Meaning of the Name Barry
Barry is a common given name with Celtic origins. Through rigorous etymological research, I’ve discovered the meaning of the name Barry and what it represents.
Meaning of the name Barry: Derived from the Gaelic name Baire, which was derived from the Irish name Barrfind, the meaning of the name Barry is “with fair hair, “fair-headed” or “blonde-haired.”
Origins of the Name Barry
The name Barry originated in Ireland as the Gaelic given name Baire. It’s believed that Baire is a shortened version of the Gaelic name Bairrfhionn. In Medieval Ireland, these names were taken and converted into the given name Barry.
Etymological evidence suggests that Barry was also Anglicized from several other Irish names, some of which include Barra and Berach. Regardless, the name’s true origins can be traced back to Ireland where the name or names from which it was derived were first used. Since then, Barry has become a predominantly masculine name given to boys. With that said, some girls have been named Barry, with Barry also being used as a surname.
Like its given name counterpart, the surname Barry originated in Ireland. While hundreds if not thousands of Irish families have used Barry as a surname, one of the first documented uses involves the de Barry family during the 11th century. The de Barry family was founded by Normal Knight who played a critical role in the Norman Conquest of England, thereby bringing this name to light and paving the way for Barry as a given name.
The popularity of the Name Barry
Barry is a moderately popular boys’ name. In 1900, it was the 839th most popular boys’ name in the United States. In 1920, Barry dropped to the 1,388th most popular boys’ name in the country. Barry gained momentum as a given name beginning in the 1920s. By 1930, it climbed the charts to become the 370th most popular boys’ name in the United States. In 1940, Barry was the 109th most popular boys’ name in the country.
The name Barry peaked in 1946 and 1947 when it ranked as the 68th most popular boys’ name in the United States. Barry has since declined in popularity, but it still ranks well above many other given names.
Dozens of famous men have been named Barry, some of whom include American actor Barry Bostwick, British musician Barry Fantoni, American baseball player Barry Larkin, American author Barry Lopez, American musician Barry White, English football player Barry McConnell, Irish boxer Barry McGuigan and American singer Barry Manilow.
Popular variants of the name Barry include Barrie, Baree and Bairre and Barra.