How popular is the baby name Gary in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Gary.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Gary


Posts that Mention the Name Gary

Name quotes #109: Golan, O-Lan, Cale

double quotation mark

Happy fourth of July! Here’s the latest batch of name quotes…

From one of Abby’s recent Sunday Summary posts:

I remember watching the first Iron Man movie in the theater way back in 2008, and I’ve seen — and enjoyed — every movie since.

In the beginning, the Avengers were mostly men, mostly white. Heroes, of course. But they were from a familiar mold. Steve and Tony and Bruce.

But it didn’t stay that way. And I’ve [been] thrilled to see heroes slowly shift to look like the whole, wide world – and beyond. T’Challa. Wanda Maximoff. Valkyrie.

And now Kamala Khan. Soon Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart, will debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

From an article about brothers Cale and Taylor Makar, both of whom play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche:

Cale was named after Cale Hulse, who played for the Calgary Flames when [their father] Gary was doing some business with the team. Taylor is named after Colonel George Taylor of the Planet of the Apes movies, a take charge guy, portrayed by Charlton Heston, who was thrust into a leadership role. (Just for the record, Heston’s politics and ardent support of the National Rifle Association are not shared by the Makar family. “Oh my god, that’s the opposite of us,” Gary said.)

[Another source clarifies that Cale’s first name is short for Caleb. Cale noted in this interview [vid] that he was nearly named “Kurt Russell Makar, after the actor. […] I dodged a bullet there, I think.”]

From a 2015 interview with James Taylor at Stereogum:

Stereogum: Speaking of another powerful woman, Taylor Swift is probably the biggest pop star in the world right now, and she’s named after you! How do you feel about being connected to her in that way?

Taylor: It’s hugely flattering and was a delightful surprise when she told me that. We did a benefit together, I think it was focused on teenage pregnancy, before Taylor really took off. But she was playing guitar and singing her songs and I knew how remarkable she was. She told me that her mom and dad had been really, deeply into my music and I got a real kick out of the fact that she’d been named after me. Obviously it wasn’t her choice, it was her mom and dad, but nonetheless a great connection I think.

From a recent article about how to choose a Chinese name in the Guardian:

Don’t name yourself after a celebrity

In China, it is considered extraordinarily immodest to name a child after a famous person, a taboo that has roots in imperial laws that forbade citizens from having the same name as the emperor.

From a 2001 article about actress O-Lan Jones in the Los Angeles Times:

Jones’ mother, Scarlett Dark, named her after the character O-lan in Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 novel, “The Good Earth.” The “O” part, Jones said, means “profound,” and the “lan” means “wildflower.” Her mother, ever an original, chose to celebrate the wildflower part with a capital L.

Two from a recent opinion piece, “Every Jewish name tells a Jewish story,” in the Jerusalem Post:

[I]n Judaism after a near-death experience, it is traditional to add a name and change a name. The name Haim, which means “life” is often added, as is the name Alter, a blessing for “long days.” It is a Jewish insurance policy for an improved future for the name bearer.

…and:

After the 1967 Six Day War, Israelis created names that were lovely and filled with hope. Tal, Elizur, Sharona were born. And names of cities and towns became first names – Sinai, Golan, Eilat are a few. The ’67 war was a watershed for hope in Israel and it was reflected in these new names.

From the article “Amazon Killed the Name Alexa” by Joe Pinsker in The Atlantic:

“We don’t usually think about the individuals who are already born when this happens, but the impact on their lives is real as well,” Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland at College Park, told me. Sharing a name with a robot can be tiresome. “‘OMG, Siri like the iPhone,’ should be engraved on my tombstone,” complained Siri Bulusu, a journalist, in a 2016 piece about her name. And name overlaps have led to sitcom-style misunderstandings, like when, as The Wall Street Journal reported, one dad asked his daughter Alexa for some water, and their robot Alexa responded by offering to order a case of Fiji water for $27.

Name quotes #98: Judith, Xochitl, Rajaonina

From an article about famous people reclaiming their names in The Guardian:

Earlier this year, the BBC presenter formerly known as Ben Bland changed his surname to Boulos to celebrate his maternal Sudanese-Egyptian heritage.

[…]

The Bland name had masked important aspects of his identity that he had downplayed as a child, not wanting to be seen as in any way “different”, including his Coptic faith, Boulos said. “Every name tells a story – and I want mine to give a more complete picture of who I am.”

Boulos’s grandparents, who came to Britain in the 1920s, had chosen the surname Bland because they feared using the Jewish-Germanic family name “Blumenthal”. “They decided on the blandest name possible — literally — to ensure their survival,” he wrote.

(Two more quotes on name-reclaiming were in last month’s quote post.)

Actress Camila Mendes [vid] talking about her name on The Late Late Show With James Corden in 2017:

So my name is Camila Mendes, and there’s a singer called Camila Cabello, and a singer called Shawn Mendes. And people seem to think my Twitter is a fan account for that relationship.

From the book I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (2015) by Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo:

Babies were baptized with new and strange names, particularly in the 1920s, names taken from the titles of various socialist experiments (for instance, in Tabasco with Garrido Canaval, who established socialist baptisms), and as a result of the emergence of the radio and the indigenist turn of the city’s language. Masiosare became a boy’s name (derived from a stanza of the national anthem: “Mas si osare un extraño enemigo…”), but also Alcazelser (after the popularity of Alka-Seltzer), Xochitl, Tenoch, Cuauhtémoc, Tonatihu (the biblically named Lázaro Cárdenas named his son Cuauhtémoc).

From a Good Morning America article about ’90s sitcom Saved by the Bell:

The names of characters came from people [executive producer Peter] Engel knew growing up.

“I knew a guy named Screech Washington. He was a producer. I said I’m not going to hire him, but I’m going to steal your name,” he said. “Slater was a kid who was in my son’s kindergarten class, Zack was named after my dear, dear friend, John DeLorean. […] His son’s name was Zack. Lisa Turtle was a girl I knew and Mr. Belding, Richard Belding, had been my cranky editor when I worked at Universal.”

From the book Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood (2004) by Robert S. Birchard:

DeMille interviewed Gloria Stuart for the part of the high school girl [in This Day and Age], Gay Merrick, and said she was “extremely enthusiastic,” and he also considered Paramount contract player Grace Bradley, but ultimately he selected a former model who called herself Mari Colman. In April 1933 Colman won a Paramount screen test in a New York beauty competition, and DeMille was apparently delighted by the innocent image she projected.

In a comic sequence in David O. Selznick’s 1937 production of A Star Is Born, the studio’s latest discovery, Esther Blodgett, is given a new name more in keeping with her status as a movie starlet. As This Day and Age was getting ready to roll, Mari Colman was subjected to the same treatment as DeMille and Paramount tested long lists of potential screen names. Among the suggestions were Betty Barnes, Doris Bruce, Alice Harper, Grace Gardner, Chloris Deane, and Marie Blaire. Colman herself suggested Pamela Drake or Erin Drake. On May 15, Jack Cooper wrote DeMille that he had tried several names on seventeen people. Eleven voted for the name Doris Manning; the other six held out for Doris Drake. Somehow, the name ultimately bestowed upon her was Judith Allen. DeMille and Paramount had high hopes for Allen, and she was even seen around town in the company of Gary Cooper, one of the studio’s biggest stars.

From an academic paper by Denis Regnier called “Naming and name changing in postcolonial Madagascar” (2016):

Nowadays, most names borne by individuals in Madagascar are a particular mix of foreign names (mainly Christian, French, or British but sometimes Muslim) and Malagasy names. This is because the spread of the Christian faith in the nineteenth century resulted in people increasingly giving names from the Bible to their children. These biblical names were often modified to follow the phonological and morphological rules of the Malagasy language (e.g., John becomes Jaonina or Jaona), and often the honorific particle Ra-, the word andriana (lord), or both were added to them (e.g., Rajaonina and Randrianarijaona). While at the beginning of Christian evangelization most people still had, in traditional Malagasy fashion, only one name, progressively the most common structure of names became “binomial,” as Gueunier calls it (Gueunier 2012, 197). In this case, a Christian name (or other foreign name) is often juxtaposed to a Malagasy name, although sometimes both names are of Malagasy origin or, more rarely, both names are foreign.

And let’s end with a related quote about Madagascar’s very long names:

Names were reduced in length when French colonization began in 1896 — the shortest names today include Rakotoarisoa, Rakotonirina, Andrianjafy or Andrianirina, and tend to have around 12 characters minimum.

Where did the baby name Tonga come from?

The character Tonga (played by Nina Bara) from the sci-fi TV series "Space Patrol" (1950-1955)
Tonga from “Space Patrol

The intriguing name Tonga debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1953:

  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 7 baby girls named Tonga [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: unlisted

I don’t think the Polynesian country had anything to do with it. Instead, I’m thinking that it may have come from the the early science-fiction TV series Space Patrol. It began as a Los Angeles-only show in early 1950, but by early 1951 it was being syndicated nationally both on TV and on radio (thanks to being picked up by the ABC network).

Set a thousand years in the future, the show featured members of the Space Patrol crew endeavoring to fight against the bad guys of the solar system. The two female crew members were named Tonga (played by Nina Bara) and Carol (Virginia Hewitt). Tonga’s character began as a criminal, but by the time the show had a national audience, she had undergone a “Brainograph” treatment and joined up with the good guys.

The name Tonga may have been given a boost in 1953 specifically thanks to LIFE magazine drawing attention to the show in a 1952 feature article (“Space Patrol Conquers Kids,” Sept. 1952)…or maybe it simply showed up because Space Patrol‘s audience was still growing at that time.

But the name dropped out of the data the very next year — possibly because actress Nina Bara was released from the show in late 1953, so the character Tonga didn’t appear in the show very frequently after that.

All this said…I should also mention that the name Tanya and its variants were on the rise during the 1950s, and that “Tonga” ended up being used as a variant of Tanya on occasion (likely by way of Tanja). So that’s another possible reason for the debut.

Do you like Tonga as a baby name? If so, how would you pronounce it?

Sources:

P.S. A supporting character in the 1953 Gary Cooper movie Return to Paradise also happened to be named Tonga, but this character was male.

Numerology & baby names: Number 6

Baby names with a numerological value of 6

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “6.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “6” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “6,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

6

The following baby names add up to 6.

  • “6” girl names: Ada
  • “6” boy names: Abba

6 via 15

The following baby names add up to 15, which reduces to six (1+5=6).

  • “15” girl names: Aida, Adia, Alaa, An, Ama, Aala, Daia, Adai, Abcde
  • “15” boy names: Jad, Gabe, Aadi, An, Ej, Alaa

6 via 24

The following baby names add up to 24, which reduces to six (2+4=6).

  • “24” girl names: Ava, Nia, Maia, Alaia, Hana, Amia, Rae, Dara, Kaci, Edna
  • “24” boy names: Ian, Dean, Aden, Dane, Kage, Kal, Abdel, Blade, Edan, Ahan

6 via 33

The following baby names add up to 33, which reduces to six (3+3=6).

  • “33” girl names: Kali, Mabel, Anahi, Mara, Alena, Shea, Aimee, Andie, Arie, Elana
  • “33” boy names: Aiden, Isaac, Wade, Fabian, Kobe, Sam, Abdiel, Amar, Shea, Don

6 via 42

The following baby names add up to 42, which reduces to six (4+2=6).

  • “42” girl names: Eliana, Maria, Cecilia, Callie, Elaina, Lilah, Maggie, Amira, Amari, Anaya
  • “42” boy names: Evan, Axel, Damian, Alex, Joel, Nash, Amari, Andre, Odin, Deacon

6 via 51

The following baby names add up to 51, which reduces to six (5+1=6).

  • “51” girl names: Layla, Lydia, Delilah, Khloe, Myla, Camilla, Phoebe, Haley, Charli, Greta
  • “51” boy names: Michael, Asher, Hugo, Raiden, Issac, Jamir, Boone, Gary, Lachlan, Deandre

6 via 60

The following baby names add up to 60, which reduces to six (6+0=6).

  • “60” girl names: Hailey, Millie, Kehlani, Miranda, Nylah, Raven, Averie, Skye, Wren, Emely
  • “60” boy names: Landon, Kayden, Silas, Grant, Thiago, Enzo, Bryan, Ibrahim, Kason, Ruben

6 via 69

The following baby names add up to 69, which reduces to six (6+9=15; 1+5=6).

  • “69” girl names: Riley, Lillian, Stella, Parker, Harley, Giselle, Rylie, Addilyn, Oakley, Maliyah
  • “69” boy names: Jeremiah, Cameron, Brayden, Parker, Jasper, Griffin, Riley, Hector, Conner, Malcolm

6 via 78

The following baby names add up to 78, which reduces to six (7+8=15; 1+5=6).

  • “78” girl names: Genesis, Kennedy, Melissa, Madilyn, Esmeralda, Scarlet, Viviana, Kayleigh, Oaklyn, Julieta
  • “78” boy names: Robert, Tucker, Patrick, Emiliano, Karson, Daxton, Troy, Dominick, Colson, Vicente

6 via 87

The following baby names add up to 87, which reduces to six (8+7=15; 1+5=6).

  • “87” girl names: Paisley, Everly, Mackenzie, Veronica, Justice, Journi, Marisol, Marlowe, Blessing, Tallulah
  • “87” boy names: Vincent, Victor, Stephen, Joaquin, Kolton, Dustin, Braylon, Justice, Layton, Sonny

6 via 96

The following baby names add up to 96, which reduces to six (9+6=15; 1+5=6).

  • “96” girl names: Destiny, Mallory, Kristen, Vivianne, Shirley, Ellisyn, Kirsten, Maddilynn, Blakelynn, Journii
  • “96” boy names: Weston, Stanley, Ernesto, Turner, Jayvion, Pierson, Knowledge, Townes, Triton, Rexton

6 via 105

The following baby names add up to 105, which reduces to six (1+0+5=6).

  • “105” girl names: Wynter, Dorothy, Christine, Esperanza, Viktoria, Kristine, Alysson, Jessalyn, Huntley, Cypress
  • “105” boy names: Lorenzo, Maximilian, Gustavo, Tristen, Xzavier, Johnathon, Tytus, Huntley, Cypress, Giovonni

6 via 114

The following baby names add up to 114, which reduces to six (1+1+4=6).

  • “114” girl names: Rosemary, Jazzlyn, Josslyn, Brynnleigh, Joselynn, Vittoria, Waylynn, Treazure, Austynn, Alyssandra
  • “114” boy names: Winston, Princeton, Demetrius, Juancarlos, Townsend, Stavros, Waylynn, Sovereign, Leanthony, Moustapha

6 via 123

The following baby names add up to 123, which reduces to six (1+2+3=6).

  • “123” girl names: Monserrat, Antoinette, Riverlyn, Kimberlynn, Quetzalli, Preslynn, Joycelynn, Maryfrances, Starlynn, Rosealynn
  • “123” boy names: Maxamillion, Johnthomas, Timmothy, Greyston, Alexzavier, Grizzly, Lovensky, Cordarious

6 via 132

The following baby names add up to 132, which reduces to six (1+3+2=6).

  • “132” girl names: Westlynn, Timberlynn, Ramatoulaye
  • “132” boy names: Maximilliano, Bartholomew, Marcanthony, Apostolos, Ellsworth, Truxton, Alexanderjames, Josedejesus

6 via 141

The following baby names add up to 141, which reduces to six (1+4+1=6).

  • “141” girl names: Livingston
  • “141” boy names: Youssouf, Livingston, Fiyinfoluwa, Trystyn

6 via 150

The following baby names add up to 150, which reduces to six (1+5+0=6).

  • “150” girl names: Kourtlynn, Morireoluwa, Ibukunoluwa, Montzerrat
  • “150” boy names: Ibukunoluwa, Luisenrique, Morireoluwa, Oluwamayowa

6 via 159

The following baby names add up to 159, which reduces to six (1+5+9=15; 1+5=6).

  • “159” girl names: Krystalynn, Charlotterose

6 via 168

The following baby names add up to 168, which reduces to six (1+6+8=15; 1+5=6).

  • “168” girl names: Oluwasemilore, Chrysanthemum
  • “168” boy names: Quintavious, Oluwasemilore

6 via 177

The girl name Oluwajomiloju adds up to 177, which reduces to six (1+7+7=15; 1+5=6).

What Does “6” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “6” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “6” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“6” (the hexad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “They rightly call it ‘reconciliation’: for it weaves together male and female by blending, and not by juxtaposition as the pentad does. And it is plausibly called ‘peace,’ and a much earlier name for it, based on the fact that it organizes things, was ‘universe’: for the universe, like 6, is often seen as composed of opposites in harmony”
  • “They also called it ‘health’ and ‘anvil’ (as it were, the unwearying one), because it is reasonable to think that the most fundamental triangles of the elements of the universe partake in it, since each triangle is six, if it is divided by three perpendiculars”
  • “It arises out of the first even and first odd numbers, male and female, as a product and by multiplication; hence it is called ‘androgynous.'”
  • “It is also called ‘marriage,’ in the strict sense that it arises not by addition, as the pentad does, but by multiplication. Moreover, it is called ‘marriage’ because it is equal to its own parts, and it is the function of marriage to make offspring similar to parents.”
  • “They also called it…’measurer of time in twos’ because of the distribution of all time, which is accomplished by a hexad of zodiacal signs over the Earth and another under the Earth, or because time, since it has three parts [past, present, future], is assimilated to the triad, and the hexad arises from two threes.”
  • “It is also called ‘Thaleia’ [etym. Greek, “the plentiful one”] because of its harmonizing different things, and ‘panacea,’ either because of its connection with health…or as it were self-sufficiency, because it has been furnished with parts sufficient for wholeness.”

“6” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Six – the strength of a three, with a helpful influence” (reading 261-14).
  • “Six being the changes that have been made in the double strength of three” (reading 261-15).
  • “Six – again makes for the beauty and the symmetrical forces of all numbers, making for strength” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “6” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 33, 42, 96, 123) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. For example, maybe your favorite book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which highlights the number 42.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 6, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Name quotes #74: Chandler, Snehalatha, Teddy Jack

From the TV show Friends, a quote from character Chandler Bing:

You know, I can handle it. Handle’s my middle name. Actually it’s the, uh…the middle part of my first name.

From Cosmopolitan, a quote about the name of Cardi B’s sister Hennessy:

Yes, she’s named after the alcohol and yes, the story’s amazing.

While Bacardi is not Cardi B’s real name, Hennessy is most definitely her sister’s original moniker. Why? Because her father showed up drunk on Hennessy when she was born and insisted on naming her after his drink of choice.

From Rolling Stone, a quote about a baby named after a Gary Busey character:

[Leon] Russell’s son Teddy Jack, who was named after a Busey character from a regional TV show he performed on named Teddy Jack Eddy, produced Busey’s new project, his first solo release.

From the book Welty: A Life in Literature (1987), a quote from author Eudora Welty:

When I first began writing I didn’t realized the importance of names. I would just name characters anything. And then I realized how much it mattered, for cadence, and, for example, how families name their children in a kind of pattern, you know, everybody’s name beginning with B.

From the book Here at The New Yorker (1975) by Brendan Gill:

Indeed, there are writers remembered not for their novels but for their names: Mazo de la Roche, Ouida, Warwick Deeping.

From WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio, a quote about the history of Phalanx Station:

Phalanx Station was named after the local Trumbull Phalanx Company, which was not a business but a utopian community. […] It failed but the name remained. It became Phalanx Station after a railroad led the community southeast to Jefferson County, Ohio in the late 19th century. That failed, too, but again the name remained.

From Stuff.co.nz, a quote about a bright orange seagull with a fitting name:

Staff at the Buckinghamshire, England [animal] hospital say the gull somehow got curry or turmeric all over his feathers, which prevented him from flying properly. The bird, named Vinny after the popular Indian dish Vindaloo curry, put up a fight but eventually let the staff scrub his feathers.

From Best Life, a quote about Waverly, one of the most common town names in America:

Many of the 18 places in the United States called Waverly are named after Sir Walter Scott’s 1814 novel, Waverley. Not only is Waverly, Nebraska…named after the novel, but many of the city’s street names were also taken from characters within it.

(Here are more of the places named Waverly.)

From NDTV in India, a quote about names in the family of MA Sneha, the Tamil Nadu woman who is officially caste-less and religion-less:

In a country where a person’s name can denote his/her caste or religion, Sneha and her husband K. Parthibaraja have named their three daughters with a mix of Buddhist, Christian and Muslim names – Aadhirai Nasreen, Aadhila Irene and Aarifa Jessy.

[…]

Sneha’s two younger sisters have Muslim and Christian names – Mumtaj Suriya and Jennifer.

“My father-in-law PV Anandakrishnan and mother-in-law Manimozhi are both advocates, and belonged to different castes. They were rationalists and Leftists. Sneha was named after a Telangana girl Snehalatha died in police custody,” Parthibaraja told IANS.

The initials before Sneha’s name – MA – denote the first letter of her parents’ names.

From Vox, a quote about celebrities trying to trademark names:

The biggest celebrities started registering trademarks for their names around the same time publicity rights and likeness rights came into play, Clark says. One of the first pop stars to protect her name and likeness was Madonna in the 1980s, and one of the most influential trademark cases involving a celebrity name was the 1998 battle between Elvis Presley’s estate and a dive bar in Houston called The Velvet Elvis. (It is now called The Velvet Melvin.)