Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Gary

Gary is actually the transferred use of an English patronymic surname dating back to the 12th century. It developed from a Germanic personal name derived from “ger, gar” meaning ‘spear’. It is therefore often used as a short form of names such as Garfield, Garrison, Garret or Gerald. One notable name bearer was Elbert Henry Gary, a founding member of U.S. Steel who lent his name to the city of Gary, Indiana established in 1906. Years later in 1925, a then-unknown actor by the name of Frank James Cooper followed the advice of a casting director and changed his name to Gary Cooper. The casting agent felt that the name would give him the same “rough and tough” element that she remembered from her own native Gary, Indiana. As a result of Gary Cooper’s tremendous popularity in the late 20s, 1930s and 40s, he alone helped to popularize this surname turned forename among all English-speaking nations.

All About the Baby Name – Gary

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME GARY

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME GARY

The name Gary has been on the U.S. male naming charts since the government first began tracking naming trends in the late 19th century. However, back then, the name wasn’t very popular. Gary pretty much hung out at the bottom on the charts. It wasn’t until the mid-1920s that we begin to see Gary show some promise. It was 1927 when Gary Cooper became a major film star and in two short years this name would advance over 300 positions up the charts. Not content to stop there, the name kept on soaring right along with Mr. Cooper’s illustrious career. By 1933, the name Gary would become a Top 100 favorite in America. During the 1940s, this name averaged #14 on the charts. But it was the 1950s when Gary saw most of his success. The name was a Top 10 choice among American parents of sons between the years 1950 and 1954. This was quite an accomplishment. We would call Gary a mid-century definer when it comes to masculine names (similar to Larry, Ronald, Donald, Kenneth and Dennis). Even though Gary remained a Top 100 favorite boy’s name for 56 consecutive years (all the way through the late 1980s), his prime is now behind him. Gary’s decline in usage was slow and steady, and now the name is bestowed only lightly. In fact, many people associate the name Gary with a middle-aged man at this point.

Quick Facts

ON GARY

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

578

PRONUNCIATION:

GAIR-ee

SIMPLE MEANING:

Spear

Characteristics

OF GARY

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Gary

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GARY

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Gary

Popular Songs

ON GARY

St. Christopher's Lullabye (Gary Jules)
A song from his "Greetings from the Side" album.

(Looking Through) Gary Glitters Eyes
The Briefs

Bachelor Boy/When Gary Married Melanie
Toy Dolls

Dysentery Gary
a song by Blink 182

Gary Floyd
a song by Butthole Surfers

Gary Gilmore's Eyes
a song by The Adverts

Gary Indiana Blues
Big Head Todd & the Monsters

Gruesome Gary
a song by Down by Law

Famous People

NAMED GARY

Gary Cooper (film star)
Gary Kasparov (Russian chess grandmaster)
Gary Larson (cartoonist of The Far Side)
Gary Oldman (actor)
Gary Dourdan (actor)
Gary Sinise (actor)
Gary Busey (actor)
Gary Coleman (actor)
Gary Levox (country musician)
Gary Numan (musician)
Gary Lee Weinrib (musician)
Gary Carter (baseball player)
Gary Payton (basketball player)
Gary Player (golfer)
Gary Cooper (film star)
Gary Kasparov (Russian chess grandmaster)
Gary Larson (cartoonist of The Far Side)
Gary Oldman (actor)
Gary Dourdan (actor)
Gary Sinise (actor)
Gary Busey (actor)
Gary Coleman (actor)
Gary Levox (country musician)
Gary Numan (musician)
Gary Lee Weinrib (musician)
Gary Carter (baseball player)
Gary Payton (basketball player)
Gary Player (golfer)
Gary Cooper (film star)
Gary Kasparov (Russian chess grandmaster)
Gary Larson (cartoonist of The Far Side)
Gary Oldman (actor)
Gary Dourdan (actor)
Gary Sinise (actor)
Gary Busey (actor)
Gary Coleman (actor)
Gary Levox (country musician)
Gary Numan (musician)
Gary Lee Weinrib (musician)
Gary Carter (baseball player)
Gary Payton (basketball player)
Gary Player (golfer)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GARY

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Gary

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GARY

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Gary