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Meaning and Origin of: Herrick

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old German : Commander
  • German : Soldier

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : from the Old Norse personal name Eiríkr, composed of the elements eir ‘mercy’, ‘peace’ + rík ‘power’. The addition in English of an inorganic H- to names beginning with a vowel is a relatively common phenomenon. It is possible that this name may have swallowed up a less common Germanic personal name with the first element heri, hari ‘army’.
  • Dutch : from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements heri, hari ‘army’ + rīc ‘power’, or from an assimilated form of Henrick, a Dutch form of Henry.
  • Irish : Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hEirc ‘descendant of Erc’, a personal name meaning ‘speckled’, ‘dark red’, or ‘salmon’. There was a saint of this name. The surname is born by families in Munster and Ulster, where it has usually been changed to Harkin.
  • The English poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674) was from a prosperous family of goldsmiths, who had a long association with the city of Leicester. There is a family tradition that they were of Scandinavian origin, descended from Eric the Forester, who settled in the city in the 11th century. The initial aspirate came into the name in the late 16th cedntury; the name of the poet's great-grandfather is recorded in the corporation books of the city of Leicester in 1511 as Thomas Ericke.