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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.


Gary has 6 variants: Garey, Gari, Garrey, Garrie, Garry and Gaz.

Related boy names: Garrison, Garret and Gerald.

Gary has 4 more alternative forms via Gareth: Garith, Garret, Garth and Garyth.

Kreatif forms:
(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)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

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)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Gary name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Gary outside U.S.

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).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Gary, Gareth, Garey, Garfield, Garret in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Garrison, Garry, Garth, Gerald in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Gary outside U.S.

Similar Names


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.