ARMEL m Breton, French
Breton and French form of the Brythonic name Arthmael
, which was composed of the elements arth
"bear" and mael
"prince, chieftain". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who founded abbeys in Brittany.
BERARD m Ancient Germanic
Variant of BERNARD
using the related root bero
"bear" as the first element. This was the name of a 13th-century saint who was martyred in Morocco.
BERNARD m English, French, Dutch, Polish, Croatian, Slovene, Czech, Ancient Germanic
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).
GARSEA m Medieval Spanish
Meaning unknown, possibly related to the Basque word hartz
. This was the name of several medieval kings of Navarre and Leon.
HUMBERT m French, German (Rare), English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Means "bright warrior"
, derived from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and beraht
"bright". The Normans introduced this name to England, though it has always been uncommon there. It was borne by two kings of Italy (called Umberto in Italian), who ruled in the 19th and 20th centuries.
HUMPHREY m English
Means "peaceful warrior"
from the Germanic elements hun
"warrior, bear cub" and frid
"peace". The Normans introduced this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hunfrith
, and it was regularly used through the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), who starred in The Maltese Falcon
KALLISTO f Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek κάλλιστος (kallistos)
meaning "most beautiful"
, a derivative of καλός (kalos)
meaning "beautiful". In Greek mythology Kallisto was a nymph who was loved by Zeus
. She was changed into a she-bear by Hera
, and subsequently became the Great Bear constellation. This was also an ancient Greek personal name.
MATH m Welsh Mythology
Possibly from Celtic matu
. According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion
ORSINO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman name Ursinus
, itself derived from Ursus
). This is the name of a character in Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night
ORSON m English
From a Norman nickname derived from a diminutive of Norman French ors "bear"
, ultimately from Latin ursus
. American actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985) was a famous bearer of this name.
OSBORN m English
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and beorn
"bear". During the Anglo-Saxon period there was also a Norse cognate Ásbjǫrn
used in England, and after the Norman Conquest the Norman cognate Osbern
was introduced. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OTT m Estonian
Possibly an Estonian form of OTTO
. It may also be inspired by an archaic Estonian word meaning "bear"
SWITHIN m History
From the Old English name Swiðhun
, derived from swiþ
"strong" and perhaps hun
"bear cub". Saint Swithin was a 9th-century bishop of Winchester.
TORBJÖRN m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Þórbjǫrn
, which meant "Thor's bear"
from the name of the Norse god Þórr
) combined with bjǫrn
URS m German
German form of the Latin name Ursus
, which meant "bear"
. Saint Ursus was a 3rd-century soldier in the Theban Legion who was martyred with Saint Victor. He is the patron saint of Solothurn in Switzerland.
URSA f Late Roman
Feminine form of URSUS
. This is the name of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
URSULA f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Finnish, Late Roman
Means "little bear"
, derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word ursa
"she-bear". Saint Ursula was a legendary virgin princess of the 4th century who was martyred by the Huns while returning from a pilgrimage. In England the saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and the name came into general use at that time.
WINNIE f English
Diminutive of WINIFRED
. Winnie-the-Pooh, a stuffed bear in the children's books by A. A. Milne, was named after a real bear named Winnipeg
who lived at the London Zoo.