The English word”keep” comes from the Old English bera. We believe that evolved by the word bero, or even”brown one” in Proto-Germanic, an ancient language spoken by a set of tribes in northern Europe from roughly 500 B.C.E. And that is where things get very interesting. You seethe parent language of Proto-Germanic, known as Proto-Indo-European, had its very own, different word for bear, quite approximately pronounced”hrktos.”
So why did people devise a new name for your bear? Before guns and electric fences and homes bears were the apex predator of northern Europe. Hunters were so cautious of hrktos that they came to think that even talking about them had been asking for trouble. Eventually, linguists believe, the word became taboo that Germanic people began using a euphemism, bero, rather than
Q: Where can the term”bear” come from? –Etymology Eddie
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A: Can a bear by any other name be as scary? I really don’t understand. But I am awfully proud of my own moniker. The word”bear” has a much more intriguing history behind it than many animals’ names–one which speaks to the long and complex connection between us and people.
So there you have itBears would be the Voldemort of the Iron Age. Our old name is not just lost, though: It lives on in the brown bear’s scientific feasibility, Ursus arctos, as well as from the English word”Arctic.”