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Origin: France
Region Origin: Western Europe

Bernard is a masculine name of German origin, meaning 'brave bear' or 'strong'. The name is derived from the Old German elements 'bern' (bear) and 'hart' (hard, firm, brave, hardy). It was introduced to England by the Normans, replacing the Old English cognate Beornheard. The name has also been popular in France and has been borne by several saints, such as Saint Bernard of Menthon and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The origin of the name Bernard can be traced back to the ancient Germanic name Bernhard, which is composed of the elements 'ber(n)' (bear) and 'hard' (brave, hardy, strong). The name was popularized due to Saint Bernhard of Clairvaux, who was canonized in 1174. The name has since evolved and is now used in various forms across different languages and cultures, with common alternatives including Barnardo, Barney, Bern, Burnard, and Bernis.

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