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names that mean bear

Baby names meaning bear are newly fashionable and always fierce in every sense of the word. The name Bear itself is stylish now too.

Many of the names on this list literally mean bear or carry another bear-related meaning. And then there are the names that relate to famous bears, such as Teddy, or even Christopher, as in Christopher Robin, friend of Winnie the Pooh.

If you're looking for names that mean bear for baby boys or baby girls, let this list be your master guide.
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ArthurHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    " 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.

BearHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • 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.

WinnieHeart

  • Origin:

    English diminutive of Winifred
  • Meaning:

    "holy peacemaking, gentle friend"
  • Description:

    This pet form of such names as Winifred and Edwina and Gwendolyn has loads of vintage charm, a la Millie and Maisie, with a decidedly winning vibe. And it just got celebrity cred as the baby daughter of Jimmy Fallon.

ChristopherHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek and Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bearer of Christ"
  • Description:

    Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.

OrsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin and English
  • Meaning:

    "bear cub"
  • 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.
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OberonHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Auberon
  • Meaning:

    "noble, bearlike"
  • Description:

    The Shakespearean character Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream is King of the Fairies, but the name, with its strong 'O' beginning, projects a far more virile image than that.

BjornHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • 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.

    Bjorn has been in use since the days of the Vikings, but got a boost in popularity when Borg ruled the courts. There have also been other notable Bjorns in various fields in Sweden, Norway and Germany, ranging from the first king of Norway to a member of the pop group ABBA.

    And if you do pick this name for your son, your baby Bjorn can be carried around in a Baby Bjorn.

BarrettHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bear strength"
  • Description:

    Pleasing sound and literary association with poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, though little girls may associate it with the word barrette.

TeddyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Theodore or Edward
  • Description:

    Teddy is in some ways one of those midcentury boys' nicknames -- like Jimmy or Bobby or Billy -- yet because it was never that popular, it feels timeless too. The preferred short form of Theodore these days may be Theo and of Edward may be....Edward, but Teddy can work adorably for either and grows up to Ted.

AuberonHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "noble, bearlike"
  • Description:

    Rarely heard in the US, Auberon has a gentle autumnal feel rare in a male name. Possibly starting as a pet form of Aubrey, it was also infuenced by Oberon, the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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ArtHeart

  • 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.

BernadetteHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • 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.

BernardHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • 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.

ArturoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Italian, Portuguese and Spanish variation of Arthur that makes the original feel more romantic and dashing.

UrsulaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • 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.
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EspenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "god bear"
  • 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.

ArtieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • 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.

TorbenHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish and German
  • Meaning:

    "thunder bear"
  • 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.

BennoHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • 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.

DovHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Fierce meaning, gentle image. This name is very common in Israel, where an endearing pet form is Dubi.
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BaerHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bearlike, dweller at the sign of the bear"
  • Description:

    Reversed vowels make it seem less fierce.

AuberonHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "noble, bearlike"
  • Description:

    With the growing popularity for girls of such names as Aubrey and Audrey, Auberon feels like a fresh and viable option.

NitaHeart

  • 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.

BruinHeart

  • Origin:

    English or Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "bear or brown"
  • Description:

    Bruin is the Old English term for bear, taken from the Dutch word meaning brown. Bruin might be a sports fan's choice or an animal name in hiding. As a kind of hybrid of Roone and Bruno, it's definitely got some cool.

ArmelHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "bear prince"
  • 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.
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CristobalHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Christopher
  • Meaning:

    "bearer of Christ"
  • Description:

    The first name of famed designer Balenciaga, was also the birth name of Christopher Columbus--aka Cristobal Colon. A name still well used in the Hispanic community.

ArtisHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Unusual multicultural choice that may appeal to the artistically inclined.

UrsoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Cool bearlike option, though Orson might be easier to embrace.

OrsaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Ursula
  • Meaning:

    "little female bear"
  • Description:

    The advantage of Orsa over the arguably-more-attractive Ursula is that it breaks the tie to the hideous she-witch of The Little Mermaid. Orsa definitely feels more ready for modern life now that brother name Orson is on the rise.

OrsinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Orson
  • Meaning:

    "bearlike"
  • Description:

    Orson is being rediscovered and Orsino is every bit as attractive.
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OsbornHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "divine bear"
  • Description:

    Future CEO.

GarciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Portuguese
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    This evocative Spanish surname would make an unusual but lively choice for a girl.

BernadineHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    As dated as the old Pat Boone song.

BernHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Hip short form of Bernard, also Swiss place-name.

BerengariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bear spear"
  • Description:

    Berengaria was one of the medieval queens of England - married to Richard I (also known as Richard the Lionheart). She was originally from Navarre (in modern northern Spain) and despite being the Queen of England, she only lived in England after her husband had died. Despite its royal roots, Berengaria is one of the less attractive medieval names, although it gets points for having an unusually strong meaning for a feminine name.
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OrsolaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Ursula
  • Meaning:

    "little female bear"
  • Description:

    Orsola is chic in Italy in a way that Ursula is not in the U.S. And English speakers will inevitably hear this chic, sleek name as Ursula, condemned to purgatory as the name of the hideous sea-witch who terrorized Disney's Little Mermaid.

VernadosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek from German
  • Meaning:

    "courage of the bear"
  • Description:

    Rhythmic and powerful, if you don't mind the nickname Vern.

BeroldHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "bear rule"
  • Description:

    Berold is one of the more obscure boy names meaning bear, which also include Arthur, Orson, and (in a different vein) Teddy.

BerangereHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Berengaria
  • Meaning:

    "bear spear"
  • Description:

    Berangere has never seen much usage in the US, but it has an interesting meaning of "bear spear." The name it stems from—Berengaria—was used as a common royal name during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

ArthuretteHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a girl's name that honors an ancestral Arthur, try Artis.
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ArthurineHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a girl's name that honors an ancestral Arthur, try Artis.

OrsuHeart

  • Origin:

    Corsican
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Corsican form of Ursus

TuurHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch variation of Arthur
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    Once a diminutive for Arthur, now used in its own right. Tuur is a Top 100 name in Belgium and a Top 300 name in the Netherlands.

ArthurinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Arthur, Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a girl's name that honors an ancestral Arthur, try Artis.

BernardaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    Too close in sound to the so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out Bernard.
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