Baby Name Meanings: Why We Chose Henry


When my baby was born, the midwife placed him immediately on my chest. I looked down at my squirming, crying child and waited for my husband to say, "It's a boy!" His announcement wasn't just for show; we had decided to wait to find out our baby's sex until birth.

Waiting was a great decision, but it did add a layer of complexity to picking out a baby name. It seemed so hard to come up with a name when we didn't know the most basic thing about our child. Plus, I have some weird ‘quirks’ about baby names.

I despise unique names, as well as names that are commonly made into nicknames. I also have a rule that baby names should sound great with "Mr. President" (I have high hopes for my kids!).

We eventually picked a girl’s name but couldn’t settle on a boy’s name. Of course, that meant we had a boy!

Our son remained nameless for the first twelve hours of his life. We had a short list of boy names, and prior to birth, we heavily favored Jack. But our baby didn't look like a Jack. Our baby was small and had creamy skin and light hair; I pictured a Jack baby being dark-haired and tough.

So I put out a call on Facebook: "We can't decide what to name the baby! Any ideas?" One friend, Jude, suggested we name him Jude; "Guys named Jude are handsome, smart, and popular!" he joked. My husband looked up from his phone and said, "You know what? I actually really like Jude." I thought it went nicely with our last name, but then, I turned to my son and said, "Hey, Jude..." and promptly nixed the idea for fear he'd never hear the end of the popular Beatles song.

We settled on Henry Boyle. Doesn’t "Henry Boyle, President of the United States" sound nice? His middle name is my husband's name. A year and a half later, my Henry has turned into a spunky, strong fellow that totally could've been a Jack. Although I think Henry suits him quite well, he's the embodiment of everything I thought a Jack would be like.

Oh, well! At least we know what we'll name our next baby if it's a boy!

Photo by Felipe Salgado on Unsplash

by Caitlin Boyle