Gary meaning, boyGary

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What does Gary mean?

Gary \g(a)-ry\ 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 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.

For more information, see also related boy names Garrison, Garret and Gerald.

Gary has 5 more alternative forms via Gareth: Garith, Garret, Garreth, Garth and Garyth.


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 (#1159 out of 88799, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Presented below is the baby name popularity of Gary for boys. Gary reached its peak position of #12 in the U.S. during 1950-1959, and is presently at #560. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Gary name in U.S.

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

Shown below is an analysis of the popularity of the boy name Gary and related names. Garfield, Garret, Garrison, Garry, Garth and Gerald (#816 in 2014) are the popular alternative forms of Gary (#560 in 2014) rated in the Top 1000. This boy name reached the peak of its popularity during the years 1940-1949 and has become much less widespread since, with versions like Garrison, Garry, Garth, Gary and Gerald becoming somewhat dated. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Garfield, Garret, Garrison, Garry, Garth, Gary, Gerald in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Gary is pronounced similarly to Gearey, Geary and Guri. Other recommended similar baby names are Cary, Gaby, Gaer, Gair, Gard, Garvy, Gay, Gere, Gerry, Gery, Gore, Gray, Grey, Gur, Jary and Lary. These names tend to be less commonly used than Gary.