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What does Bernard mean?

Bernard /bern-ard/ as a boys' name is pronounced ber-NARD. It is of Old French and Old German origin, and the meaning of Bernard is "strong, brave bear".

Three famous medieval saints bore the name: a founder of a monastic order, the patron saint of mountain climbers, and a scholastic philosopher. Brought to England with the Norman Conquest. A native Old English form, Beornheard, was superseded by the Norman form. Fairly common until the 18th century, and revived somewhat around 1920, but now unusual. See also Bjorn. Playwright George Bernard Shaw; statesman Bernard M. Baruch; film director Bernardo Bertolucci; art critic Bernard Berenson; comedian Bernie Mack.


Bernard has 23 variants: Barnard, Barnardo, Barney, Barnhard, Barnhardo, Barnie, Barny, Bear, Bearnard, Berend, Bern, Bernardino, Bernardo, Bernarr, Bernd, Berndt, Bernhard, Bernhardo, Bernie, Bernis, Bernt, Burnard and Vernados.

Affiliated boy name: Berry.

Bernard has 1 more relation via Bernie, Bjorn: Berny.

Bernard has 2 feminine forms: Bernadette and Bernadine.

Kreatif forms:
(male) Berard, Branard, ..

(female) Bernde, Berner, ..

How popular is Bernard?

Bernard is a very prominent first name for men (#142 out of 1220, Top 12%) and also a very prominent surname for all people (#864 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

Charted below is the birth name popularity of Bernard for boys. Bernard reached its apex rank of #47 in the U.S. during the years 1920-1929, and is at #1173 currently. (2014 U.S. SSA Records)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Bernard name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Bernard outside U.S.

Displayed below is a comparison of the usage of the boy name Bernard and related names. Barnard, Barney, Barnie, Bear (#1333 from recent data), Bernardino, Bernardo (#1482), Bernhard, Bernie, Berry and Bjorn are the prominent variation forms of Bernard (#1173 from recent data) listed in the Top 2000. These forms of Bernard were at the top of their popularity during the years 1910-1919 (usage of 0.4%) and have become much less popular since.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Bernard, Barnard, Barney, Barnie, Bear in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Bernardino, Bernardo, Bernhard, Bernie, Berry, Bjorn in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Bjorn outside U.S.

Similar Names


Suggested similar names are Bernabe, Bernal, Bernald, Bernhald (see Bernal), Bernold (see Bernal), Brainard, Braynard, Burgard, Derward, Fernald, Fernand, Gerard, Gerhard, Gerrard, Jerard, Jerrard, Kennard, Lenard, Lennard, Leonard, Menard, Renard, Rennard, Reynard and Vernard. These names tend to be less frequently used than Bernard.