What does Gary mean?
Gary /gary/ as a boys' name is pronounced GARE-ee. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Gary is "spear".
Transferred use of a surname, which probably derives from a Norman given name of Germanic origin, a short form of names starting with gar. American industrialist Elbert H. Gary gave his name to the steel town of Gary, Indiana in 1906. The "a" in the town name is pronounced as air, giving rise to the common respelling Garry. The name was made famous since the 1930s due to actor Gary Cooper. It is now also used as a pet form of Gareth and Garfield. Cartoonists Garry Trudeau, Gary Larson; actors Gary Sinise, Gary Oldman.
(male) Ganry, Ghary, ..
(female) Garye, Garyl, ..
How popular is Gary?
Gary is a very popular first name for males (#26 out of 1220, Top 2%) and also a very popular last name for all people (#1555 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Presented below is the baby name history of Gary for boys. Gary reached its peak position of #12 in the U.S. in the 1950s, and is presently at #560. (Top Baby Names, 2014)
Gareth (#1557 in recent rankings), Garey, Garfield, Garret, Garrison (#1002), Garry, Garth and Gerald (#816) are the popular alternative forms of Gary (#560 in recent rankings). Other forms, like Garith, are uncommon. These relations of Gary were favored by parents in the 1940s (adoption of 2.24%) and have become much less widespread since (adoption 0.06%, 97.5% less).
Gary▼ is pronounced similarly to Gearey, Geary, Guri and Gyuri. Other recommended names are Arry, Ary, Avry, Barry▼, Camry, Cary▼, Cory▼, Darry, Dory, Fry, Gab, Gabby, Gabe, Gabi, Gaby, Gad, Gadi, Gael, Gaer, Gage▲, Gail▼, Gair, Gal, Gale▼, Galo, Galt, Galyn, Garan, Gard, Gared, Garek, Garin, Garlyn, Garon, Garryk (see Garrick), Garve, Garvey, Garvy, Garvyn, Garwyn, Gavyn, Gay, Ger, Gere, Gerry▼, Gery, Gordy, Gore, Grady▲, Gray, Grey▲, Gur, Guy▼, Gyrd, Harry▼, Jary, Jory, Keary, Kory▼, Larry▼, Lary, Lawry, Leary, Mabry, Maury, Orry, Parry, Qadry, Rory▲, Tory▼ and Yury. These names tend to be less commonly used than Gary.