Last modified on 14 December 2014, at 12:55


old talkEdit

I have added 'borne' as a past participle (e.g. "the chair was borne aloft", "the rival racers have borne down on him") - clearly there's also "born" (for childbirth) but I can't formally express the difference so perhaps somebody else will. 20:04, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Does the Maltese word really have an = in the middle? Wiki obviously doesn't like the idea--the link doesn't work. I think if it is correct, it needs to be replaced by =. -- Ortonmc 19:40, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I found the answer; the = looks to have been an editing mistake. -- Ortonmc 23:13, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Inaccurate definition:

1. A large carnivorous mammal....

Bears are typically omnivorous, not carnivorous. Though they do belong to the order Carnivora. ( -- 11:54, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Please be bold and change that which you feel is inaccurate! — Vildricianus 11:58, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

5. (slang) A large hairy man, especially one who is gay.

Surely this is only used as a metaphor and stating it as a definition is inaccurate. -- SaveFerris 08:53, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Also, slang or otherwise, is this a US. usage? I've not ever heard it in the UK. -- 08:36, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
It is U.S. usage for sure. Don’t know about England. —Stephen (Talk) 15:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

RFV 1Edit

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In the sense: "A market in which prices are falling." DAVilla 16:37, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

A bull market vs. a bear market - clearly in widespread use, I'd think. What exactly is the complaint? --Connel MacKenzie 17:52, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but the word "bear" (as noun) alone does not mean "bear market" AFAIK. As a noun it does refer to investors who take the "bear" position of shorting securities. Let's make sure that we have an adequate adjectival sense and, perhaps, a usage example containing "bear market". DCDuring 22:42, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Delete A "bear" in a financial market is a person or other actor who believes that the stock prices will be falling and acts accordingly. This sense is covered in #3. "Bear" is also used as adjective in expressions like "bear market" or "bear sentiment". This sense is also covered in the entry. As far as I know, the word "bear" alone does not mean the same as "bear market", and unless appropriate quotes are provided, sense #4 should be deleted. Hekaheka 15:40, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


How does the expression "brought to bear" fit in? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 12:52, 17 August 2009 (UTC).

It is an idiom derived from the second sense of the English word bear and now has its own entry: bring to bear. I have added it to the list of derived terms in this entry. —Caesura(t) 16:27, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Other animalsEdit

I have never heard of a Koala bear or an ant bear being called just a bear, without the other word. Redddogg 04:05, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Bear as an adverb.Edit

In Northern England we very rarely write it down, as it's only really used in speech, but when written it is always spelled 'bare'. It can also have the same meaning as 'lots of'. e.g. 'I have bare homework to do'. 'Bare scran' is a phrase often used in Manchester, meaning lots of food. Perhaps the adverb entry should be moved to bare.

This sounds more like an adjective. JamesjiaoTC 19:47, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
See WT:RFV#bear and bare. DCDuring TALK 00:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Better example sentenceEdit

The current example sentence for usage of the 'large hairy man' definition seems unpleasant ('greedy hands'?). Can we not produce a more neutral depiction? Remarkably

The point is that the example sentence is unreferenced. If at all possible, we should avoid example sentences which were just made up, even by native speakers. There is enough English literature on the internet to come up with a referenced example sentence, one should think. -- 09:51, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

  • well, OED has "a rough, unmannerly, uncouth person", recorded since 1579. A "large hairy man" might be subsumed under that, but the more specific slang meaning in homosexual subculture doesn't necessarily fit under that; even if the "rough" is retained, the "uncouth" etc. is not intended any longer. But this subculture slang meaning is not recorded in OED, so we would need some other quotable source for it. We are also missing a referece for the meaning "difficult situation". --Dbachmann (talk) 10:05, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
    • if we can use, we would have "A term used by gay men to describe a husky, large man with a lot of body hair", example sentence George's sexual tastes run toward bears, contributed "by kim Feb 12, 2003". Not exactly a top quality reference, but it's better than nothing. --Dbachmann (talk) 10:07, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Just added two citations from books/mags. Equinox 10:12, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
excellent, you beat me to it. The earliest record I could find was 1990, which sounds about right, as most of current gay slang originates around there. I removed the "difficult situation" meaning pending substantiation. --Dbachmann (talk) 10:15, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

"Ringe (2006)"Edit

Who is "Ringe (2006)" and how do they suggest IE ǵʰweh₁r- is supposed to result in Germanic ber-? It's fair enough to cite this opinion if it was published in an academic journal, but the source must be identified. --User:Dbachmann 09:50, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

  • I assume "Ringe 2006" must be: Ringe, Donald A. (2006). From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. Linguistic history of English, v. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-955229-0. Now we just need a page number and a check that this author seriously derives ber- from "ǵʰweh₁r". --Dbachmann (talk) 10:18, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

RFV 2Edit

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Rfv-sense: Adverb: (UK, slang) very

You rang me last night but it was bear late and I didn't answer.

An objection to this spelling was made at the talk page, that this might belong at [[bare#Adverb]], where it already occurs. Are both spellings attestable? Which is more common? What is the appropriate etymology? They both seem like alterations of very to a standard English speaker like me. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Never come across this. Not in Chambers. I bet it's Northern. Equinox 20:22, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
This source has bear as an alternative spelling to bare, an adverbial and adjectival intensifier. Further they cite a source that claims it derives from a Trinidadian use of bare ("barely") and is now part of UK Black English. A recent Partirdge's has "bare adverb very, many. UK 2005" DCDuring TALK 23:15, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
We seem to be a little light on coverage of Template:trf (See Category:Trinidad Creole English Language.), though thus might be from "Trinidad English". DCDuring TALK 00:48, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
@Equinox, not my part of Northern England. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:37, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
RFV-failed for now. - -sche (discuss) 21:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

It's bare. I just found it mentioned in Dr Sue Fox, "Spoken English" (in Language - A Student Handbook on Key Topics and Theories), as a term used by young Londoners. Equinox 12:59, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

born vs. borneEdit

"Born" is hardly rare. I took some common digrams of "born __" and "borne __" and ran Google searches for each phrase with each spelling.

Google hits for some common phrases with "born(e)",
using "born" and "borne" in each
born borne borne / total born / borne
"was born"
"was borne"
1.53% 64
"born in"
"borne in" [1]
1.74% 56
"born on"
"borne on"
0.77% 129
"born to"
"borne to"
0.52% 192
ttl "born __" [3]
ttl "borne __" [3]
1.41% 70
all born [4]
all borne [4]
4.99% 19
"born to him" [2]
"borne to him" [2]
24.76% 3

Table notes

  1. Many of these are forms of "be borne in upon", defined by Oxford Dictionaries as:
    come to be realized by: the folly of her action was borne in on her with devastating precision (American English definition)
  2. "-Bible". Without the exclusion, the numbers are roughly double these. Even with it, perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of the hits are Biblical or religious, and many others are pre-modern (e.g., "borne+to+him"+-Bible The Early Records of the Town of Providence) or heroic fantasy (which may deliberately use archaisms). But in any case the numbers in this row are minuscule compared with the totals.
  3. Totals of the rows above.
  4. Total hits for "born", "borne" regardless of context.

In modern English, in general:

  • "Born" is used in forms of "to be born" referring to the subject's birth:
    • X was born in/on/during/... [place|date|...].
  • The much rarer "borne" is used in forms of "bear" in the senses of carrying or enduring:
    • "borne on the wind" (usually used of sounds)
    • "Icarus - Borne On Wings Of Steel" (title of a song by Kerry Livgren on the 1975 album Masque by the American progressive rock band Kansas.
    • This is not to be borne! (= "This is intolerable!")
  • Both spellings are used in the construction "be born(e) to Y", in the sense of childbirth, where Y refers to one or both parents or to the family or larger group that Y is said to belong to:
    • Ludacris Also Has A New Baby Born To Him By A Woman That's Not His Fiancee (title of a blog post dated 2 January 2014 in "This Is Laila's Blog: Nigeria's Finest Celebrity News Source")
    • father to a child borne to him by Lorcha Cohen (daughter of Leonard) (from an interview with Rufus Wainwright by Tony Clayton-Lea, dated Sep. 24, 2012)

--Thnidu (talk) 01:09, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

born is only common as a passive past participle relating to childbirth, as the usage note states --WikiTiki89 01:17, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

"(rare) born" againEdit

The spelling born is not "rare", but rather is confined to certain specific meanings and contexts ("he wishes he had never been born" etc.). I really don't know why it says "rare"... -- AnonMoos (talk) 10:55, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

It's rare as the past participle of bear. It is only common in the expression "to be born" (which we should probably have an entry for rather than a redirect). --WikiTiki89 15:29, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
How is "killed" in "He was killed" different from "born" in "He was born"? Either "born" isn't a real past/passive participle at all (something you would have to justify in more detail), or else it's not "rare", but in fact quite common in its particular context. It seems to me that both "killed" and "born" are adjectivizable to some degree, but are basically past/passive participles... AnonMoos (talk) 11:31, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you would say "the mother has borne many children", not "born". Equinox 12:15, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, "borne" is the general past/passive participle of "to bear", while the spelling "born" is restricted in usage to certain specific contexts. However, "born" is not "rare"[sic], so that some other wording needs to be found. AnonMoos (talk) 02:26, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The tag "(rare)" is not referring to the word "born" in general, but only to its usage as a past participle of "bear". --WikiTiki89 02:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Dude, we've already gone over this several times without you being able to cast much useful light on the subject. Unless you're claiming that "born" in "was born" is somehow not a real past/passive participle (something which you would need to explain or justify at greater length), "born" is simply NOT "rare"[sic] as a past/passive participle, and in fact the claim of its "rareness"[sic] is the next thing to blatant flagrant nonsense. It is contextually restricted but not "rare"[sic] -- "rare"[sic] is an extremely unfortunate word which does not usefully clarify anything with respect to this particular usage. If you are able to actually meaningfully address the topic under discussion, then please do so, but otherwise do not re-add unhelpful and inaccurate material to the dictionary entry. AnonMoos (talk) 03:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Return to "bear" page.