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Stained glass St Bernard MNMA Cl3273.jpg
Pronunciationmainly UK: /ˈbɜːrnərd/
mainly US: /bərˈnɑːrd/[1]
French: [bɛʁ.naʁ]
Dutch: [ˈbɛrnɑrt]
Word/nameWest Germanic
Region of originmedieval Europe
Other names
Related namesBernie, Barnard, Bernardas, Bearnárd, Bernardo, Beñat, Bernhard, Bernhardt, Bernd, Bernadette, Berend

Bernard (Bernhard) is a West Germanic masculine given name.[2]

The name is attested from at least the 9th century. West Germanic Bernhard is composed from the two elements bern "bear" and hard "brave, hardy",[3] its native Old English reflex was Beornheard, which was replaced by the Old French form Bernard after the Norman conquest. The name Bernhard was notably popular among Old Frisian speakers,[4] its wider use was popularized due to Saint Bernhard of Clairvaux (canonized 1174).

Geographical distribution[edit]

As of 2014, 42.2% of all known bearers of the surname Bernard were residents of France (frequency 1:392), 12.5% of the United States (1:7,203), 7.0% of Haiti (1:382), 6.6% of Tanzania (1:1,961), 4.8% of Canada (1:1,896), 3.6% of Nigeria (1:12,221), 2.7% of Burundi (1:894), 1.9% of Belgium (1:1,500), 1.6% of Rwanda (1:1,745), 1.2% of Germany (1:16,397), 1.2% of Jamaica (1:595), 1.1% of Ghana (1:6,179), 1.0% of England (1:13,691) and 1.0% of Madagascar (1:6,098).

In France, the frequency of the surname was higher than national average (1:392) in the following regions:[5]

List of people with the name[edit]

The following people and items share the name Bernard.

Given name[edit]



Fictional characters[edit]

given name
  • Andy Bernard, character on the United States television series The Office

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  2. ^ Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, Librairie Larousse 1980. p. 38, New completed edition by Marie-Thérèse Morlet.
  3. ^ "Name Meaning and Origin". Retrieved 2013-06-16.. T. F. Hoad, English Etymology, Oxford University Press 1993. p. 36.
  4. ^ Die Kosenamen der Germanen: Eine Studie, Franz Stark, 1868 (German)
  5. ^ Bernard surname distribution
  6. ^ Bernard (TV series)