Word Origin & History
O.E. hergian "make war, lay waste, ravage, plunder," the word used in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" for what the Vikings did to England, from P.Gmc. *kharohan (v.), from *kharjaz "an armed force" (cf. O.E. here, O.N. herr, O.H.G. har, Ger. Heer "host, army"), from PIE root *koro- "war" (cf. Lith. karas
"war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" O.C.S. kara "strife;" M.Ir. cuire "troop;" O.Pers. kara "host, people, army;" Gk. koiranos "ruler, leader, commander").
male personal name, a familiar form of Henry
(q.v.). Weekley takes the overwhelming number of Harris, Harrison surnames as evidence that "Harry," not "Henry," was the M.E. pronunciation of Henry. Also cf. Harriet, Eng. equivalent of Fr. Henriette, fem. dim. of Henri. Nautical
slang Harriet Lane "preserved meat" (1896) refers to a famous murder victim whose killer allegedly chopped up her body. The Harris in Harris tweed (1892) is from the name of the southern section of the island of Lewis with Harris in the Outer Hebrides; originally it referred to fabric produced by the inhabitants there, later a proprietary name.