Home > Bernard


What does Bernard mean?

Bernard Pronunciation of Bernard 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 A native Old English form, Beornheard, was superseded by the Norman form.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.


ASSOCIATED WITH strong, brave, bear, famous, medieval, monastic, mountain, philosopher, england, norman, conquest (victory), old, 18th century


VARIANTS Barnard, Barnardo, Barney, Barnhard, Barnhardo, Barnie, Barny, Bear, Bearnard, Berend, Bern, Bernardino, Bernardo, Bernarr, Bernd, Berndt, Bernhard, Bernhardo, Bernie, Bernis, Bernt, Burnard, Vernados



FEMININE FORMS Bernadette, Bernadine



Bernard Kendall (B.K.), ..

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)

Bernard reached its apex rank of #47 in the U.S. during the years 1920-1929, and is at #1151 currently. (2018 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.

Which version is better?

Barnard, Barney, Barnie, Bear (#1005 FROM RECENT DATA), Bernardino, Bernardo (#1294), Bernhard, Bernie, Berry and Bjorn (#869) are the prominent variation forms of Bernard (#1151) 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. Bernard is the longstanding favorite, though Bjorn is now the more favored form, while forms like Barney have lost favor.

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-sounding 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.

See names
in meaning and etymology.