Transferred use of a surname, which is probably derived from a Norman personal name of Continental Germanic origin, a short form of any of the various compound names beginning with gar ‘spear’. One bearer of this surname was the American industrialist Elbert Henry Gary (1846–1927), who gave his name to the steel town of Gary, Indiana (chartered in 1906). In this town was born the theatrical agent Nan Collins, who suggested Gary as a stage name for her client Frank J. Cooper, who thus became Gary Cooper (1901–61). His film career caused the name to become enormously popular from the 1930s to the present day. Its popularity has been maintained by the cricketer Gary Sobers (b. 1936; in his case it is in fact a pet form of Garfield) and the footballer Gary Lineker (b. 1960). It is now often taken as a pet form of Gareth.