Names That Mean Bear
Description:Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.
Description:Bear has suddenly lumbered onto the baby name landscape. Perhaps inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael), first celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used it as the middle name for his boy Buddy, and more recently Alicia Silverstone called her son Bear Blu., followed by Kate Winslet's Bear Blaize. It's part of a current trend normalizing once aggressive animal names like Wolf and Fox. Bear is now Number 218 on Nameberry and in the Top 900 in England.
Origin:Latin and English
Description:Orson has had in the past a rotund teddy-bear image, a la Orson Welles, who early on dropped his common given name of George in favor of his more distinctive middle one, and who seemed to own it during his lifetime. No longer a single-person signature, it's now an interesting possibility for any parent seeking an unusual yet solid name. It's started to appear to the celeb set--both Paz Vega and Lauren Ambrose have little Orsons.
Description:Bjorn is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks in large part to tennis great Björn Borg, winner of five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles and six French opens and something of a rock star figure.
Meaning:"brave as a bear"
Description:Although feminizations ending in "ette" are not particularly popular now, Bernadette is a pleasant, feminine, but strong name that doesn't feel prohibitively dated. And though strongly associated with the saint who saw visions of the Virgin Mary—Saint Bernadette of Lourdes—it is now no longer strictly inhabiting the Catholic diocese.
Description:Pleasing sound and literary association with poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, though little girls may associate it with the word barrette.
Meaning:"strong, brave as a bear"
Description:Bernard is obviously a saint's name, but how did it get to the big, benevolent dog? The eleventh century monk, patron saint of mountain climbers, who lived in the Alps, was famed for setting up safe houses for pilgrims on their way to Rome over the treacherous St. Bernard Pass, and the canine breed, also used to rescue people in treacherous conditions, was named for him.
Origin:Diminutive of Arthur
Meaning:"noble one; bear man"
Description:Though short and brisk, no nickname name could have a more creative image. Comic actor Chris O'Dowd named his son Art, as in his native Ireland it's used as a name on its own, separate from Arthur., coming from an ancient word for “”a bear,”” and used in the sense of “”outstanding warrior”” or “”champion.”” A pagan High King of Ireland, Art’s rule was so honest that two angels hovered over him in battle.
Meaning:"little female bear"
Description:A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Origin:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Arthur, Celtic
Description:Italian, Portuguese and Spanish variation of Arthur that makes the original feel more romantic and dashing.
Origin:Danish and German
Description:A familiar name in the Nordic countries that hasn't yet gained popularity in the English speaking world. But it could, now that Old Norse names like Thor and Odin are on the rise. It derives from Torbjörrn, which seems less likely to translate outside Scandinavia. But if you're looking for Danish names for a baby boy, Torben could be a choice that's both accessible and unusual.
Origin:Diminutive of Arthur, Celtic
Description:Artie is a cute short form rarely given on its own, unlike the more grownup Art. But for a young Arthur, it's adorable.
Description:Strong and unusual Scandinavian name, but with two possible pitfalls: people might mis-hear it as Aspen, or associate it with sports network ESPN.
Description:The brightest star in the constellation Boötes, and the third-brightest in the night sky. According to Greek myth, Arcturus was placed in the sky by Zeus to protect the two bears — the adjacent constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor — hence the name’s meaning of “bear guardian”.
Description:Fierce meaning, gentle image. This name is very common in Israel, where an endearing pet form is Dubi.
Meaning:"bearlike, dweller at the sign of the bear"
Description:Reversed vowels make it seem less fierce.
Description:Benno is a cool name in its own right -- there was a tenth century Saint Benno -- though it is also used as a lively nickname for Benjamin. Saint Benno of Meissen is the patron saint of anglers and weavers and, strangely enough, alliteration.
Origin:Hindi, Hebrew, and Choctaw
Meaning:"friendly, to plant, and bear"
Description:One of those slender names, like Lena or Etta, that's used in several cultures and carries a range of meanings. But by being so many things, it doesn't feel decidedly like anything.
Description:This Welsh name, also used in France, is the name of a 6th century saint who went to Brittany and established abbeys. Armel has a pleasant and familiar sound, making it easily used outside of Wales and France.