Meaning and Origin of Bernhard - FamilyEducation

Meaning and Origin of: Bernhard

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Boy name origins & meanings:

  • German : Bold as a bear

Family name origins & meanings:

  • Dutch, German, and Scandinavian : from the Germanic personal name Bernhard, composed of the elements ber(n) ‘bear’ + hard ‘brave’, ‘hardy’, ‘strong’. In the 13th and 14th centuries it vied with Arnold as the most popular personal name in the Netherlands and northern Germany. It was borne by St. Bernard of Menthon (923–1008), founder of Alpine hospices and patron saint of mountaineers, whose cult accounts for the frequency of the name in Alpine regions. See also Bernard.