Why did people suddenly devise a new name to your bear? Back then, before fences and guns and houses, brown bears were northern Europe’s apex predator. Hunters were cautious of hrktos they came to believe that talking about them had been asking for trouble. Eventually, linguists believe, the term became taboo that all American people began with a euphemism, bero, rather than
A: Can a bear by any other name be as scary? Frankly, I really don’t know. But I am awfully proud of my moniker. The term”bear” has a much more intriguing history behind it than many animals’ titles –one that speaks to this lengthy and complex history between us and humans.
We think that evolved out of the term bero, or”brown one” at Proto-Germanic, a classical language spoken by a group of tribes in northern Europe from roughly 500 B.C.E. And that’s where things get really interesting. You seethe parent language of Proto-Germanic, known as Proto-Indo-European, had its own, different word for bear, very roughly pronounced”hrktos.”
So there you have it: Bears would be the Voldemort of this Iron Age. Our old title isn’t just lost, however: It lives on in the brown bear’s scientific feasibility, Ursus arctos, in addition to from the English word”Arctic.”
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Q: Where can the word”bear” come out of?
Our resident bruin expert answers your questions in our’Ask A Bear’ column.