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100 Cool Names That Mean Bear: for Tiny Teddy Bears

Updated
These names that mean bear are as sweet as honey.

If you’re hunting for names that mean bear – welcome to bear country! These majestic animals appear in literature, mythologies, and legends across the globe, making this a popular theme among parents.

Bears are often misunderstood as ferocious beasts but can show a gentle and affectionate nature if left unprovoked. If cute, cuddly, and sweet describes your bundle of love, then don’t sleep on these bear-themed beauties.

We’ve collected names meaning bear from uncharted territories to familiar haunts. So gather ’round the campfire as we regale you with our tale of 100 bear names.


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100 Cool Names Meaning Bear

Roam through our forest of names that mean bear for your cute cub.

Aata

Aata paints a picture of strength, with it meaning “bear” and “stone.” Although New Zealand has no bears beyond the one at the Wellington Zoo, the Maori Aata makes a cute island pick. With that many vowels, it has an open, airy quality suitable for a cuddly boy or girl.

  • Origin: Polynesian, Maori, Tahitian
  • Meaning: Bear, stone, happy moonchild
  • Pronunciation: AH-tuh, AH-tee
  • Popularity: Aata is most popular in Pakistan but doesn’t appear in the U.S. top 1,000 names.
Breezy, Simple, Cute

Adalbern

Adalbern comes from the Old High German elements “adal” (noble, aristocratic, excellent) and “bern” or “bernu” (bear, wild animal). Bear names have no right to sound so gallant, yet here we are. Adalbern feels it belongs to a young prince, so why not yours? If you love TV series like The Last Kingdom, Adalbern fits right in.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Noble bear, noble warrior
  • Pronunciation: AD-al-behrn, AH-duhl-burn
  • Variations: Adalbero
  • Namesakes: Adalbero of Eppenstein, a Duke of Carinthia.
  • Popularity: Adalbern does not appear on popularity charts.
Regal, Sophisticated, Strong

Alfbern

Try out the enchanting Alfbern from the Old German elements “alb,” meaning “elf,” and “bern” or “bernu,” meaning “bear.” Kudos to whoever paired the idea of a fluffy bear and a delicate, mythical creature. Alfbern could be the name of a tiny fairy prince, making it an ideal name for cottagecore aesthetic lovers. Plus, Alfie makes a super cute nickname.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Elf bear
  • Pronunciation: ALF-bahn, ALF-burn
  • Popularity: Alfbern has one known bearer in the Philippines.
Charming, Magical, Regal

Andarta

Andarta is the name of a Southern Gaulish and Celtic goddess. Her theonym (a deity’s proper name) is derived from the Gaulish root “artos” (bear), and means “Great Bear” or “Powerful Bear.” Another proposed meaning is “staying firm” or “well-fixed.” Grant your baby power, strength, and stability with Andarta.

  • Origin: Gaulish
  • Meaning: Great bear, powerful bear
  • Pronunciation: aan-DAR-tah
  • Popularity: Andarta doesn’t rank on popularity charts from its place of origin and is extremely rare worldwide.
Strong, Exotic, Ancient

Arcturus

Arcturus is quite refined but may be too formal for some parents. It’s best suited for a middle name, as illustrated by J. K. Rowling’s character Regulus Arcturus Black. This Latinization of the Greek Arktouros means “guardian of the bear,” from “arktos” (bear) and “ouros” (guardian). It refers to a star near the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor constellations.

  • Origin: Greek, Latin
  • Meaning: Guardian of the bear, bear guardian
  • Pronunciation: ARK-too-rus, aark-TOO-roos
  • Variations: Arktouros
  • Popularity: About 59 people are called Arcturus worldwide.
Magical, Handsome, Regal

Arkos

Short but strong, Arkos could be a top contender among male bear names. It stems from the Greek region of Arcadia, which uses the root “arktos,” meaning “bear.” Parents who like Arktouros or the Latinized Arcturus but want to avoid a lengthy moniker can try Arkos instead! It even comes with a cool nickname like Ark.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: AR-kohs
  • Popularity: Arkos is rare worldwide, with about 37 bearers.
Cool, Simple, Strong

Armel

Armel is a Breton form of the Old Welsh Arthmael/Arthmail, from “arth,” meaning “bear,” and “máel,” meaning “prince” or “chieftain.” Armel doesn’t make U.S. charts, but it’s popular in French-speaking African nations like Cameroon, Chad, and Burundi. If your baby boy has a sibling, you can pair Armel (bear prince) with the Spanish Rosamel (rose and honey).

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Bear prince
  • Pronunciation: ar-MEHL
  • Variations: Arthmael, Arthmail
  • Namesakes: Saint Armel, a 6th-century Breton prince and holy man. Gaston Armel Mamouma-Ossila, a Congolese football player. Armel Koulara, a Chadian football player.
  • Popularity: Armel fell off the charts in France after ranking 460th in 1979 but reappeared in 2017 at 419th.
Handsome, Regal, Charming

Art

Your baby is a masterpiece and deserves to be called no less. That’s why Art is such an awesome choice. It stems from the Celtic element “artos” or the Old Welsh “arth,” meaning “bear.” Figuratively, it means “champion” or “hero.” Art is usually a diminutive of Arthur, from the same Celtic root. Cut the fluff with confident Art.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Bear, hero, champion
  • Pronunciation: AART
  • Namesakes: Art mac Cuinn, also known as Art Óenfer, a medieval Irish High King of Ireland. Art Christmas, a Canadian dance band and jazz musician. Art Cohn, an American sportswriter, screenwriter, and author.
  • Popularity: Art is most common in the U.S., but last ranked in 1967 at 932nd.
Wholesome, Simple, Cute

Artek

From Poland, we have Artek, which coincidentally sounds similar to the Arctic. But this epithet doesn’t have to do with the North Pole. It’s a short form of Artur, from Arthur. Ultimately, it stems all the way back to the Celtic “artos,” meaning “bear.” If you’re from the West, Artek could really stand out.

  • Origin: Polish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: AAR-tehk
  • Popularity: Artek is most popular in Russia and Poland.
Exotic, Simple

Artemis

Artemis was the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt and a protector of animals. Its meaning is unconfirmed, but good suggestions have been proposed, including the Greek “artemes” (safe) or “artamos” (a butcher). Artemis was sometimes represented as a bear, and her priestesses were often called “little she-bears.” Thus, it’s also likely Artemis came from the Greek “arktos,” meaning “bear.”

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Butcher, safe
  • Pronunciation: AH-tih-mis, AAR-teh-mus, AR-teh-mees
  • Variations: Artimus
  • Namesakes: Artemis Pebdani, an American actress known for her roles in Scandal and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Artemis placed 788th in England and Wales, and in 2022 took the 904th spot on the U.S. charts.
Ancient, Mythological, Regal
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Arthfael

The old-fashioned name Arthfael is highly uncommon, though perhaps it was once more popular. This medieval Welsh form of Armel ultimately comes from Arthmael, a combination of the Welsh and Proto-Brythonic elements “arth/arθ” (bear) and “máel” (prince). Your baby won’t have much competition for Arthfael, as the only known namesake lived between 785 AD and about 825 AD.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Bear prince
  • Pronunciation: ARTH-feyel
  • Namesakes: Arthfael Hen ap Rhys, or Arthfael the Old, a ruler of the Kingdom of Glywysing located in modern-day Wales.
  • Popularity: Arthfael doesn’t show up on popularity charts and is extremely rare worldwide.
Regal, Ancient, Melodious

Arthur

Arthur combines the Old Welsh element “arth” or Celtic “artos” (bear) and Old Welsh “ri” or Celtic “rīxs” (king). This beloved classic holds a special place on our list of names that mean bear. Nowadays, Mark Brown’s anthropomorphic aardvark is just as closely tied to the moniker as the king of medieval mythology. Arthur remains a fan favorite worldwide.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Bear king, warrior king
  • Pronunciation: AAR-thur
  • Variations: Artur, Arturo, Artūrs
  • Namesakes: Arthur Ashe Jr., an American professional tennis player. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a British doctor and author of the Sherlock Holmes books.
  • Popularity: Arthur is popular worldwide and, in 2021, ranked 4th in England and Wales, 2nd in Belgium, and 31st in Australia. In 2022, it placed 140th on the U.S. charts.
Sophisticated, Regal, Wholesome

Arthurine

Arthurine is the much less common French female form of Arthur. Although it’s quite rare, the variant Autherine has a famous namesake in Autherine Lucy. She was an American activist and the University of Alabama’s first African-American student. Arthurine feels old-school but dignified and fits the bill if you’re searching for a good middle-name candidate.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Bear king, warrior king
  • Pronunciation: AH-too-reen, AH-thur-een
  • Variations: Autherine, Artherine
  • Popularity: Arthurine is commonly used in the U.S. and Jamaica but falls short of the top 1,000 names there.
Pretty, Charming, Regal

Arto

Arto is just exotic enough to make people curious without feeling tacky or attention-seeking. It’s a Finnish diminutive of Arthur, meaning “bear king” or “warrior king.” As such, Arto could mean “bear,” but more metaphorically implies “warrior.” Somehow, this works despite Arto looking so cute. And if you shorten it to equally adorable Art, the meaning stays the same.

  • Origin: Finnish, Celtic
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: AR-toh, AAR-toh
  • Variations: Arttu
  • Namesakes: Arto Saari, a Finnish professional skateboarder and photographer. Arto Paasilinna, a Finnish journalist and comic author. Arto Tunçboyacıyan, an Armenian-American folk and jazz musician and vocalist.
  • Popularity: Arto is most popular in Finland, being fairly common there.
Cute, Charming, Simple

Ásbjǫrn

Ásbjǫrn is composed of the Old Norse “áss” (god, deity) and “bjǫrn” (bear, wild animal), making it cognate (of the same linguistic root) with Osborn. Metaphorically, Ásbjǫrn means “God has given me the strength of a bear.” A traditional Norse nickname like Bjarni (BEE-yarn-ee) feels like a cuter version of Barney. Give your son a powerful moniker like Ásbjǫrn.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: God bear, divine bear
  • Pronunciation: EHS-byon, AHWS-byurn, US-beeurn, ASS-bee-yorn
  • Variations: Asbjorn, Asbjørn, Ásbjörn, Esbjörn, Osbeorn, Asbjørnsen
  • Namesakes: Ásbjǫrn skerjablesi, also known as Ásbjǫrn jarl skerjablesi, an 8th-century ruler of the Hebrides.
  • Popularity: Ásbjǫrn is most popular in Norway, ranking 98th in 1967 before disappearing from the charts.
Ancient, Spiritual, Strong

Avonaco

Avonaco looks like “avocado” on the first take. However, this is an Anglicized form of the Native American Cheyenne Ávoonenáhkohe, which means “starving bear” or “lean bear.” Everything about Avonaco could seem strange; depending on who you ask, it’s an odd choice. For parents who want something different, Avonaco might be for you.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Starving bear, lean bear
  • Pronunciation: ah-von-AH-koh
  • Variations: Avo-naco
  • Popularity: Avonaco does not show up on international popularity charts.
Exotic, Eccentric

Baavgai

Baavgai is written as Баавгай in Mongolian Cyrillic, and the first syllable is extended, sounding much like the bleat of a sheep. Baavgai isn’t normally used as a personal name, but this vocabulary word has found a spot on modern birth certificates. There are many unique male names meaning bear, and we think Baavgai is one that deserves your consideration.

  • Origin: Mongolian
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BA-weye
  • Popularity: Internationally, Baavgai is extremely rare but is most commonly used in Mongolia.
Strong, Melodious, Exotic

Baloo

Many Westerners will recognize Baloo as the laidback sloth bear from The Jungle Book novels by Rudyard Kipling. This Anglicized creation was based on “bhaaloo,” also written “bhālū,” the Hindu word for “bear.” Try naming your baby bear Baloo for a dash of fun and adventure.

  • Origin: Indian, English
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: buh-LOO, BA-loo
  • Popularity: Baloo is most prevalent in India and Pakistan but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names there.
Eccentric, Charming, Cute

Barney

Depending on your generation, Barney either calls to mind a big purple dinosaur or a certain funny man from How I Met Your Mother. It’s a diminutive of the Greek Barnabas and Barnaby (son of comfort) and the Germanic Bernard (brave bear). Bernard was introduced to England by the Normans, replacing the cognate Beornheard. Barney could be interpreted as “bear-like” or “beary.”

  • Origin: English, Germanic, Greek
  • Meaning: Bear-like, strong as a bear, son of comfort
  • Pronunciation: BAH-nee, BAAR-nee
  • Variations: Berny
  • Namesakes: Barney Martin, an American actor best known for his role on Seinfeld. Barney Hajiro, an American WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient. Barney Kessel, an American jazz guitarist.
  • Popularity: Barney fell off U.S. charts after ranking 945th in 1976, but in 2021, placed 246th in England and Wales.
Wholesome, Strong

Barrett

Barrett is an Irish surname taken from the Gaelic Bairéid. This consists of the Old English “beorn,” meaning “bear,” and “ræht,” meaning “advice” or “counsel.” Originally, Barrett was a nickname for a quarrelsome person, as it could be interpreted as “warlike.” Barrett hasn’t yet fallen out of use and is very popular in the West.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Bear strength, warlike
  • Pronunciation: BA-reht, BA-ruht, BEH-riht
  • Variations: Barett
  • Namesakes: Barrett Strong Jr., an American singer-songwriter. Barrett Foa, an American singer, dancer, and actor. Barrett Martin, an American record producer, percussionist, and author.
  • Popularity: Barrett peaked in the U.S. at 192nd in 2020 and 2021.
Fierce, Strong
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Bear

Bring the wilderness home with Bear. This pet name was popularized by British TV adventurer Edward “Bear” Grylls. For English-speakers, Bear is the most obvious bear-themed epithet. It has roots in the Old English “bera,” which likely meant “brown.” Bear is the only suitable choice if your little cub has an untamed spirit!

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BAIR
  • Variations: Ber, Bär, Björn, Bjørn
  • Namesakes: Bear McCreary, an American musician, and composer for movies, video games, and TV. Bear Blaze Winslet, the son of American actress Kate Winslet.
  • Popularity: In 2022, Bear shot to 767th in the U.S., while in England and Wales, it ranked 398th in 2021.
Strong, Cozy, Charming

Ben

Ben is among the most common names in the world, but its simple appearance hides its complexity. Usually, it’s a diminutive of longer monikers, including the Dutch Bernhard, meaning “bear.” In Hebrew, Ben is a full name meaning “son” and a shortened form of Benjamin. Ben is also a diminutive of the English and Latin Benedict (blessed).

  • Origin: Dutch, Hebrew, English, Latin
  • Meaning: Bear, son, blessed
  • Pronunciation: BEHN
  • Namesakes: Sir Ben Kingsley, an English award-winning actor. Ben Bernanke, an American economist, and the 14th Federal Reserve chairman. Ben Hardy, an English actor known for his role in the BBC’s EastEnders.
  • Popularity: In 2022, Ben ranked 40th in Ireland and 770th in the U.S. It was also 48th in Israel in 2020.
Simple, Wholesome, Handsome

Beorn

Beorn can be traced back to the Old English “beorn” (hero, warrior, bear), giving it a similar pronunciation as the first half of Beowulf. It might also be an Anglicization of the Old Norse “bjorn” (bear, wild animal). Beorn is so bear-themed that even Tolkien used it in his books for a skin-changer who took the form of a bear.

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Bear, warrior, chieftain
  • Pronunciation: BEH-awrn, BAY-awrn
  • Namesakes: Beorn Nijenhuis, a Dutch speed skater.
  • Popularity: Beorn is extremely rare, with about 38 global bearers.
Cool, Regal, Fierce

Beowulf

Inspired by Beowulf’s epic tale? History and literary buffs should put this at the top of their list of bear names. Beowulf’s meaning is contested, but it might mean “bee-wolf” or “bee-hunter,” a metaphor for a bear. Alternatively, the first element could stem from the Old English “beorn” (bear) or “beadu” (war, battle). Beowulf is perfect for a budding little warrior.

  • Origin: Geatish, Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: Bear wolf, battle wolf
  • Pronunciation: BAY-oh-wuulf
  • Namesakes: Theodore Beowulf Sheehan, an American celebrity photographer. Beowulf Boritt, an American scenic designer and son of historian Gabor Boritt.
  • Popularity: Beowulf is often used in Germany and the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names there.
Fierce, Cool, Mythological

Ber

Ber may look one letter short to English speakers, but that only adds interest to an otherwise obvious moniker. This Yiddish term for “bear” is a colloquial form of the Hebrew name Dov. The two are often paired together despite having the same meaning. Celebrate any Jewish heritage you might have with the cute and cuddly Ber.

  • Origin: Yiddish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHR
  • Variations: Bèr, Bear, Bjørn
  • Namesakes: José Ber Gelbard, a Polish-born Argentine activist and politician. Dov Ber Abramowitz, an American Orthodox rabbi and author. Avrom Ber Gotlober, a Russian journalist, poet, playwright, and historian.
  • Popularity: Ber is most prevalent in Israel, often ranking in the top 1,000 names.
Cute, Simple, Breezy

Berengar

With noble namesakes at its back, Berengar sounds like a warrior king straight out of the history books. That’s fitting when you consider its meaning from the Germanic elements “bern” (bear) and “ger” (spear). If your son has a fighting spirit, let him take on the world with the badass name Berengar.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Warrior with a spear, spearman
  • Pronunciation: BEE-reng-GAAR, BEH-renj-UR
  • Variations: Berenger, Berenguer
  • Namesakes: Berengar of Tours, an 11th-century French Christian theologian. Berengar I, an Italian king and the Holy Roman Emperor of the late 8th- to early 9th-century.
  • Popularity: Berengar is most popular in Germany, with about ten known bearers worldwide.
Cool, Fierce, Exotic

Berens

Berens is a German and Dutch patronymic (from the given name of a father or ancestor). It comes from a variant of Bernhard which has the same Germanic root “bern” (bear). Because of its transferred usage, Berens is often considered gender-neutral. In Turkey, it’s popular in the variant form Beren, which ranked 47th for girls in 2021.

  • Origin: German, Dutch
  • Meaning: Strong bear, hardy bear
  • Pronunciation: BEE-rehns, BEH-ruhns
  • Variations: Beren, Behrens
  • Namesakes: Charlie Berens, an American journalist and comedian.
  • Popularity: Berens has about 54 worldwide bearers, making it quite rare.
Simple, Strong, Handsome

Bern

Bern is a surname derived from Berno, a nickname for Bernhard. It’s also the Old High German and Frankish word for “bear” or “wild animal” and is often used as a name element. Geographically, Bern, also spelled Berne, is the de facto capital of Switzerland. Bears must be a big deal in Scandinavian nations!

  • Origin: German, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BEH-urn, BEHRN, BURN
  • Variations: Pern
  • Popularity: About 3,452 people are called Bern worldwide.
Strong, Simple, Exotic

Bernadette

Bernadette is a French female form of Bernard, a combination of “bern” (bear) and “hart” (hardy, brave, strong, firm). Despite its formal appearance, Bernadette keeps the warm, cozy feel of many other names meaning bear. Make Bernadette the vintage statement piece on your baby girl’s birth certificate.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Hardy bear, brave bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHR-na-deht, BURN-uh-deht
  • Variations: Bernadett
  • Namesakes: Bernadette Peters, an American singer, actress, and children’s book author. Bernadette Schild, a World Cup Austrian alpine ski racer. Bernadette Lafont, a prolific French actress.
  • Popularity: Bernadette last ranked on the U.S. charts at 895th in 1993 and was last seen on the French charts at 414th in 1983.
Sophisticated, Strong, Wholesome

Bernadine

Bernadine is a Latinate feminine form of Bernhard and is used in French and English. It’s the slightly more elegant cousin of the cutesy Bernadette and has a similar vintage appeal. Given its length, Bernadine would make a good middle name and pairs well with a shorter, single, or double-syllable option.

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Brave bear, hardy bear
  • Pronunciation: BURN-uh-deen, BEHR-na-deen
  • Namesakes: Bernadine Craft, an American politician. Bernadine Custer, an American painter, illustrator, and muralist. Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, a New Zealand broadcaster.
  • Popularity: Bernadine ranked for the final time in the U.S. at 974th in 1968 and in France at 410th in 1940.
Pretty, Exotic, Sophisticated
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Bernard

Bernard was brought to England by the Normans, replacing the cognate Beornheard. Its roots lie in the Old German “bern” (bear) and “hart” (hardy, brave, firm, strong). A notable bearer was a priest called St. Bernard of Menthon, who set up a hospice. Nowadays, St. Bernard is most recognizable as the rescue dog breed that was named after him.

  • Origin: German, French, English
  • Meaning: Hardy bear, brave bear, strong bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHR-naard, burn-AARD, BUR-nuud, buh-NAAD
  • Variations: Berenhard, Bernhard
  • Namesakes: Bernard King, an American professional basketball player. Bernard Lawson, also called Bernard Fox, a Welsh actor. Bernard Taupin, an English-American artist and songwriter known for collabs with musician Elton John.
  • Popularity: Bernard appeared on U.S. charts for the final time in 2008 at 943rd.
Strong, Sophisticated, Wholesome

Bernhard

Bernhard is the Scandinavian and German version of the more popular Bernard. It’s not as common in the West, but it still gets some play. Take, for example, Bernhard Wiens, a former Canadian politician. So if Bernard bores you, adding that “h” might spice it up a little. While you’re at it, try the nicknames Berny (BUR-nee) or Ber (BAIR).

  • Origin: Scandinavian, German, Dutch
  • Meaning: Hardy bear, brave bear, strong bear
  • Pronunciation: BEHRN-hart
  • Variations: Berenhard, Bernard
  • Namesakes: Bernhard Langer, a German professional golfer. Bernhard Heiliger, a German artist, considered West Germany’s best sculptor. Bernhard Garside, a British diplomat.
  • Popularity: Bernhard is most popular in Germany and Austria. It fell off U.S. charts after placing 901st in 1917.
Wholesome, Strong, Exotic

Bernulf

Bernulf further proves that bears and wolves get lumped in with each other a lot. If your son is a wild child, Bernulf may suit him. It comes from the Proto-Germanic “bera” or “bernu” (bear) and the Gothic “wulfs” (wolf). Despite its fierce connotations, something about Bernulf screams young prince or little lord.

  • Origin: Old German
  • Meaning: Bear wolf
  • Pronunciation: BURN-uulf, BEHRN-uulf
  • Popularity: Bernulf is most common in Germany and Austria, with less than 35 bearers worldwide.
Strong, Cool, Fierce

Berold

Berold is a bold choice, as it gives the impression of a brave and mighty ruler — and rightly so. This Old English moniker descends from the Germanic Bero, meaning “bear” or “warrior.” Parents who fancy Gerald should enjoy the similar-sounding, but more unique, Berold. After all, bears rule!

  • Origin: Old English, German
  • Meaning: Bear rule
  • Pronunciation: BEH-rolt, BEH-ruhld
  • Popularity: Berold is mostly found in Germany but is very rare globally.
Regal, Sophisticated, Strong

Berserker

Let’s be honest – Berserker is the most badass of this bear-themed bunch. Nowadays, it’s often associated with the Japanese anime, Berserk. But this title traces back to Old Norse warriors (berserkir) who fought in an enraged frenzy. Berserker means “bear skins/bear shirts,” indicative of the bearskin adornment and animalistic fury of those in the Viking bear cult.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Bearskin, bear shirt
  • Pronunciation: byeh-ZEHR-kuh, bur-ZUR-kur, beh-SER-kr
  • Popularity: Berserker is very rare, with about ten recorded bearers internationally.
Ancient, Eccentric, Fierce

Björn

Your baby was born to be Björn. Okay, we’ll stop with the puns! Björn originates from an Old Norse nickname that uses “bjǫrn,” meaning “bear.” It had a sputtering start on U.S. charts but eventually gained steam. Björn is one of those cool, easy-to-say Scandinavian picks the West is showing interest in.

  • Origin: Old Norse, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: BYON, BYUUN, BYURN
  • Variations: Bjoern, Bjørn, Bjǫrn
  • Namesakes: Björn Andrésen, a Swedish actor and musician. Björn Afzelius, a Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist. Björn Andrae, a German volleyball player.
  • Popularity: Björn appeared on U.S. charts in 1977 at 990th and peaked at 763rd in 2021.
Cool, Cozy, Exotic

Bjørnar

Bjørnar gets its fearsome meaning from the Old Norse “bjǫrn,” meaning “bear,” and “herr” (army, warrior), or perhaps “geirr” (spear). Although Bjørnar has an on-again, off-again relationship with Norway’s charts, it had a good run during the ’80s. It peaked at 69th in 1983. In other Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark, Bjørnar is quite rare.

  • Origin: Old Norse, Norwegian
  • Meaning: Bear army, warrior
  • Pronunciation: BYUR-naar, byawr-NAAR
  • Namesakes: Bjørnar Andersen, a Norwegian dog musher. Bjørnar Neteland, a Norwegian alpine ski racer. Bjørnar Johannessen, a former Norwegian football player and football coach.
  • Popularity: With over 5,000 worldwide bearers, Bjørnar is most prevalent in Norway and Sweden.
Exotic, Fierce, Strong

Bruin

Bruin means “brown” in Dutch and is also the Dutch equivalent of Bruno. This would make it a derivative of the Old German “brunna” (armor) or “brun” (brown), a metaphorical bear reference. For anyone considering Bruin, there’s a small catch. It’s not pronounced “BROO-in,” as some might assume, but it’s said just like the English equivalent. How convenient!

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Brown, armor, protection
  • Pronunciation: BROWN
  • Variations: Bruijn
  • Popularity: Bruin has less than 300 global bearers.
Simple, Exotic, Charming

Bruno

Bruno gets the meaning “brown” from a possible link to the Old German element “brun” and from “brunna,” meaning “armor” or “protection.” Bruno is considered a given and last name and found a home with other language groups. The Latinate languages acquired Bruno from Brunus, a Latinization of the Germanic name.

  • Origin: Germanic, Latin
  • Meaning: Brown, protection
  • Pronunciation: BROO-noh
  • Variations: Bruna
  • Namesakes: Bruno Bauer, a German philosopher and theologian. Bruno Corbucci, an Italian screenwriter and film director. Bruno Heller, an English screenwriter, producer, and director noted for the TV series Gotham.
  • Popularity: Bruno had a revival on U.S. charts in the 21st century, ranking 618th in 2022.
Handsome, Cute, Wholesome

Caesar

Crown your little king of the forest with Caesar. Though it doesn’t directly mean “bear,” it may derive from a Roman cognomen meaning “hairy” from the Latin word “caesaries” (hair). Caesar is appropriate if your baby has a thick head of hair or is the snuggliest teddy bear out there.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Leader, emperor, hairy, long-haired
  • Pronunciation: KEYE-sar, SEE-zur, SEE-zuh
  • Variations: Cesare, César, Cesar, Cézar, Cezar
  • Namesakes: Caesar Bacarella, an American professional stock car racer. Caesar Korolenko, a Russian psychiatrist.
  • Popularity: In the U.S., Caesar was most popular in 1904 at 589th and ranked for a final time in 1922 at 961st.
Cool, Regal, Strong
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Callisto

Callisto is a gorgeous tropical-sounding option with Italian roots. It ultimately stems from the Greek “kallistos,” meaning “fair” or “good.” Callisto is also the Latinized version of the personal name Kallisto. In the ancient Greek myth, Artemis (in some versions, Hera) turned the nymph Callisto into a bear. Zeus later cast her into the heavens, where she became the Ursa Major.

  • Origin: Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Most beautiful
  • Pronunciation: kah-LEE-stoh, kuh-LIHS-toh
  • Variations: Kallisto, Calisto, Calixto
  • Namesakes: Callisto Pasuwa, a Zimbabwean soccer coach. Callisto Cosulich, an Italian film critic, screenwriter, author, and journalist. Callisto Piazza, an Italian painter.
  • Popularity: Callisto is most common in Zimbabwe, Italy, and Malawi.
Exotic, Mythological, Charming

Cub

Cub might be the cutest of all the bear names we’ve collected. In English, Cub is used more often as a nickname and makes for a modern given name. It’s also a rare Khmer family name in Cambodia, though its meaning is uncertain. What Mama and Papa bear wouldn’t want to bring home a cuddly Cub?

  • Origin: English, Cambodian
  • Meaning: Young carnivorous animal, young person
  • Pronunciation: KUHB
  • Namesakes: Kevin “Cub” Swanson, an American mixed martial artist.
  • Popularity: Cub is most popular in Cambodia and the U.S., but it doesn’t make the top 1,000 names in either.
Cute, Simple, Cozy

Dov

Don’t mistake Dov for “dove.” This name is all brawn, no feathers. It’s the Hebrew term for “bear” and is often used as a male-given name in Jewish communities. Some even combine it with the Yiddish Ber, as in Dovber, or use it as a standalone middle name. Honor your baby’s heritage with this adorable epithet.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: DOV, DAWV
  • Variations: Dohv
  • Namesakes: Dov Tiefenbach, a Canadian musician and actor. Dov Khenin, an Israeli politician and attorney. Asher Dov Angel, an American actor.
  • Popularity: Dov is most prevalent in Israel, where it often ranks in the top 1,000 names.
Simple, Exotic, Wholesome

Dubhán

Dubhán comes from the Old Irish root “dub,” meaning “dark” or “black,” paired with a diminutive suffix. This unusual epithet is rare, and its derivative, Duane, is much more popular. Most bears have dark fur, so if you’ve got a dark-haired boy on your hands, Dubhán fits perfectly!

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little dark one
  • Pronunciation: DOO-aan
  • Variations: Dubhan, Dubán
  • Popularity: Dubhán doesn’t appear on popularity charts.
Strong, Exotic, Cute

Dubu

Dubu is the Swahili word for “bear,” but turn to Korea, and it becomes the word for “tofu.” This funny fact is just another point in favor of this cute pick fit for a teddy bear. If your baby has any East African heritage, Dubu could certainly be a great way to start a conversation about it.

  • Origin: African, Korean
  • Meaning: Bear, tofu
  • Pronunciation: DOO-BOO
  • Popularity: Dubu is most commonly used in Nigeria, India, and South Africa but is rare worldwide.
Exotic, Eccentric, Simple

Esau

The Esau of the Bible was a skilled hunter and was called a “man of the field.” Born covered in hair, Esau means “hairy.” This moniker is rendered Esaw in biblical Hebrew, but this isn’t as popular. Still fairly unique in the West, Esau is a fur-tastic option for your sweet honey bear!

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Hairy
  • Pronunciation: EE-saw
  • Namesakes: Esau Mann, a former Tongan professional rugby league football player. Esau McGraw, an American professional improv artist and comedy group member.
  • Popularity: In 1902, Esau ranked 964th in the U.S., but is also popular in Mexico.
Spiritual, Strong, Eccentric

Espen

Espen sounds like a breath of fresh air. It’s a variant of the Old Norse Asbjørn, meaning “god bear,” derived from the elements “áss” (god) and “bjǫrn” (bear). For parents that like the meaning but don’t jive with the original spelling, Espen is a way around that. It looks modern and cool, too!

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: God bear
  • Pronunciation: EHSS-puhn
  • Variations: Esben
  • Namesakes: Espen Lind, a Norwegian record producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Espen Eckbo, a Norwegian actor and comedian. Espen Berg, a Norwegian humanitarian.
  • Popularity: Espen is most popular in Norway, ranking 91st in 2004 before disappearing from the charts.
Spiritual, Magical, Breezy

Garcia

Garcia is a variant of Garsea, possibly related to the surname Gaztea, from the Basque “garze(a)” (young) or the Basque word “hartz” (bear). The latter connection comes from the Basque phrase “Gazte Hartz,” meaning “(the) young bear.” From this meaning, Garcia may also symbolically mean “warrior.” Beyond its Spanish roots, this surname is also used in Portuguese.

  • Origin: Iberian
  • Meaning: Bear, young bear
  • Pronunciation: gah-THEE-ah, gar-SEE-uh, ger-SEE-uh
  • Variations: García, Garsea, Garzia
  • Namesakes: García II, a 10th-century king of Galicia. García I, a late 8th-century king of León. Garcia II, or Garcia Afonso, a 17th-century king of the Kingdom of Kongo.
  • Popularity: Garcia sees most use in Angola and the U.S.
Handsome, Melodious, Exotic

Gerben

Switch the “n” for an “r” and Gerben could be a renowned baby food brand. Maybe that’s an indication of Gerben’s suitability as a baby name. But it’s not all sunshine and sweetness with this one. Gerben is a combination of the Germanic elements “ger” (spear) and “bern(u)” (bear). This is a tough moniker with a coating of sugar.

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Spear bear
  • Pronunciation: KHUR-bn, GUR-behn
  • Variations: Gerbern
  • Namesakes: Gerben Jan Mulder, a Dutch artist. Gerben Thijssen, a Belgian road and track cyclist. Gerben Hellinga Jr., a Dutch science-fiction and historical novel writer.
  • Popularity: Gerben is prevalent in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Fierce, Strong

Gom

This sturdy-sounding pick is the South Korean word for “bear.” It’s rarely used as a first name and is more common as a last. Some might point out parallels between Gom and the English word “gum,” but it bears no relation. Go for Gom if you’re feeling adventurous.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: GOM, KOHM
  • Popularity: With about 2,538 international bearers, Gom is very rare.
Strong, Simple, Exotic
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Hallbjǫrn

Hallbjǫrn comes from the Old Norse “hallr,” meaning “flat rock,” and “bjǫrn,” meaning “bear.” This is one of those bear names that are as cool as it looks. After all, what could sound sturdier than “bear rock?” Viking military commander Hallbjǫrn Halftroll guaranteed this epithet a spot alongside him in Valhalla.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Bear rock
  • Pronunciation: haal-BYORN
  • Variations: Hallbjørn, Hallbjörn
  • Namesakes: Hallbjorn Halftroll, or Hallbjorn Ulfsson, an early 9th-century Norwegian Viking commander (hersir).
  • Popularity: Hallbjǫrn does not show up on any popularity charts.
Strong, Regal, Cool

Hartz

Hartz stems from the medieval Basque word “hartz,” meaning “bear.” Some have also suggested it originates with the Gaulish “artos,” from the Proto-Indo-European “h₂ŕ̥tḱos,” both meaning “bear.” We hope you can find a place in your heart for a precious love called Hartz.

  • Origin: Basque
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: HAA-tss, HAAR-ts, ARTS
  • Popularity: Although Hartz is most common in the U.S., it doesn’t make the top 1,000 names there.
Charming, Handsome, Simple

Honon

Honon is unusual but not unheard of. It’s a Native American pick from the endangered Miwok language. In Miwok, Honon or Houn means “bear.” If you want to preserve a small part of this language and culture, perhaps Honon would be an honorable choice.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: HOW-naan
  • Popularity: Honon has just over 300 worldwide bearers.
Exotic

Humbert

Brought to England by the Normans, old-timey Humbert has an air of maturity, perfect for an old soul. Its honorable etymology is derived from the Old German “hun,” meaning “bear cub,” and “beraht,” meaning “bright.” It also was idiomatic for “renowned/famous warrior.” In modern times, Humbert would work best as a middle name.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Bright bear, a renowned warrior
  • Pronunciation: HUM-burt, HOOM-behrt, UM-behr
  • Variations: Humberto, Hunberht
  • Namesakes: Humbert Lundén, a Swedish competitive sailor. Humbert Wolfe, an Italian-born British poet. Captain Humbert Roque Versace, a U.S. Army officer and posthumous Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Popularity: Humbert doesn’t rank on U.S. charts, but in 1956 it made a final appearance at 496th in France.
Sophisticated, Strong, Cute

Humphrey

Introduced by the Normans, Humphrey is composed of the Germanic elements “hun,” meaning “warrior” or “bear,” and “fridu,” meaning “peace.” It may descend directly from the Old English cognate, Hunfrith, composed of “hun” (bear cub) and “frith” (peace). Humphrey isn’t as popular as it once was, but it has potential as a refined middle name for interested parents.

  • Origin: English, Germanic
  • Meaning: Peaceful warrior, peaceful bear cub
  • Pronunciation: HUM-free, HUM-pfree
  • Variations: Humphry, Hunfrid, Hunfrith
  • Namesakes: Humphrey Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, a British politician. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, an English explorer, soldier, and member of parliament. Humphrey Searle, an English composer and writer.
  • Popularity: In England and Wales, Humphrey placed 996th in 2015 but hasn’t appeared since.
Cozy, Wholesome, Sophisticated

Jambavan

Jambavan, also spelled Jāmbavān or Jambavanta, is Hindu Sanskrit. In Hindu myths and texts, this sloth bear is the immortal king of the bears; however, he was sometimes associated with monkeys and chimps. Jambavan’s meaning is uncertain, but it’s either a reference to the bear king’s birthplace of Jambudvipa or because he came from the creator deity’s yawn.

  • Origin: Indian
  • Meaning: Bear king
  • Pronunciation: jaam-BA-vaan, jaam-BUU-vaan
  • Variations: Jambavanta
  • Popularity: There are less than ten people called Jambavan globally.
Mythological, Exotic, Spiritual

Kamuima

Kamuima is a rare Ainu option from Japan that doesn’t have a wide audience. It’s a combination of the Ainu words “kamu” (bear) and “ima” (meat, flesh). When paired in this way, it’s interpreted as “cooking bear meat.” Kamuima is a stand-out among our names that mean bear for its unique appearance and meaning.

  • Origin: Ainu
  • Meaning: Cooking bear meat
  • Pronunciation: KA-MUH-IH-MA
  • Popularity: Kamuima is extremely rare and doesn’t show up on popularity charts.
Eccentric, Exotic, Cool

Koda

Easy to say and spell, the easy-going Koda is actually a diminutive of the Lakota Sioux Dakota, which means “friend,” “companion,” or “ally.” It may also mean “little bear,” though this could reference the Brother Bear movies, which featured a bear cub called Koda. This epithet is quite cute, so it’s no wonder it’s popular.

  • Origin: Native American, Japanese
  • Meaning: Companion, friend, little bear, rice paddy of happiness
  • Pronunciation: KOH-duh, KOH-da
  • Variations: Kota, Kouda
  • Namesakes: Koda Glover, an American professional baseball player.
  • Popularity: Koda ranked 471st in 2022 on U.S. charts.
Wholesome, Cute, Simple

Kodiak

Kodiak seems like an odd choice, but it’s got a solid case. It’s taken from the Russian Kadiak, ultimately from the Alutiiq (Pacific Yupik) Qikertaq, meaning “island.” The Gulf of Alaska is home to Kodiak Island, from which the native Kodiak bear got its name. Due to isolation from other ursine populations, Kodiaks are larger than the average brown bear.

  • Origin: Russian, Alaskan
  • Meaning: Island
  • Pronunciation: KOHW-dee-ak, KOH-dee-ak
  • Popularity: Kodiak is most popular in the U.S. but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names as it’s rare worldwide.
Cool, Eccentric, Melodious

Kontio

Kontio is a Finnish euphemism for “bear.” Beyond surnames, Kontio is not in common use. However, a Finnish state-owned icebreaker built in 1987 was given this epithet. Adorably, the Kontio icebreaker has a sister ship called Otso (bear). If you like Kontio, Tee or Tio would make super cute nicknames.

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: KON-tee-ohw, kun-TEE-oh
  • Namesakes: Erkki Jorma Kontio, a Finnish Harness racing driver.
  • Popularity: Kontio is most prevalent in Finland and Burkina Faso.
Exotic, Breezy
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Kumakichi

Kumakichi is unusual even in its home country of Japan. Still, it has a positive meaning and sounds perfect for the teddy bear type. If you wish the best for your baby, then grant him good fortune with Kumakichi. Any time it becomes overwhelming, you can shorten it to Kuma (KOO-MA), meaning “bear.”

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Fortunate bear
  • Pronunciation: KOO-MA-KEE-CHEE
  • Namesakes: Baron Kumakichi Nakajima, a Japanese entrepreneur, politician, and minister.
  • Popularity: Kumakichi is most popular in Japan but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names there.
Cute, Charming, Exotic

Kurokuma

The most well-known namesake of Kurokuma is the fictional stuffed robot bear from the Danganronpa video game franchise. This unusual moniker is a compound of the Japanese words “kuro” (black) and “kuma” (bear), making it the equivalent of calling your baby Blackbear in English. Though Kurokuma is a surname, it’s preferred for boys when used as a given name.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Black bear
  • Pronunciation: KOO-ROH-KOO-MA
  • Popularity: Kurokuma is a rare Japanese surname, with about 25 bearers internationally.
Exotic, Eccentric

Kuruk

Kuruk is Pawnee for “bear.” It may be rare, but a notable fictional namesake can be found in Avatar the Last Airbender TV series. In the show, Kuruk was an Avatar from the Northern Water Tribe. Despite having Pawnee roots, Kuruk could pass for an Inuit epithet.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: KUU-RAHK, KOO-rook
  • Popularity: Kuruk has about 74 bearers worldwide.
Strong, Cozy, Melodious

Liwanu

Liwanu originates with either the Hopi or the Miwok tribe. Although it’s considered masculine, it’s occasionally used for girls. If you’re looking for male bear names that are a little more descriptive, then Liwanu will do.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Growl of a bear
  • Pronunciation: LEH-WAH-NOO, LEE-WA-NOO
  • Variations: Lewanu
  • Popularity: There are under 70 people called Liwanu worldwide.
Fierce, Exotic, Eccentric

Math

Though Mathematics is usually shortened to Maths outside of the U.S., Math is still close enough to garner a raised eyebrow or two. Don’t get it twisted, though; this Math isn’t related to high school algebra. It has ancient Celtic roots, originating with “matus,” meaning “bear.” The Welsh Mabinogi even mentions a king and magician called Math ap Mathonwy.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: MATH, MEHTH
  • Popularity: Math garners the most interest in the Netherlands and Senegal.
Ancient, Eccentric, Simple

Mathgamain

Mathgamain is pretty much obsolete, and with the length and perceived complexity, it’s not hard to see why. From the Celtic root “matus,” meaning “bear,” and “gamuin,” meaning “calf,” Mathgamain likely means “young bear” or “cub.” Mathgamain isn’t hard to pronounce, but learning to spell and write it may be challenging for a toddler.

  • Origin: Old Irish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: MATH-guu-man, MA-guh-muhn
  • Variations: Mathghamhain
  • Namesakes: Mathgamain mac Cennétig, a 9th-century king of Munster.
  • Popularity: Mathgamain does not show up on any popularity charts.
Eccentric, Melodious, Ancient

Mato

Mato has two origins. From Native American Sioux roots, Mato means “bear” in Lakota. Meanwhile, in Croatia, it’s a short form of the Slovak Matej or the South Slavic Matija, both forms of Matthias. Mato is simple, sweet, and unassuming. And despite being the same length, you could use the nickname Matt.

  • Origin: Native American, Croatian
  • Meaning: Bear, gift of Jehovah
  • Pronunciation: MA-A-toh, MA-khoh
  • Variations: Matko
  • Namesakes: Mato Neretljak, a former Croatian football player turned professional football manager. Mato Medović, a Croatian painter. Mato Kósyk, a Prussian-born German minister and Sorbian-language poet.
  • Popularity: Mato is most common in Croatia, with about 49,341 bearers worldwide.
Simple, Charming, Handsome

Matoskah

Matoskah could be Slavic, but it doesn’t originate that far east. This moniker is Native American Sioux, specifically from the Lakota language. It combines the words “mato” (bear) and “ska” (white). Perhaps the Lakota residing in Canada have seen a polar bear or two. Accordingly, Matoskah would be perfect for a baby born in the winter.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: White bear
  • Pronunciation: ma-TOH-skah
  • Variations: Matoska
  • Popularity: Matoskah doesn’t appear on popularity charts, so it might be very rare.
Exotic, Cool, Breezy

Medved

Medved means “bear” in Croatian, Ukrainian, Russian, Slovene, and Slovak. It’s generally considered a gender-neutral surname (surnames are gendered in these countries), except in Czechia and Slovakia, where it is male. Hence, the Slovak female form is Medvedová. Medved is most popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Slovenia as a surname.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: MEHdh-VEHDH, MEHD-vihd, MyEHD-viht
  • Variations: Medvedova, Nedvěd
  • Namesakes: Andrej Medved, a Slovene poet and translator.
  • Popularity: Medved is popular in Russia, Belarus, and Uzbekistan.
Exotic, Strong

Mishka

Mishka is a diminutive of Mikhail, the Russian form of Micheal. Its variant, Misha, is an endearing nickname used for bears in Russia. This connection and the fact that “mishka/mechka” is Old Slavic for “bear” gives Mishka the meaning “little bear.” Since Mishka also means “gift of love” in Hindi, it’s an affectionate epithet for your little teddy.

  • Origin: Russian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Little bear, bear cub, who is like God?
  • Pronunciation: MEE-shkuh, MyEE-shkuh
  • Variations: Mischka, Misha
  • Namesakes: Mishka Henner, a Belgian artist based in England.
  • Popularity: With about 1,724 international bearers, Mishka is most common in South Africa, Georgia, and the U.S.
Spiritual, Charming, Pretty
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Muunokhoi

Muunokhoi could be a euphemism for a bear if you perceive them as ferocious. This Mongolian pick means “vicious dog” from the elements “muu,” meaning “bad” (implying viciousness), and “nokhoi,” meaning “dog.” Bears sometimes look like really big dogs, so Muunokhoi has promise.

  • Origin: Mongolian
  • Meaning: Vicious dog, bad dog
  • Pronunciation: moo-nuh-khOY
  • Popularity: Muunokhoi is limited to Mongolia, where there are about four known bearers.
Fierce, Exotic, Eccentric

Nanuq

Nanuq comes from the Inuktitut language. It’s gender-neutral but mainly used for boys. This Inuit option stays true to form, meaning “polar bear/white bear.” Few people will be familiar with Nanuq or its pronunciation, so consider one of the more phonetic spelling variants.

  • Origin: Inuit
  • Meaning: Polar bear
  • Pronunciation: NA-NOOK, NA-NUUK
  • Variations: Nanook, Nanuk
  • Popularity: Nanuq has one recorded bearer in the U.S.
Exotic, Strong, Cool

Nita

Nita is simply adorable in every way. This diminutive comes from Anita (and other names engine in “nita”). Anita is ultimately from Hannah, giving it the meaning “grace.” In Choctaw, Nita means “bear.” Few consider bears graceful, but polar bears can walk and slide along extremely thin ice.

  • Origin: English, Native American
  • Meaning: Grace, favor, bear
  • Pronunciation: NEE-tuh
  • Namesakes: Nita Mukesh Ambani, an Indian philanthropist. Nita Cavalier, an American silent film and stage actress. Nita Talbot (born Anita Sokol), an American actress.
  • Popularity: Nita has ranked on U.S. charts since the 1900s and placed for the last time in 1969 at 958th.
Cute, Pretty, Charming

Oberon

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon is a variant of Auberon, widely recognized as Titania’s fairy king and husband. Oberon thus has a soothingly romantic quality. It combines the Old German elements “alb” (fairy, elf) and “rih” (king). Some have also suggested Oberon has roots in the Germanic “bern,” meaning “bear.”

  • Origin: German, English
  • Meaning: Elf king
  • Pronunciation: OHW-buh-ron, OH-buh-raan
  • Variations: Auberon, Oberyn
  • Popularity: Oberon has about 234 international bearers.
Magical, Regal, Handsome

Oddbjørn

Oddbjørn looks a little odd! It’s a fun epithet from the Old Norse Oddbjǫrn, composed of the elements “oddr,” meaning “point of a sword,” and “bjǫrn,” meaning “bear.” For babies with Nordic roots, Oddbjørn would make a traditional-sounding middle name. Give your son a fighting chance with this warrior’s title.

  • Origin: Old Norse, Norwegian
  • Meaning: Sword bear
  • Pronunciation: OD-byurn
  • Variations: Oddbjǫrn
  • Namesakes: Oddbjørn Hagen, a Norwegian cross-country and Nordic combined skier with Olympic and World Championship wins. Oddbjørn Blindheim, a Norwegian jazz pianist.
  • Popularity: In Norway, Oddbjørn took the 83rd spot in 1950 but hasn’t ranked since.
Ancient, Fierce, Eccentric

Ohto

Ohto is similar to Otto (wealth, fortune) but is, in fact, a variant of the Finnish Otso, meaning “bear.” The familiar sound of Ohto makes it a great way to switch things up without being too out there. It’s not as popular as Otso, but it has promise.

  • Origin: Finnish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: O-htoh, OHH-taw
  • Variations: Otso
  • Namesakes: Ohto Manninen, a Finnish historian and university professor.
  • Popularity: Ohto is the most popular in Finland.
Simple, Strong

Orsa

Orsa is a medieval Italian version of the Latin Ursa. At about 528 international bearers, Orsa is a rare gem. In Sweden, there is a ski resort and holiday home called Orsa Grönklitt (roughly meaning Bear Greendune) named after the municipality it’s located in. Give this elegant little diminutive a try.

  • Origin: Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Little she-bear
  • Pronunciation: AWR-suh
  • Variations: Ursa, Ursula
  • Popularity: Orsa is most popular in Greece but doesn’t crack the top 1,000 names there.
Exotic, Charming, Sophisticated

Orson

Orson is a nickname based on a diminutive of the Norman word “ors,” meaning “bear.” This descends from the Latin Ursus (bear). Orson pairs wonderfully with the Italian Orsa if you have male and female twins. For twin boys, try Orson and Osborn. On average, almost all bear species have twins, so this theme is perfect for parents with double trouble.

  • Origin: English, French, Latin
  • Meaning: Bear, bear cub
  • Pronunciation: AWR-sun
  • Variations: Orso
  • Namesakes: Orson Chaplin, an English-born American actor and grandson of actor Charlie Chaplin. Orson Scott Card, an American science fiction author.
  • Popularity: Orson made U.S. charts once at 921st in 1901 but began ranking in England and Wales in 2009, taking the 831st spot.
Sophisticated, Wholesome, Strong

Osborn

The surname Osborn finds use as a first name in many African nations and Caribbean islands. It’s composed of the Old English “os” (god) and “beorn” (warrior, man, bear), making it a cognate of the Old Norse Ásbjǫrn/Ásbjørn. Although it’s still uncommon as a first name, you can grant your child an air of maturity with the stately Osborn.

  • Origin: Old Norse, English
  • Meaning: God bear, divine warrior
  • Pronunciation: AHZ-bawrn, OZ-bawn
  • Variations: Osborne, Osbourne, Osbern
  • Popularity: Osborn is most prevalent as a forename in Africa.
Spiritual, Sophisticated, Strong

Oso

Oso means “bear” in Spanish and was the main character of an animated children’s show called Special Agent Oso. Though the yellow and green bear brought this unusual epithet into the limelight, it’s still rare. Oso will let your baby feel special, too. As a bonus, Oso is, oh, so cute!

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: OH-soh
  • Popularity: Oso has about 1,780 bearers globally.
Cute, Exotic, Simple
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Otso

Otso was referred to as a bear deity that was revered by old Finnish tribes. The bear was considered the sacred king of the forest in Finnish myth and went by the names Kontio and Karhu, among others. In Basque, Otso means “wolf.” That’s two kings of the forest for the price of one.

  • Origin: Finnish, Basque
  • Meaning: Bear, wolf
  • Pronunciation: OH-TSOH, OH-choh
  • Namesakes: Otso Räisänen, a Finnish freestyle skier. Otso Virtanen, a Finnish football goalkeeper. Otso Rantakari, a Finnish professional ice hockey player.
  • Popularity: Otso is most commonly found in Finland, where it ranked 19th in 2022.
Fierce, Cute, Mythological

Panda

Panda is certainly unique. It’s an English term that describes the black and white bear native to China. It has been claimed that this word originated with the Nepalese “nigalya ponya,” meaning “eater of bamboo.” Panda won’t just be a name for your baby; it’s a term of endearment, too.

  • Origin: Nepali, English
  • Meaning: Bamboo eater
  • Pronunciation: PAN-duh
  • Popularity: Panda is most popular in India, with about 18,833 bearers internationally.
Eccentric, Cozy, Cute

Sisire

Sisire is Akan in origin. It’s extremely rare, with only about five recorded bearers worldwide. Although it sees more use as a surname, this is still rare, with less than 200 bearers. Sisire is a pretty African pick that’s hard to pass up. If you’d like your baby to connect with her roots, why not choose Sisire?

  • Origin: African
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Pronunciation: SEE-SEE-RAY
  • Popularity: Sisire is most prevalent on the Ivory Coast but doesn’t make the top 1,000 names there.
Pretty, Exotic, Regal

Swithin

The Old English Swithin (Swiðhun or Swiþhun) means “strong” or “swift” from “swiþ,” and “bear cub” from “hun.” This moniker is most notably tied to St. Swithin, the patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. This moniker might have been more common in the olden days but has become quite obscure in modern times.

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Strong bear cub, strong cub
  • Pronunciation: SWIH-dhin
  • Variations: Swithun
  • Namesakes: Swithun (or Swithin), an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and saint. Swithun Wells, an English Roman Catholic martyr.
  • Popularity: Swithin has about 636 bearers worldwide.
Sophisticated, Eccentric

Tarlo

Tarlo is both Native American Kiowa and Polish. Tarlo is a surname and a noble family in Poland, though the meaning is uncertain. In Kiowa, Tarlo means “bear cub.” We think Tarlo is quite sweet and hope you think so too!

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Bear cub
  • Pronunciation: taar-LOH
  • Popularity: Tarlo is most prevalent in Liberia, with about 149 global bearers.
Cute, Strong, Simple

Teddy

Teddy is short for Theodore and Edward, meaning “gift of God” and “wealthy protector,” respectively. But nowadays, many parents simply like the idea of naming their kid after a toy bear. This whimsical option conjures images of Winnie the Pooh or Paddington, giving it a nostalgic charm. Teddy is wholesome in every way.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Wealthy protector, gift of God
  • Pronunciation: TEH-dee
  • Variations: Teddie
  • Namesakes: Teddy Park, a South Korean-American rapper, songwriter, and record producer.
  • Popularity: Teddy was last spotted on U.S. charts at 978th in 1996 but continued to rank in England and Wales, coming 26th in 2021.
Cute, Cozy, Wholesome

Tezcatlipoca

Tezcatlipoca has Toltec and Aztec origins. It means “smoking mirror,” from the Nahuatl elements “tezcatl” (mirror) and “pōctli” (smoke). In Aztec culture, this was a god of the Ursa Major and night sky (or Great Bear Constellation) and one of the four major creator deities. Tezcatlipoca might be a little lengthy, but hopefully, that gives you many potential nicknames.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Smoking mirror
  • Pronunciation: TEHS-kat-lee-POH-ka
  • Popularity: Tezcatlipoca is limited to Mexico and is extremely rare worldwide.
Eccentric, Exotic, Mythological

Torben

Torben is one of our more epic options. It’s German and Danish but originates from the Old Norse Þorbjǫrn, also Þórbiǫrn, composed of “þónr” (thunder) and “bernu” (bear). Torben combines the might of the thunder god with the strength of a bear. Transport yourself to the days of runes and raids with this powerful pick.

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Thor’s bear, thunder bear
  • Pronunciation: TOHR-ben, TAWR-ben
  • Variations: Torbjörn
  • Namesakes: Torben Betts, an English playwright, screenwriter, and actor. Torben Schmidt Grael, a renowned Brazilian sailor and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Torben Schousboe, a Danish music researcher and writer.
  • Popularity: Torben is most prevalent in Denmark, Germany, and Norway.
Cool, Strong, Fierce

Ula

Ula sounds like a French exclamation — think, “Oh là là!” (OOH-la-la). Being a shortened form of the Polish Urszula and Slovene Uršula, it means “little bear.” For Norwegians and Swedes, Ula is a feminine derivative of the Old Norse Úlfr, meaning “wolf.” Ula is an endearing choice with a hidden wild side.

  • Origin: Polish, Slovene, Scandinavian, Lithuanian
  • Meaning: Little bear, wolf, wellspring
  • Pronunciation: OO-lah
  • Variations: Ūla
  • Namesakes: Ula Walker, the ex-wife of American actor and director Glynn Turman.
  • Popularity: Ula first appeared on U.S. charts in 1901 at 854th but disappeared after ranking 982nd in 1919. In Slovenia, it placed 30th in 2022.
Simple, Charming, Melodious

Ursa

Ursa is quite cute in both appearance and meaning. Despite this, Ursa isn’t very common worldwide. This feminine form of the Latin Ursus is famously connected to the Ursa Major (Big Bear) and Ursa Minor (Little Bear) constellations. Your baby lights up your world, so why not give her a star-spangled bear-themed epithet?

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Little she-bear
  • Variations: Orsa, Ursula
  • Popularity: In 2007, Ursa placed 98th in Slovenia but hasn’t ranked since.
Cute, Simple, Ancient
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Ursula

Many people know Ursula because of the antagonist of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. But an evil sea witch isn’t the end all be all of Ursula, as it means “little she-bear.” It’s a diminutive of Ursa (Latin for “bear”) from the masculine Latin name Ursus. Ursula is used in English, German, and Dutch, among other languages, making it somewhat popular.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Little she-bear, little bear
  • Pronunciation: UR-suh-luh, UR-syoo-luh, whOH-zoo-luh, OOR-soo-lah
  • Variations: Ursella
  • Namesakes: Ursula Rucker, an American spoken word recording artist. Ursula Howells, an English TV and film actress. Ursula Bloom, a British novelist and journalist.
  • Popularity: Ursula peaked in the U.S. at 447th in 1907 and ranked first in Germany between 1923 and 1932.
Charming, Sophisticated, Regal

Uzumati

Uzumati is very under the radar for such an intriguing pick. It’s of Native American Miwok origin, and although it can be used for girls, it’s primarily male. So if you’d like to delve into the culture of the Miwok people, Uzumati could be your gateway. It works especially well if your baby is big, brown-haired, and huggable.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Resembling a grizzly bear
  • Pronunciation: OO-ZOO-ma-tee
  • Variations: Uzumatee, Uzumatey
  • Popularity: Uzumati does not show up on popularity charts.
Exotic, Strong, Fierce

Vebjørn

Vebjørn comes from the Old Norse Vébjǫrn, composed of the elements “vé” (home, holy sanctuary, place of sacrifice) and “bjǫrn” (bear). Some have suggested that the first element is derived from the Old Norse “vèr,” meaning “fight,” or that it’s related to “weiha,” meaning “priest.” However, as these claims are unconfirmed, Vebjørn remains a bear-related option.

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Holy sanctuary bear, home bear
  • Pronunciation: VEH-byurn
  • Variations: Víbiǫrn, Vébjǫrn
  • Namesakes: Vebjørn Rodal, a Norwegian middle-distance athlete and Olympic gold medalist. Vebjørn Otto Tandberg, a Norwegian businessman and electrical engineer. Vebjørn Sand, a Norwegian painter and artist.
  • Popularity: Vebjørn is most popular in Norway, ranking for a final time there at 60th in 1996.
Spiritual, Ancient, Exotic

Vernados

Vernados is an uncommon choice, with no known bearers of the forename and only 41 bearers of the surname, found mainly in Greece. It has a Spanish ring to it despite its Greek origins. This, along with a brave and hearty meaning, makes Vernados pretty romantic.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Courage of the bear, brave bear
  • Pronunciation: VEHR-nuh-dohss
  • Popularity: Vernados is most popular in Greece as a surname, but it doesn’t make the charts as a first.
Charming, Melodious, Strong

Vetle

Vetle is the Norwegian form of the Old Norse Vetrliði, which means “winter traveler” and metaphorically “bear cub.” Its popularity in Norway has had little bearing on international interest. However, this might be your opportunity to call your baby something truly unique. If you’re a fan of winter and bears, take Vetle out of hibernation this season.

  • Origin: Norwegian, Old Norse
  • Meaning: Winter traveler, bear cub
  • Pronunciation: veh-TLUH, VEH-tluh
  • Variations: Vetrliði
  • Namesakes: Vetle Andersen, a Norwegian professional football player. Vetle Vinje, a Norwegian competitive rower and Olympic medalist. Vetle Vislie, a Norwegian educator and writer.
  • Popularity: Vetle is most common in Norway, ranking 42nd in 2022.
Ancient, Breezy, Exotic

Winnie

Winnie is an ursine name by association. In A. A. Milne’s children’s books, one of the protagonists is a stuffed toy bear called Winnie-the-Pooh. Winnie is related to the Latin Winifreda, from Welsh Gwenfrewi, and possibly influenced by the Old English Winfred. However, everyone’s favorite fictional teddy bear got his epithet from Winnipeg, a bear at the London Zoo.

  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Friend of peace, white and smooth, blessed stream
  • Pronunciation: WIH-nee
  • Variations: Winny, Winne
  • Namesakes: Winnie Holzman, an American dramatist, screenwriter, and poet. Winnie Kwai-Wah Wong-Ng, a Chinese-American physical chemist. Winnie Kiap, a Papua New Guinean diplomat.
  • Popularity: In 2021, Winnie ranked 204th in England and Wales, while on U.S. charts it was 592nd in 2022.
Breezy, Wholesome, Pretty

Woong

Woong comes from a Chinese character meaning “bear” or “hero/warrior.” In China, Woong, or Xiong, is a family name, but in Korea, it’s used as a given name. This is a manly moniker waiting for its time in the spotlight.

  • Origin: Korean
  • Meaning: Bear, hero
  • Pronunciation: OONG
  • Variations: Ung
  • Namesakes: Woong Namkung, a South Korean football player. Woong Byun, a South Korean football player.
  • Popularity: There are about 828 people called Woong worldwide.
Exotic, Strong, Melodious

Xiong

Don’t overlook the Chinese surname turned first name, Xiong. It means “bear,” but metaphorically, it means “hero/heroic,” “male,” or “mighty.” If your son is destined for greatness, Xiong is the perfect fit. With a little practice, the pronunciation will easily roll off your tongue.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Bear, hero, male, mighty
  • Pronunciation: SHong, SHyONG
  • Variations: Xióng
  • Popularity: Xiong has about 7,323 bearers worldwide, mainly in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Melodious, Fierce, Strong

Yonaguska

Yonaguska comes from the Cherokee language and is composed of “yona,” meaning “bear,” and “guniska,” meaning “to drown.” Calling your child something like “drowning bear” might seem a little dark, but perhaps there’s a greater story behind it. Yonaguska’s only known bearer was a 19th-century Cherokee chief and adoptive father of William Holland Thomas, a European-American lawyer and politician.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Drowning bear
  • Pronunciation: YO-na-GUS-ka
  • Namesakes: Yonaguska, a 19th-century Cherokee chief.
  • Popularity: Yonaguska is extremely rare worldwide and doesn’t make popularity charts.
Eccentric, Exotic

Yrsa

From the same root as the Latin Ursa, Yrsa is Old Norse for “she-bear.” Another suggestion claims that it stems from the Old Norse and Icelandic Ýrr, originating with the root “œrr” (furious, mad, wild). Yrsa might look elegant, but it’s as untamed as they come. Give your list of girl bear names a rugged Icelandic twist.

  • Origin: Old Norse, Nordic
  • Meaning: She-bear, wild
  • Pronunciation: YUR-suh, ER-sah
  • Variations: Yrse
  • Namesakes: Vilborg Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, an Icelandic crime novelist and children’s fiction author.
  • Popularity: With about 2,331 international bearers, Yrsa is most popular in Denmark and Sweden.
Pretty, Fierce, Ancient
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About the Author

Leigha Mayers

Leigha-Ceres Mayers is a freelance editor and copywriter from Trinidad and Tobago. Previously a primary school assistant teacher, she went on to acquire a TESOL certification before transitioning to freelancing. Outside of researching baby names, Leigha works alongside her husband, producing and publishing romance sci-fi and fantasy books. As a mum of two, she uses what little spare time she has to create traditional and digital works of art. Her other hobbies include voracious reading, watching anime, and learning new languages.
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