There are nicknames we can easily understand and there are nicknames we have hard time telling how they came to be. One of the most bizarre ones has to be “Hank”. Why do we use Hank as a short for Henry?
Well, because every weird question needs to be answered here at I’m A Useless Info Junkie, here’s the story behind the name.
Back in medieval times, the suffix “-kin” was used as a diminutive form for names and meant “little”. So, for example a “little John” would have been called “Jockin”. Interestingly, this is the reason why the name Jack comes from John – “little John” became “Jockin”, then “Jenkin”, which later became “Jakin” and finally we shortened that to “Jack” – the meaning though remains the same: “little John”. This is also the case with Henry. (the article continues after the ad)
By following the same principle, “little Henry” became “Henkin”, then “Hankin” which gave rise to the name’s shortest form of “Hank”. And this is why Hank is short for Henry.
Now you know!