Gender: Female Meaning of Bernadette: "brave as a bear" Origin of Bernadette: German

Bernadette Origin and Meaning

The name Bernadette is a girl's name of German, French origin meaning "brave as a bear".

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.

Bernadette was much more widely used at one time than it is now. The year after Saint Bernadette was canonized, her name reached Number 252, and not long after the successful film The Song of Bernadette was released, it hit Number 188 in 1946.

Bernadette Peters is a contemporary bearer, and Minnie Driver's breakthrough film role was as Bernadette "Benny" Hogan in Circle of Friends.

16 names similar to Bernadette

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Bernadette. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Bernadette, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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- this week

Famous People Named Bernadette

Pop Culture References for the name Bernadette

Bernadette's International Variations

Berneen (Irish) Bernardita (Spanish) Bernardetta (Italian) Bernadett (Hungarian)


NotLysistrata Says:


So I added this name to my swiftly growing list after I started watching Bernadette Banner on Youtube because it just seems so ye olde name and I love that :)

fifi_forever Says:


Oui peut-être, mais j'en suis pas sûre (✯ᴗ✯)



Bernadette... elle est très chouette.

Analia Says:


awww Bunnie, what a cute nn

Leonina Says:


That sucks ;(

I really like the name but already suspected that it would probably make a better middle than first name... Thank you for sharing your experience.
However, if current baby name trends Bernadette might not be as unusual as it once was? Idk...

P R Says:


This is my name and I was always teased for it. I went to six different schools and I was teased at five of them for this name. Bernie, Bertie, Bernard, Burn-no-debt, Burn-nads. If you give your child this name, you need to give them a lot of confidence in it. I'm 24 now and I go by a different name.

kittylover777 Says:


My dutch grandmas name is Bernadine Henrietta Maria.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Kind of like this one, stylish and not one you hear too often, yet still familiar - with Bernie as a possible nickname, sounding cute for a girl, more so than a boy

AlyssaKay Says:


I love that it means brave as a bear! So cool!

Wittyusername103 Says:


I like this a lot.

Bobcat108 Says:


I knew a Bernadette a number of years ago & she was a very nice woman, so I've got a positive image of the name. The song by the Four Tops is a great add-on, too. I don't think I ever would have used it for my daughter, but I think the nn Bunnie would have been cute for a toddler.

LavenderLullabies Says:


Didn't like this name much when I first heard of it, but it's certainly grown on me. Now I love it! I think it's because of the song Bernadette by IAMX. Love that song.

AnalogGirl27 Says:


My toddler's name. We named her after the Four Tops song. It was the only idea that really stuck and we both have very common names and didn't want one for our kid. She is called Bernie at daycare and we often call her Bee for short. I adore the meaning being "brave as a bear". She just recently started calling herself Bernadette and it is the cutest thing ever. Really, please don't use this name because the fewer the better. ;-P

RoddyThlayli Says:


I hate everything about this name. I have no idea why.

headintheclouds Says:


I've two minds about Bernadette, and it's similar-feel cousins Geraldine and Ernestine. On one hand I find it a very dated and unpretty name along the lines of Barbara, Deirdre, Laverne, Gloria (not appealing to me, but would probably sound fresh to the next generation). On the other hand, it has a grounded sort of clunky elegance and sophistication to it, and in this case Bernadette sounds really charming to my ears! I find Birdie would be such an adorable nickname for Bernadette.

yvonne_virginia Says:


I just cannot like this name.

author in writing Says:



strawberrydino Says:


I actually knew a Bernadette when I was little and she was a total b****

JazzieJonez Says:


I feel like this name, as well as Bernadine, gives off an image of classiness. Not like the preppy, spoiled rich girl image, but more like a paradigm of the well behaved and cultured woman.

Kateri Says:


Hands down my favorite girls name!

senseandsensibility Says:


I've been crushing on this name for a while now. Love it - it's full of dignity and very feminine!

MaryKathryn Says:


This name is my guilty pleasure, along with Geraldine.