King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table...
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; Image via Wikipedia

He’s a medieval knight and a 21st century sidekick.

Thanks to Shan for suggesting Gareth as our Baby Name of the Day.

Gareth’s meaning is disputed, but everyone knows where he comes from: Le Morte d’

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Gary is certainly not a regular nickname for “Gareth” – any Gareth who goes by ‘Gary’ is usually trying to wholly hide the name not shorten it.

    I have a variation of this name and in North America it does indeed get misunderstood as “Garth” maybe 5 times out of 10. 3 times out of 10 is Garrett, once is Gary and 1 time out of ten the person pays enough attention to get the name right :0)

    Certainly not a nerdy name in the UK (I would say that though, wouldn’t I?) – but it’s far from being a ‘cool’ name either.

    Many thanks to the troller who said the -eth ending was ‘repulsive’, a harsh word I feel. Sometimes people have such a wide vocabulary within reach but fail to ever quite grasp it.

    Alemeth, Amleth, Beth, Conleth, Daveth, Elizabeth, Gareth, Gwyneth, Heeth, Hesketh, Heth, Jafeth, Japheth, Jareth, Jeth, Keith, Kenneth,Leeth. Seth and Thoth too if you like Egyptian gods…

    I hope that sentence repulseth you :0)

    1. I don’t think anyone was trying to insult you personally, or any other Gareth for that matter. It’s a reaction to the name, not the person who bears it. Lots of lovely people are saddled with names that can be outlandish, off-putting, or just plain bland. Or anywhere in between, of course – and it is all a matter of perspective.

      As for the Gary/Gareth issue, many of the visitors are considering names for infants. There is a tendency to shorten your baby or young child’s name that can be powerful – you think you’ll always call her Meredith,but then you’re holding your bitsy 7-pound girl and she’s MerryMerryQuiteContrary all of a sudden. So I do like to point out what you might find yourself calling your kiddo – or hearing your parents call your kiddo, like it or not.

  2. I’m a huge fan of Arthurian names so I’m definitely in love with Gareth. Another person I thought of when I saw this post was Gareth Bale. He’s a footballer who plays for Tottenham FC and the Wales National Team.

  3. Ah, I really like Gareth! I have a soft spot for Arthurian names (totally want to use Guinevere!), and I like the sound. I would love to meet one, or have one myself!

  4. The name ‘Gareth Gwenlan’ always caught my eye as the credits rolled for a British show I watched as a kid. I knew it must be a man, but it sounded like it could make a pretty first/middle name pairing for a girl.

    I agree, on a boy here these days, it would be mistaken for Gary or Garth, and the -eth ending sounds a little like a lisp. But I’m not sure why the -eth ending is such a strong turn-off for people. Seth is fairly popular statistically, maybe not regionally, and Kenneth is very familiar. Do commenters dislike Seth and Kenneth as much as Gareth?
    Does it sound feminine, like -eth/-ith makes a person only think of names like Elizabeth and Meredith (as a girl’s name here) ??

    1. I don’t like Seth either, and Kenneth just seems very dated. I’m not a fan of Meredith or Edith, for that matter. I don’t think the -eth ending sounds feminine; it just sounds blecchhh. Especially when paired with the (imo) equally unattractive Gar- beginning.