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The Scottish Gaelic (Gáidhlig) and Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge) masculine given name Garaidh can be traced back to the Middle Ages. For example, it is found in the ballad Song of Selma - the reference here is to a musician interview by BBC Scotland discussing the 15th century song wherein a character named Garaidh is featured:.[1] In Irish lore, Garaidh was the son of Morna. The name is uncommon today although Gaelic names are seeing a revival as part of increased interest in things 'Celtic'.

Garaidh is pronounced gæri.

Garaidh is "acceptably translated into English" as Gary.[2] It is also commonly (esp. in Scotland) spelled Garry. Gary is of Old English / Germanic origin, where it would mean 'spear' or 'spear thrower' (gar = spear) [3] while the Scottish / Irish Gaelic name may be derived from the words such as garraidh, gearraidh or gharaidh probably meaning a fertile place or a copse, thicket or enclosed area.[4][5]

In Scotland there are many similar toponyms or placenames such as Garry, Garraidh or Gearraidh, including Loch Garry (Loch Garraidh), Invergarry (Inbhir Garraidh), Garynahine (Gearraidh na h-Aibhne) or Glen Garry / Glengarry (in Gaelic Gleann Garraidh) the origin of the military hat, the Glengarry.


  1. ^ John Purser (2007-07-28). "In Ossian's Cave" (PDF). BBC Scotland. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  2. ^ Patrick Hanks & Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press (1990)
  3. ^ Kate Monk (1995-12-31). "Scotland". Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  4. ^ "MacDonnell of Leinster". Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  5. ^ Ruurd & Mieke Groot and Peter MacRae (1999-05-01). "Gaelic and Nordic names around Loch Hourn" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-28.