What does the baby name Leary mean? Learn about what Leary means, its history & origin, popularity in our random name database, pronunciation, similar names, nicknames & spelling variations.

Leary - Name Meaning, Origin & Popularity

Spelling of Leary
L-E-A-R-Y, is a 5-letter male given name.
Pronunciation of Leary
Meaning of Leary
Cattle keeper, keeper of calves.
Origin of Leary
The name 'Leary' finds its roots in Ireland, a country known for its rich history and vibrant culture. It is derived from the Gaelic surname 'Ó Laoghaire', which means 'descendant of Laoghaire'. Laoghaire, in turn, comes from the Gaelic word 'laogh', meaning 'calf', and 'aire', meaning 'herd'. Thus, the name 'Leary' can be interpreted as 'descendant of the calf-herd.'
Gaelic Names
Irish Names
Popularity of Leary
Over the centuries, the popularity of the name 'Leary' has fluctuated. In Ireland, it remained relatively common, especially among those with Irish heritage. However, its usage outside of Ireland has been less prevalent. In recent times, there has been a modest increase in the popularity of Irish names, including 'Leary', as people embrace their cultural heritage.
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Earliest Known Use of Leary

The earliest known use of the name 'Leary' dates back to medieval Ireland, where it was a prominent surname among the Gaelic nobility. The 'Leary' clan, known for their bravery and leadership, played a significant role in Irish history. They were respected warriors and held positions of power, often serving as chieftains or regional lords.

Etymology of Leary

The etymology of the name 'Leary' can be traced back to the Gaelic language. Gaelic, also known as Irish, is a Celtic language spoken primarily in Ireland. The name's linguistic roots reflect the importance of agriculture and animal husbandry in Irish society. It serves as a reminder of the ancestral connection to the land and the deep respect for nature.

Cultural Significance of Leary

The name 'Leary' holds cultural significance within Irish communities, both in Ireland and abroad. It is a symbol of Irish identity and heritage, representing a link to the country's rich history and traditions. For many individuals with Irish ancestry, bearing the name 'Leary' is a source of pride and a way to honor their roots.