1. What the Eth? says

    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)

    • appellationmountain says

      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. Glasz says

    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. Lady Gwyn says

    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. T.R. says

    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) ??

    • photoquilty says

      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.

  5. Bek says

    There’s something about Gareth that just kind of makes me go, “Eh… meh… no.” A bit dated feeling, but for no good reason, and just a little unappealing. I think perhaps that’s the -eth ending.

    Also, it reminds me of Jareth, and while I love Labyrinth, it’d always pop up an image of David Bowie in a far too revealing pair of spandex. Eek.

  6. Charlotte Vera says

    I really like Gareth’s sound and wish he wasn’t so strongly associated with the character from The Office. I actually find the ends-in-th sounds incredibly attractive — it’s such a surprising sound to end a name in!

  7. Julie says

    I love Tennyson’s “Gareth and Lynnette” and I’m a big fan of other Arthurian names: Geraint, Elaine, Lyonors, Enid, Lionel, Owain.

    My only concern with the Gareth is that my brother is named Gary and I worried that I’d be stepping on some toes naming a child after him, (even though it’s a different name.) It’s one of those sticky family things and has nothing to with Gareth…Which I think is an excellent name.

    Gareth David-Lloyd, played Ianto on the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood.

  8. Sarah A says

    I actually love the “-eth” ending on Gareth. Count me in with those whose Gareth would be just Gareth and never Gary, thank you very much ūüôā Gary just reminds me of Gary, Indiana and brings to mind sad, annoying middle aged men (no offense to any Garys!)

    Yes Gareth sounds a bit close to the word garish, but I don’t think it’s too close to completely knock Gareth. I had no idea of his origins; definitely makes me love the name even more.

    I watched all of the British Office and I still love Gareth. Maybe it’s just my soft spot for the awkwardly handsome actor who played him. Anyway, Gareth gets two thumbs up from me!

  9. Sara says

    We considered this as a middle based on the meaning in the baby name book we were using. It was listed as meaning “gentle” which is a character trait my husband, as a 6’4″ strong man, values. He likes the idea of men who aren’t afraid to be strong, but use their strength for good. He’s also an avid Arthurian legend fan, so that was a bonus. Unfortunately the “-eth” ending was the deal breaker for us. It just wasn’t an attractive sound to us.

  10. C in DC says

    My dad was Gary. I like most of the Gar- names (Garrison, Garrett), except Garth. And I suspect many Americans would see Gareth as Garth, given the popularity of that name.

  11. Kate says

    I grew up in the South-West of England, and then lived in Wales for some years so Gareth, to me, seems like a really common, everyday name. Another interesting individual called Gareth is Gareth Peirce, a lawyer/solicitor who is famous for defending the underdog, namely Muslims and Irish. She was played by Emma Thompson in In The Name Of The Father. Yes, Gareth is a WOMAN, although she is the only female Gareth I have ever heard of…

  12. petitmontrealais says

    A friend in England told me Gareth was considered a nerdy name there, though I don’t know if that is because of the character named Gareth in the UK version of The Office who became the Dwight character played by Rainn Wilson in the US version, or if the name was already thought of as geeky before that. I used to think it was quite handsome, but it does seem a little like a fancy-pants version of Gary.

    Gareth Pugh is a fashion designer in the UK whose designs are very creative and theatrical but not particularly wearable.

  13. Lola says

    I like Gary! Gareth is, to me, a fancy way to get to him. It’s funny, Ken likes Gareth, I prefer Gary. Seems like a win-win no? But He says no because I’d call a Gareth, Gary all the time. And Gary? Well, That’s a sore point with him. I had a thing with a Gary after the boys were born but before he came home. It didn’t last but any form of the name is off table because of it. Maybe one of my boys will use Gareth so I can call him Gary! So sweet, Gary. Most people will think of their Uncle Gary, I know 7 or 8 people with an Uncle Gary. *sigh* I like Gary!

What do you think?