Henley comes from an English surname, originally used as a locational name for someone who came from a place called Henley. While the second element comes from Old English lēah meaning “wood; clearing; meadow”, the first element may possibly be derived from Old English héan via heah meaning “high, tall”, or from Old English henn “hen”.
It’s also possible that Henley is a shortened form of Hennelly, an Irish surname which is the anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hIonnghaile, a variant of Ó Fionnghaile meaning “descendant of Fionghal”, Fionghal a given name meaning “white stranger”; or it could be a variant of Hanley, an anglicized form of Ó hÁinle meaning “descendant of Áinle”, Áinle meaning either “champion” or “beauty, grace”. Henley could also be an Americanized spelling of Henle, a German surname which originated as a pet-form of Hans, the German and Dutch form of John meaning “Yahweh is gracious”.
Henley is also the name of a type of shirt, casual shirt with no collar; it gets its name from the traditional uniform of the rowers from the town of Henley.
Nicknames: Hen, Henny/Hennie
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Celtic, Hebrew
- Henly (English)
- Henlee (English)
- Henlie (English)
- Henleigh (English)