When I was a boy at school there were a couple of Gary’s in my class. However these days I very rarely hear the name for those under the age of thirty (in the UK at least) and there are certainly none in my daughter’s year at school. So is the name no longer a popular option? Or is it time for resurgence of Gary’s across world?!? In this article, let’s take a look at what Gary is short for, as well what middle names can work well with it.
Gary is usually not a shortened version of a longer name, which means it’s often a given name in its own right. However, in some cases it can be shortened version of the name Garrison or Gareth, but this is quite rare. Interestingly, Gary can actually be shortened to Gaz or Gazza as a pet name, something which you might hear more in the UK or Australia (similar to Baz and Bazza)
Those of you who are into football (not the US version), might remember Paul Gascoigne who had ‘Gazza’ as a nickname (although as you can see, he wasn’t called Gary).
Where does it come from?
It likely came from France during the time of the Normans via the name Geiree. Gary means ‘spear’ and can be spelt Garry, but this is less common.
How popular is the name Gary?
Over the past hundred years or so, Gary has risen in popularity reaching a peak in the 1940s and 1950s, but since then it has gradually declined, particularly in the last ten years. It’s still inside the top 1000 boys’ names in the USA, but only just.
Is Gary used as a surname?
Yes. According to Name Census, Gary is ranked #1,612 as a surname in the USA (as of 2010). Looking at the chart above, this means it’s not far off the popularity of using it as a first name. Apparently the surname first appeared in Connacht, Ireland.
Middles names that go with Gary
While you might want to pick a middle name that means something special to you and your family, here are some options you might want to consider. I personally would avoid a middle name that ends in a –y as that will sound too similar to Gary e.g. Gary Henry or Gary Timothy. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?
- Gary Alexander
- Gary Benjamin
- Gary Charles
- Gary Edward
- Gary Lawrence
- Gary Martin
- Gary Nicholas
- Gary Oliver
- Gary Patrick
- Gary Richard
- Gary Stephen
- Gary Victor
- Gary William
Famous people called Gary
- Gary Oldman (actor) – This guy is a legend in my book and a phenomenal actor. Check out Leon if you’ve never seen the movie. In more recent years, you can see him in the Dark Knight Trilogy.
- Gary Busey (actor) – Mr Busey has also been in some top movies such as Predator 2, Point Break, Under Siege and The Firm.
- Gary Barlow (musician) – Lead singer of the boy band Take That, who were a hugely popular group in the 90s. They made a comeback in the 00’s. Gary Barlow has also been a judge on X Factor.
- Gary Sinise (actor) – Another versatile and talented actor who has appeared in movies such as Forrest Gump and Ransom.
- Gary Lineker (footballer) – He is a former professional football player who played for teams such as Barcelona, Tottenham and Leicester. He also had a successful career playing upfront for the England national team. These days he is best known as a sports presenter.
- Gary Player (golfer) – Former professional golfer from South Africa. He always seemed to wear black when he was out on the golf course!
- Gary Neville (footballer) – Former professional footballer who played for Manchester United and England as a defender. These days he is a pundit for various broadcasters.
Related Post: What Is Dewey Short For?
Related Post: What Is Bob Short For?
Related Post: What Is Jake Short For?
Graham is a father of two who founded Dadometer to share his parenting journey with other moms and dads.