What Name Is Barry Short For

What Name Is Barry Short For

It may surprise you to learn that the name 'Barry' is actually a shortened form of the name 'Bartholomew.' This diminutive version of the name has been popularized over the years and has now become a widely recognized name on its own. But how did Bartholomew turn into Barry?

The transformation of Bartholomew into Barry can be traced back to the Middle Ages when it was common for names to be abbreviated or shortened for ease of use. In this case, 'Bartholomew' was gradually shortened to 'Barry' over time, shedding some of its syllables and becoming a more concise and accessible name. Today, Barry is often used as a standalone name, but its origins can be linked back to the larger and more traditional name of Bartholomew.

What Name Is Barry Short For

The Origin of the Name Barry

The name Barry may seem like a short, straightforward name, but it has an interesting history and origins. Barry is derived from the Gaelic name "Barrach," which means "spear" or "marksman." The name Barry has Irish and Welsh roots and has been used as both a given name and a surname. In this article, we will explore the various origins and meanings of the name Barry and uncover what name it may be short for.

The Irish Connection

Origin Meaning
Ireland Hunter, Spear

Ireland has a rich history of names with strong meanings, and Barry is no exception. In Irish, Barry is derived from the Gaelic name "Bairre," which means "spear." It symbolizes strength, bravery, and the skills of a marksman. The name Barry reflects the proud warrior heritage of the Irish people and is often associated with hunters and warriors.

In addition to its meaning, the name Barry has gained popularity in Ireland due to its historical significance. Several prominent figures in Irish history have borne the name Barry, including Barry Fitzgerald, an acclaimed actor, and Barry McGuigan, a renowned Irish boxer. These individuals have contributed to the name's popularity and brought attention to its Irish heritage.

Today, many individuals with Irish roots or an appreciation for Irish culture choose the name Barry as a way to honor their heritage or express their connection to Ireland. The name carries a sense of pride and tradition, making it a popular choice for parents seeking a meaningful and distinctive name for their child.

Famous Irish Barrys

  • Barry Fitzgerald - Acclaimed Irish actor known for his roles in classic films such as "Going My Way."
  • Barry McGuigan - Former professional boxer from Northern Ireland who was the WBA featherweight champion.
  • Barry Devlin - Irish musician and member of the renowned folk band Horslips.

The Welsh Connection

Origin Meaning
Wales Fair-haired

Another significant origin of the name Barry can be traced back to Wales. In Welsh, Barry is believed to be derived from the name "Barri," which means "fair-haired." This meaning signifies someone with light-colored hair, particularly blonde or auburn.

Wales has a language rich in names with descriptive meanings, and Barry reflects this tradition. The name's Welsh origin suggests a connection to nature and the landscapes of Wales, evoking images of sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, and the beauty of fair-haired individuals.

Similar to the Irish connection, the name Barry has gained popularity in Wales due to its meaning and associations. Many families in Wales choose the name Barry as a way to celebrate their heritage or pay tribute to their Welsh ancestry. It is a name with a sense of identity and pride.

Famous Welsh Barrys

  • Barry John - Legendary Welsh rugby player known for his exceptional skills as a fly-half.
  • Barry Island - Popular tourist destination in Wales, known for its sandy beach and scenic views.

Other Possible Origins

While the Irish and Welsh origins are the most prominent connections to the name Barry, it is worth noting that Barry can also be a short form or nickname for other names. Some of the possible long forms or variants of the name Barry include:

  • Barnaby - A name of Hebrew origin meaning "son of consolation" or "prophet."
  • Barrington - A name of English origin meaning "town of barley" or "place by the barley settlement."
  • Bartholomew - A name of Aramaic origin meaning "son of Talmai" or "son of the furrow."

Similar Names and Variations

  • Barrie - A variant spelling of Barry.
  • Barrett - A surname that can also be used as a given name.
  • Barnum - A name of Irish origin meaning "saddle."
  • Bart - A diminutive form of Bartholomew.


The name Barry has multiple origins, including Irish and Welsh connections. In Irish, it means "spear" or "hunter," symbolizing strength and bravery. In Welsh, it is associated with fair-haired individuals, representing nature and landscapes. People with Irish or Welsh heritage often choose the name Barry to honor their roots.

What Name Is Barry Short For
In the English language, the name "Barry" is not typically short for any other name. It is a stand-alone name with its own origin and meaning. Originating from the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name "Bairre," Barry means "spear" or "fair-headed." It gained popularity as a given name in the 19th century, especially in Ireland. While some names can have common shortenings or nicknames, such as Richard for Dick or William for Bill, Barry does not follow this pattern. It does not have a widely recognized or commonly used shorter version. It is worth noting that nicknames can be given by family or friends regardless of the original name's length or structure. However, these nicknames are unique to each individual and may not be widely recognized or used outside of the person's personal circle. So, in summary, the name Barry is not typically short for any other name in the English language. It is a standalone name with its own origin and meaning.

Key Takeaways

  • Barry is typically a nickname for the name "Bartholomew."
  • Other names that Barry can be short for include "Barnabas" and "Barrett."
  • Barry is derived from the Gaelic name "Báire," meaning "spear."
  • The name Barry became popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Barry is a common name in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about the name "Barry" and its origin:

1. What is the origin of the name Barry?

The name "Barry" is of Irish origin. It comes from the Irish surname "Ó Beargha" or "Ó Báire," which means "spear." This name was commonly given to someone who was skilled in using a spear or who had a strong and courageous nature.

In modern times, "Barry" is more commonly used as a given name rather than a surname. It has gained popularity in English-speaking countries as a first name for boys.

2. Is "Barry" short for another name?

"Barry" is not typically short for any other name. It is a standalone name with its own unique origin and meaning. While some names can have shortened versions or variations, "Barry" is commonly used as a full name.

However, it is worth noting that "Barry" can be used as a nickname for names that share similar sounds, such as "Bernard" or "Barnaby," but it is not an official or traditional short form for these names.

3. What are some famous people named Barry?

There are several notable individuals with the name "Barry." Here are a few examples:

  • Barry Manilow - American singer-songwriter
  • Barry Bonds - former professional baseball player
  • Barry White - American singer-songwriter
  • Barry Allen (The Flash) - fictional superhero character

These individuals have made significant contributions in their respective fields and have helped popularize the name "Barry."

4. Is "Barry" more commonly used for boys or girls?

The name "Barry" is predominantly used as a masculine given name. While it can technically be used for girls as well, it is more commonly associated with boys. The name gained popularity in the mid-20th century and has remained more popular for boys than girls.

However, it is important to note that naming trends can vary across different cultures and regions, so there may be exceptions to this general trend.

5. What is the meaning of the name "Barry"?

The name "Barry" has a strong and courageous meaning. It is derived from the Irish word for "spear" and symbolizes someone who is skilled in using a spear or has a warrior-like quality. The name carries a sense of bravery and resilience.

When given as a name, "Barry" can also represent attributes such as strength, determination, and leadership.

In conclusion, Barry is short for the name "Bartholomew". It is a commonly used nickname or variation of the longer name.

The name Barry originated as a diminutive form of Bartholomew, just like other nicknames such as Bart or Bartie. While it is not the only name that Barry can be short for, Bartholomew is one of the most common associations.