add to your listSave
PronouncedPron.bər-NAHRD American English
BU-nəd British English
BER-NAR French
BER-nahrt Dutch
BER-nart PolishCroatian

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. Other famous bearers include the Irish playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and the British World War II field marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976).
VariantsBerard, Berinhard, Bernhard Ancient Germanic
DiminutivesBarney, Bernie, Berny English
Feminine FormsBernadine English Bernadette, Bernardine French Bernarda Croatian Bernarda Slovene
Other Languages & CulturesBeñat Basque Bernat Catalan Bernhard, Bernt Danish Bent Frisian Bernhard, Benno, Bernd German Bernát Hungarian Berardo, Bernardo, Bernardino, Dino Italian Bernhard, Bernt Norwegian Bernardo, Bernardino Portuguese Bernardo, Bernardino Spanish Bernhard, Bernt Swedish


Vision of St Bernard (of Clairvaux) by Fra Bartolommeo (1504)Vision of St Bernard (of Clairvaux) by Fra Bartolommeo (1504)

Sources & References

  • Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsches namenbuch (1900), page 269


bears, Big Little Lies characters, brave, currently out of the US top 1000, fauna, Gundam characters, Ogre Battle characters, Philip K Dick characters, saints, Six Feet Under characters, The Rose of Versailles characters, virtues, Westworld characters
Entry updated August 16, 2017   Contribute