What Is Barry Short For?

boy named barry riding his bike in the park

One thing many parents overlook when they’re thinking of baby names is all the possible nicknames their boy or girl may be called. Some are so common that it’s likely the full name will never be used, except in more formal situations.

‘Barry’ is one such example. However, while it can be a boy’s name derived from a longer version, you can even have nicknames of Barry to make the name shorter. Furthermore, Barry can work fine just by itself without any longer version. This is quite unusual. Let’s explore this topic in more detail.

What is Barry short for?

Barry can be short for a number of different names. In Ireland it’s often the shorter version of ‘Barrington’. However, it can also come from ‘Bartholomew’. Apparently, even former President Barack Obama was called ‘Barry’ when he was a boy! However, you don’t have to look for a longer name as Barry can work fine just by itself. Your boy can have ‘Baz’ or ‘Bazza’ as a nickname, an option which is fairly popular in the UK and Australia.

Other spellings?

Barry can also be spelt ‘Barrie’, a variant which is often found in Australia. You can also find spellings such as ‘Bari’ and ‘Barri’ which are fairly widespread in France.

Where does it come from?

Barry comes from Gaelic, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where and when. It’s possible it comes from the Irish names ‘Baire’, ‘Bairre’, ‘Barra’ or ‘Barre’, which themselves were often shorted versions of ‘Finbar’ or ‘Barrfind’. It’s also possible it is derived from another Gaelic name, ‘Berach’.

What does it mean?

If we trace the name back to ‘Finbar’ or ‘Barrfind’, via the name ‘Baire’, Barry means ‘fair-headed or ‘fair-haired’. However, it can also mean ‘pointed’ or ‘sharp’ if we use Berach as the original name.

What middle names fit well with Barry?

If you’re keen on Barry as a first name, here are some possible middle names you can use (for this list I won’t assume you’re using any longer version of the name i.e. not Barrington or Bartholomew, just Barry by itself).

As it has two syllables it opens up a few possibilities for one, two and three syllable middle names which should all flow nicely when you say them together. Let me know what you think of these in the comment section at the end of this article.

  • Barry Alexander
  • Barry Charles
  • Barry Christopher
  • Barry Duncan
  • Barry Edward
  • Barry Elliot
  • Barry Evan
  • Barry James
  • Barry Jonathan
  • Barry Lawrence
  • Barry Nathan
  • Barry Michael
  • Barry Theodore
  • Barry William

How popular is Barry as a name?

chart showing the popularity of Barry as a name in the USA | 1980-2004
Source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

In the USA, Barry has been declining in popularity over the past 40 years. In fact there is no SSA data after 2004 as the name dropped out of the top 1000 boy’s names. There were only 175 births with the name Barry in this year.

Source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

Where is it popular throughout the world?

The name has actually been in decline throughout the world and not just the USA. According to Google Trends, it is most popular in Ireland by quite some margin and then the UK and Australia. Overall, it generally seems a more popular name for millennials and older generations.

Famous people called Barry

  • Barry Manilow (musician) – Who doesn’t love a bit of Barry Manilow? He’s had huge hits such as Mandy, Copacabana and Could It Me Magic.
  • Barry Gibb (musician) – He makes up one third of the Bee-Gees who’ve had global hits such as Stayin’ Alive and Saturday Night Fever…and many more.
  • Barry Bonds (baseball player) – Former professional US baseball player.
  • Barry White (musician) – Barry White surely has one of the most recognisable male singing voices of all time with his deep dulcet tones. He had huge hits over the years such as Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe and You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.
  • Barry Sanders (American football player) – One of the most talented running back’s of all time.

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