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Given Name BERNARD
GENDER: Masculine
PRONOUNCED: bər-NAHRD (English), BUR-nərd (English), ber-NAHR (French), BER-nahrt (Polish, Croatian)   [key]
Meaning & History
Derived from the Germanic element bern "bear" combined with hard "brave, hardy". The Normans brought it to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Beornheard. This was the name of several saints, including Saint Bernard of Menthon who built hospices in the Swiss Alps in the 10th century, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th-century theologian and Doctor of the Church. Another famous bearer was George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), an Irish playwright and essayist.
Related Names
VARIANTS: Berinhard, Bernhard (Ancient Germanic)
DIMINUTIVES: Barney, Bernie, Berny (English)
FEMININE FORMS: Bernadine (English), Bernadette, Bernardine (French), Bernarda (Croatian), Bernarda (Slovene)
OTHER LANGUAGES: Beñat (Basque), Bernat (Catalan), Bernhard, Bernt (Danish), Bernhard, Ben (Dutch), Bent (Frisian), Bernhard, Benno, Bernd (German), Bernát (Hungarian), Bernardo, Bernardino, Dino (Italian), Bernhard, Bernt (Norwegian), Bernardo, Bernardino (Portuguese), Bernardo, Bernardino (Spanish), Bernhard, Bernt (Swedish)
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Sources and References
  • Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsches namenbuch (1900), page 269