Grady Sizemore

Take Grayson, add in two scoops of Brady, and you’ll arrive at this handsome surname name.

Thanks to Clare for suggesting Grady as our Baby Name of the Day.

Does this one feel like a rarity?  He’s actually ranked every year since 1887.  Grady flirted with obscurity in the 1990s, but he’s been climbing since then.  He charted at #332 in 2012.  That’s not quite his most popular ranking – back in 1911, he cracked the US Top 200.

While Grady might feel like a substitute for Brady, he’s actually following the same pattern of use – both names peaked just a few years ago, and have fallen slightly in the last year or three.

But Grady could catch a second wind.  While Brady makes me think of three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady and Miranda’s son on Sex and the City, Grady feels much less tied to the early 2000s.

Plus, the moment for Gray names seems to be now.  Thank you, EL James.

Like Brady, Grady is an Irish surname.  Gráda means noble.  It was originally given as a nickname, something like all of those names meaning tall or smart or red-headed.  So Grady is a descendant of the noble one.

There have been plenty of fictional bearers of the name:

  • In television’s Sanford and Son, Grady Wilson was Fred Sanford’s bestie.  He briefly had his own spin-off, titled Grady.
  • Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys was the story of novelist Grady Tripp and his very talented student.  Michael Douglas played the part in the big screen adaptation.
  • Disney Channel original series Sonny with a Chance gave the name to a character.

Moving on to real-life Gradys:

  • Actor Grady Sutton had a long career in Hollywood, graduating from silent films to talking pictures.  His earliest appearances were in the 1920s, and he worked into the 1970s.
  • The NFL’s Grady Alderman was a player-turned-coach.
  • There’s also baseball’s Grady Hatton, and former Cleveland Indian Grady Sizemore, whose birth name is Gradius and who is actually the third Gradius – grandfather, father, and him.
  • Rockabilly Hall of Famer Grady Martin played with many of Nashville’s greats, from Johnny Cash to Elvis Presley.

All of this makes for an intriguing name – he’s definitely in use, but he’s just slightly outside of the spotlight.  None of the notable bearers are so well known that they define the name.

Surname names show no signs of slowing down, so Grady fits with Carter and Jackson.  As choices go, I think he’s more Hazzard County than Andover – not a bad thing in our era of Wyatt and Jace.

Unlike many a -y ending surname name, like Rileyit is tough to imagine Grady on a girl.  That statistics bear this out.  While 946 children were given the name in 2012, just seven of them were girls.  Compare that to Bailey, a former masculine favorite now bestowed on more than 3,300 girls in 2012, or the 41 girls named Brady.

Grady feels like a brother name for the most stylish choices in 2014 – names like Mason.

With his great meaning, vibrant and on-trend sound, and relatively underused status, Grady is one to consider.

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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. I am so proud to have named my son this beautiful name. His daddy is named Gavin. Older brother is Garrison. Grady’s twin brother is Griffin. I have gotten so many compliments on the uniqueness of his name. I jumped on the surname first name trend for sure–but for us it was cultural as their daddy is a proud Irish American. A concern we had like the other poster was that people would tease him “Gravy”. I didn’t let that deter me. I think he will love his name when he grows up. And he’s such a fearless and headstrong toddler–he will hold his own’

  2. My name is Grady, my sons name is Grady. I was given this name by my mother in 1975. She always liked that name and gave me same initials as my father. When I got married I knew my son would take the name. Grady runs deep in my blood as a nobleman. I took that to heart as a child. It was hard growing up as it was very close to gravy in sound and spelling. In fifth grade we researched our name and since then I stood proud. This is a fine name and works with most Europe names. To all the GRADY’S out there stand tall and be you.

  3. My son is a Grady! He was born in 2006. We had wanted an unique Irish name and we just loved the name Grady. We get positive comments about his name all the time. Now to find another similar style name for his brother (if it’s a boy)!

    1. Our new little guy will be Grady. His older brother is Casey. I think the names go so well together. Both good Irish names. Neither one is weird, but neither one is common, either.

  4. I have always loved this name! Our public hospital is called Grady, which is the only hesitation that I have with using it. But I think it is a great name!

  5. I like Grady. It’s so much nicer than many of the Celtic sounding boys names that are so overdone (Evan, Devin, and so forth) . Coming from an Irish family, every boy seems to be named from a limited number of names that all end in the letter N. I wish someone would use Grady instead of another Sean, Colin or Aidan.

  6. Huh, my brother went HS with a Grady and he would have been born during the time Grady Alderman played for the Vikings. I’ve never heard of Alderman before, but he must have made a big enough of a splash in Minnesota to influence a babynamer.

    Anyways, I like Grady and I’m not surprised that it’s been in use for so long.