Heh-Ree".
I doubt that in the years immediately following the invasion, the Anglo- Saxons of England would have been trying very hard to pronounce the Normans' names correctly.
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  #124  
Old 01-14-2016, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
I doubt that in the years immediately following the invasion, the Anglo- Saxons of England would have been trying very hard to pronounce the Normans' names correctly.
Its interesting to read about though. After the conquest by William in 1066 it began a long period of French being used mostly by the aristocrats and nobles and at court.

French as a mother-tongue in Medieval England
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  #125  
Old 01-14-2016, 03:42 AM
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Yes it is interesting. And it makes sense that those who were used to power and prestige would want to court favour with William the Bastard and his fellow Normans in order to secure their positions and privileges, and you can bet they would have learned French quick-smart. But I don't think the majority of Anglo-Saxons who were terrorised and intimidated by the Norman occupiers cared a hoot about learning how their oppressors pronounced their names. They would have been far more interested in slitting their throats.
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  #126  
Old 01-14-2016, 08:33 PM
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Its interesting to read about though. After the conquest by William in 1066 it began a long period of French being used mostly by the aristocrats and nobles and at court.

French as a mother-tongue in Medieval England
Exactly - it was the aristocracy. The common folk still spoke their various dialects of English which is where IMO "Harry" evolved from "Henri." I may be totally wrong of course!
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  #127  
Old 01-14-2016, 09:18 PM
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Translation of French to English is the origins of a few nicknames (or so many people believe)

Jack for instance as a nickname for John. Normans used the name Jean. For a diminutive they traditionally added kin to a name, so Jeankin. In English it turned to Janckin, which became Jack.
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  #128  
Old 01-14-2016, 11:30 PM
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Hal, as in 'Good King Hal', was used as an alternative to Harry though wasn't it, in medieval England, anyway.

I've never been able to work out how Dick is short for Richard. I can see how it was shortened from the medieval Dickon but not from Richard.
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  #129  
Old 01-15-2016, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
I doubt that in the years immediately following the invasion, the Anglo- Saxons of England would have been trying very hard to pronounce the Normans' names correctly.

They might not have made the attempt to pronounce the written Henri as "On-ree", but given as the Anglo-Saxons would have been the lower classes, they're also likely to have been the people not doing the reading - leaving them saying the name the way they were told it was pronounced.

If you're illiterate and you're told that the King's name is pronounced "On-ree" you're not likely to make the connection to the name Henry (especially since it wouldn't be a typical Anglo-Saxon name). A bastardization of the name to Harry makes sense.

According to behindthename.com, "Harry" and "Henry" both evolved from the French "Henri" (which evolved from the Germanic "Heinrich"), so to me it seems like they probably evolved at about the same time with those who were literate translating the written Henri to a written Henry, and those who weren't developing a spoken Harry. As the ruling class became more English speaking (even as a second language), the two names probably came together more with Harry becoming more of a diminutive.
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  #130  
Old 01-15-2016, 12:56 AM
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Hal, as in 'Good King Hal', was used as an alternative to Harry though wasn't it, in medieval England, anyway.

I've never been able to work out how Dick is short for Richard. I can see how it was shortened from the medieval Dickon but not from Richard.
Don't know how true, but a couple sources I have read said that Hal stems from the fact that Normans were not fond of the R sound. So instead of Har, it became Hal. And yes was popular, Henry VIII was known as Hal.

Dick is similar to Bill. In middle ages it seemed popular to change letters as a nickname. So Rick became Dick, Will became Bill.
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  #131  
Old 01-15-2016, 01:16 AM
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Rick to Dick is the result of the Norman pronunciation of the R.
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  #132  
Old 02-06-2016, 09:14 PM
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Just another perspective:

I am a teacher as many of you know and came across a family that decided rather than use the formal names - William, James, John and Henry for their sons - they baptised and registered them as Bill, Jim, Jack and Harry but...everytime the boys have tried to get things like a license or a passport, even with a 'certified' birth certificate they have a real problem convincing people that the birth certificate they hand over is genuine and one has even been stopped at an airport because the officials didn't believe that his name was actually 'Jim' and thought it was a forgery and that he was so stupid that he forged the document using his nickname rather than he formal name.

The situation ended up with at least one of the boys formally changing his official name from the nickname to the formal name for documentary purposes.

The girls didn't have the same problem with names Jane, Sue (not Susan but simply Sue) and Ellie (not Ellen or something like that).
My father was legally named Jimmie Ray and he constantly has to tell people that is his given name and not a nickname. He has always wished that he had been named James and been called Jimmie. I can't tell you how much grief he's gotten in his life because of it. He worked for the government and it was a source of constant annoyance with everything from orders for us to move to business trips to logins on his computers.
So when it came time for my parent's to name my brother even though they had every intention of calling him Tim they named him Timothy so he wouldn't have to spend his life trying to explain to people that Tim was his legal name.
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  #133  
Old 02-06-2016, 10:36 PM
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I personally don't understand the confusion between the fact his given name is Henry and he chooses to be called Harry. My name is Elizabeth and hardly anyone calls me that. I prefer Beth, and that's what I've always been called. It doesn't mean my parents should have just named me Beth instead. They had their reasons for naming me Elizabeth, the same as Charles and Diana had their reasons for naming him Henry. It's an old, established name in the royal family, and they clearly had a fondness for it. Harry is merely a nickname, and besides.....Henry is a very formal name. For a baby, which he was at the time, Harry was perfect. He's chosen to keep with it, rather than revert to the more "grown-up" name.

It's no different than someone named Margaret going by Meg or Maggie, or someone name Jennifer going by Jen or Jenny.

I may be wrong, but I think Harry was considered a more fashionable version of Henry. And once a nickname is used for a long period of time, it does tend to stick.

Personally I don't care for nicknames, but I know many people do prefer them.
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  #134  
Old 02-06-2016, 11:04 PM
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Even though he's now in his 30's I think Harry is definitely a Harry not a Henry! It's true that Harry is used for Henry in the aristocracy and the Duke of Gloucester's father was sometimes called Harry, but really I think primarily our Harry looked like a Harry as a baby and it's stuck! People grow into the nick names they're given.
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  #135  
Old 02-06-2016, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
Just another perspective:

I am a teacher as many of you know and came across a family that decided rather than use the formal names - William, James, John and Henry for their sons - they baptised and registered them as Bill, Jim, Jack and Harry but...everytime the boys have tried to get things like a license or a passport, even with a 'certified' birth certificate they have a real problem convincing people that the birth certificate they hand over is genuine and one has even been stopped at an airport because the officials didn't believe that his name was actually 'Jim' and thought it was a forgery and that he was so stupid that he forged the document using his nickname rather than he formal name.

The situation ended up with at least one of the boys formally changing his official name from the nickname to the formal name for documentary purposes.

The girls didn't have the same problem with names Jane, Sue (not Susan but simply Sue) and Ellie (not Ellen or something like that).

Wow 7 children that must have been a while ago. I have worked in preschool and it's full of Jack's and Harry's nothing odd about that at all.


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  #136  
Old 02-06-2016, 11:28 PM
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My ex husband was given Jack as a middle name after the pet name of an uncle. Admittedly this was many decades ago, but I can't tell you the trouble he had when having to sign his full name on various documents. Some office staff took it upon themselves to make him a 'John' on the paperwork, leading to complications. This was in Australia too, a quite informal country. I agree that many little boys nowadays are Jacks and Harrys etc and no-one turns a hair.
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  #137  
Old 02-07-2016, 12:20 AM
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When my brother was born, he was given the name Dan. All throughout his life he's had problems with people insisting on using Daniel. It was a given to most people that the name Dan was short for Daniel.
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  #138  
Old 05-17-2016, 11:24 PM
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Prince Henry may be referred to as Harry, but he signed his first name as Henry when it came time to register as a witness for his brother William's wedding.
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  #139  
Old 05-18-2016, 01:17 AM
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I don't think it's a case of being "referred to", but rather his parents stated wish. When his name was announced by the Palace it was also announced he would be known as "Harry". That is what all his family and friends have called him all his life and, by extension, we know him as Harry too.

However, that does not change the fact that on his birth certificate and baptismal record his legal name is Henry Charles Albert David and he would be required by law to use his legal name for a legal document.
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  #140  
Old 05-18-2016, 01:23 AM
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Well, the wedding register was a legal document and an historic one, so it was appropriate that he did so there. I always remember when he closed the Olympics in London and came to the rostrum, the announcer introduced him as Prince Henry. You could see people in the crowd looking around, as much as to say "Who's Prince Henry?" He always signs Harry on letters etc, though.
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