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  • Bear or Bare?

    By Jack Ashby, on 18 June 2013

    Whilst working on some new displays recently I stuck up a sign saying “Please bear with us whilst we develop new displays”. Some people thought this was a deliberate clever pun as the display included some bears and they believed the correct spelling to be “bare”. It seems that this is a common problem as the question “Bear or Bare” gets over 75 million results on Google. This may help you remember when to use “bear” and when to use “bare”.

    1) If you are talking about the large mammal, say “bear”.

    2) The adjective meaning naked is “bare”.

    3) The verb meaning to carry or hold is “bear”. For example:

    Bear in Mind  That's a bear's brain, by the way. And the skeleton's a bear too

    Bear in Mind
    That’s a bear’s brain, by the way. And the skeleton’s a bear too

    Bearing gifts

    Bearing gifts

    Grin and Bear It

    Grin and Bear It

    Bear Fruit

    Bear Fruit

    Bear Up

    Bear Up

    Bring to Bear

    Bring to Bear

    Bear a Resemblance

    Bear a Resemblance

    Bearer of Bad News

    Bearer of Bad News

    I Can't Bear Bears

    I Can’t Bear Bears

    Bear the Cold

    Bear the Cold

    Bear South

    Bear South

    Do Not Feed the Bears

    Do Not Feed the Bears

    Right to Bear Arms

    Right to Bear Arms

    On that last one, by the way, I recommend this Family Guy clip, which also involves some bear arms.

    In conclusion – bears are a lot more useful than being naked.

    Jack Ashby is the Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology

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