Uncover the Meaning of the Name Gentry

Are you curious about the meaning of the name Gentry? Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore the origins and cultural significance of this unique name. Whether you’re considering it for your own child or simply intrigued by its history, you’re sure to find something interesting here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gentry is a name with English roots that means “nobility” or “gentlemanly.”
  • It can be used as both a given name and a surname.
  • Gentry has variations in spelling and pronunciation, including Gentrey and Gendry.
  • Notable individuals with the name Gentry include country singer Montgomery Gentry and actress Gentry Lee.
  • Gentry has a unisex quality that makes it appealing to parents looking for a gender-neutral name.

Origins of the Name Gentry

The name Gentry is of English origin and comes from the Old French word ‘genterie’, meaning nobility of birth or quality. Initially, it referred to individuals of high social standing who owned large estates and believed to have descended from the Normans during the medieval period.

The history of the name can be traced back to the Norman Conquest (1066), where it was used to refer to the military followers of a nobleman. Over time, the term evolved to refer to a particular social class in England, comprising landowners who were not nobles but whose wealth and status placed them above the commoners.

The word ‘gentry’ eventually came to represent an entire class of society and was used to distinguish those considered respectable and cultured from the rest of society. The Anglicization of the term led to ‘Genty’, which later became ‘Gentry’, the modern spelling of the name.


“The term ‘gentry’ has undergone significant changes throughout history, evolving from a reference to landowners to a symbol of status and class in modern times.”

Today, the name Gentry is used as both a given name and a surname, preserving the legacy of an important and influential social class in English history.

Cultural Significance of the Name Gentry

The name Gentry holds cultural significance and symbolism in various contexts and cultures.

In English, the term “gentry” refers to a social class consisting of people of good birth, wealth, and rank. Therefore, the name Gentry can sometimes represent aristocracy, elegance, and sophistication.

In Native American culture, the name Gentry is associated with strength, protection, and courage. It is often considered a powerful name for boys, evoking a warrior spirit.

Gentry is also used as a surname in some African cultures, where it symbolizes leadership, wisdom, and authority. In this context, the name can be seen as a mark of respect and admiration for those who bear it.

Overall, the name Gentry is a versatile and culturally rich name that can embody different meanings and values depending on its context and usage.

Famous People with the Name Gentry

Gentry has been a name that has been used by many prominent individuals throughout history. Here are some notable people who share the name:

NameProfessionNotable accomplishmentsCountry
Gentry LeeAerospace EngineerFormer Chief Engineer for the Galileo Mission to JupiterUnited States
Gentry MottRodeo Cowboy2019 Calgary Stampede champion in Saddle BroncCanada
Gentry SteinYo-yo Champion2014 and 2015 United States National Yo-yo ChampionUnited States
Gentry UnderwoodEntrepreneurCo-founder of the email software platform, MailboxUnited States
Gentry WilsonActressNotable roles on Broadway, including “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Legally Blonde: The Musical”United States

These examples are just a few of the many individuals who have achieved great things with the name Gentry. From science and engineering to sports and the arts, this name has been associated with accomplished and diverse individuals.

Popularity and Usage of the Name Gentry

Over the years, the popularity of the name Gentry has fluctuated. According to the Social Security Administration, Gentry was most popular as a baby name in 1981, when it ranked #722 out of 1,000 names. Since then, its popularity has gradually declined, and in 2020, it ranked #2,188 out of 1,000 names.

Despite its decline in popularity, the name Gentry still has a loyal following of parents who appreciate its uniqueness and gender-neutral quality. It’s worth noting that Gentry is more commonly used as a surname than as a given name, but it’s still a distinctive and memorable choice for those who choose it.

Gentry as a Surname

Gentry is a surname with English roots. It originated from a nickname for someone who was considered to be a gentleman or belonged to the upper class. The name was used to distinguish those who were of a higher social status, from commoners or peasants, in medieval England.

The frequency of the Gentry surname is relatively low compared to other surnames. According to the 2000 US Census, only about 0.009% of the population had the last name Gentry.

Notable individuals with the Gentry surname:Profession/Claim to Fame:
Bob GentryAmerican singer-songwriter, musician
Brett GentryAmerican football player
E. Katherine GentryAuthor and historian
Francis GentryAmerican painter and art teacher
Josh GentryAmerican musician, lead vocalist for the band Eyes Set to Kill
Louie GentryAmerican baseball pitcher
Richard GentryAmerican educator and author
Roy GentryAmerican football player
Wayne GentryAmerican television meteorologist

The Gentry surname has also been used as a character name in various books and films, including “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson and the television show “The Walking Dead”.

The surname Gentry is not commonly used as a given name but has been seen as a middle name for some individuals.

Overall, while the frequency of the Gentry surname is relatively low, it has been associated with notable individuals in various fields, such as music, sports, literature, and art.

Gentry as a Given Name

While historically more common as a surname, Gentry has become increasingly popular as a given name in recent years. It has a unique sound and a touch of elegance, making it a fashionable choice for parents seeking distinct names for their children.

Gentry is considered a gender-neutral name, meaning it can be used for both boys and girls. However, it tends to be more commonly given to boys.

There are a few different variations in spelling and pronunciation of the name Gentry. Some may opt for the spelling Gentri or Gentrey, while others may emphasize the second syllable by pronouncing it as “tree” instead of “treeh.”

Unique and distinctiveMay be mispronounced or misspelled
Sounds elegant and sophisticatedNot a commonly recognized name
Gender-neutralMay be perceived as pretentious or elitist

Overall, Gentry is a memorable and intriguing name option for parents who desire a name that stands out from the crowd.

Similar Names to Gentry

For those who like the sound or meaning of Gentry but want to explore other options, there are several similar names to consider:

GenevaJuniper treeFemale
GentryeOf noble birthFemale
JentryAdventurous, intelligentUnisex
WentryA dwelling in a forest or clearingUnisex

These names share similarities with Gentry in terms of sound or meaning and can offer alternative options for parents looking to name their child something unique.

Gentry in Literature and Media

The name Gentry has made appearances in various forms of literature and media, showcasing its significance in storytelling. In literature, characters with the name Gentry have been portrayed as confident, charming, and sophisticated individuals. For example, in the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan’s mistress is named Myrtle Wilson, but she is referred to as “Myrtle Gentry” by some of the characters in the book.

In movies and television, the name Gentry has been used for characters of both genders. One notable example is Gentry Roth in the TV series “Legends of Tomorrow,” a confident and skilled thief with a heart of gold. The name Gentry has also been used in reality TV, such as the show “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” where cast member Mary Cosby’s late grandmother was named “Rosemary Redmon Cosby Gentry.”

The presence of the name Gentry in literature and media showcases its versatility and unique qualities as a name. Its portrayal as confident, sophisticated, and charming further reinforces its cultural significance and adds to its appeal as a given name or surname.

Gentry as a Unisex Name

Gentry is a unique name as it can be used for both boys and girls. This unisex quality adds to its charm and appeal as it is not limited by gender. Parents who want a name that is neither too masculine nor feminine can consider Gentry as a viable option.

According to data from the Social Security Administration, the name Gentry has been used more frequently for boys than girls in recent years. In 2020, the name was ranked as the 819th most popular name for boys in the United States, while it was not ranked in the top 1000 names for girls. Nevertheless, the versatility of the name makes it a great choice for parents who value gender-neutral names.

With Gentry as a unisex name, it is also possible to create unique and creative nicknames for either gender. Parents can use variations of the name, such as Gen or Gent, to personalize it even further.

Unique Nicknames for Gentry

If you know someone named Gentry and you’re looking for a creative nickname, you’re in luck! Here are some unique ideas to call your Gentry:

GentA shortened version of the name Gentry
JenA play on the first syllable of Gentry
TreeA fun nickname based on the “tree” sound at the end of Gentry
GenieA cute and whimsical nickname that shares some of the same letters as Gentry
EnnyA unique nickname that takes the end of Gentry and adds a twist
GingerA playful nickname that uses the first few letters of Gentry and adds a pop of color

These are just a few ideas, but there are many other creative options out there. Experiment with different nicknames to find the perfect fit for your Gentry. Who knows, they might even start using it themselves!


In conclusion, the name Gentry has a rich history and cultural significance. Its origin can be traced back to Old French and English, and it has evolved over time to become a unisex name. Gentry has also been used as a surname by many notable individuals.

The popularity of Gentry as a given name has fluctuated over the years, but it remains a unique and appealing option for parents. The name has also been featured in literature and media, adding to its cultural relevance.

Overall, whether used as a given name or a surname, Gentry is a name that carries weight and distinction. Its flexibility as a unisex name and potential for creative nicknames only add to its appeal. In short, Gentry is a name that stands out and leaves a lasting impression.


What is the meaning of the name Gentry?

The name Gentry means “nobility” or “noble birth”. It is associated with a person of high social standing or a person who belongs to the upper class.

What is the origin of the name Gentry?

The name Gentry originates from English and French noble families. It is derived from the Old French word “gentil”, which means “high-born” or “noble”. The name is often associated with the landed gentry in England, who were the class of landowners below the nobility.

What is the cultural significance of the name Gentry?

The name Gentry holds cultural significance as it represents a status of high social standing and privilege. In some societies, it may be associated with lineage, wealth, and power. The name Gentry also symbolizes refinement, elegance, and a sense of heritage.

Are there any famous people with the name Gentry?

Yes, there are notable individuals who share the name Gentry. Some famous Gentrys include the American country singer Montgomery Gentry and the American actress Gentry Lee. These individuals have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

How popular is the name Gentry?

The popularity of the name Gentry has varied over time. It is considered a relatively uncommon name in modern times. However, it has gained some attention in recent years, particularly as a gender-neutral name option.

Can Gentry be used as a surname?

Yes, Gentry can be used as a surname. In fact, Gentry is a surname of English origin that has been passed down through generations. It is associated with families who were part of the landed gentry, holding a significant social and economic status.

Is Gentry a unisex name?

Yes, Gentry is considered a unisex name. It can be used as both a masculine and feminine given name. Its gender-neutral nature adds to its appeal for individuals looking for unique naming options.

Are there any unique nicknames for Gentry?

While there are no traditional nicknames specifically associated with the name Gentry, some unique nicknames that can be derived from Gentry include “Gen,” “Genny,” or “Gent.” These options add a personalized touch to the name.

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