‘Bare’ or ‘bear’?

I am here to save you from the potential embarrassment of asking someone to ‘please bare with’ you. You don’t want that. Probably.

BearSo, in this context:

  • To bare is to uncover or reveal.
  • To bear is to accept, tolerate or endure.

Both words have alternative meanings. Bare may mean ‘basic and simple’ or ‘plain’, or it can mean ‘the least possible amount’. The word bear (past tense bore) has so many other uses (mostly related to the concept of carrying) that I have listed them below:

  • To carry or convey – ‘he was bearing a cup of tea’; ‘the boat bore the traveller downriver’
  • To carry or conduct oneself in a certain manner – ‘he bore himself with pride’
  • To display as a mark or feature – ‘it bears my signature’
  • (Similarly to the above) To have or continue to have something – ‘She bears a resemblance to my grandmother’; ‘I bear him nothing but goodwill’
  • To be called by (a name) – ‘I bear the name of my ancestors’
  • To support or carry the weight of – ‘the bridge could not bear the lorry’
  • To take responsibility for – ‘I bear no responsibility for your actions’
  • To be able to accept or stand up to – ‘your idea does not bear scrutiny’
  • To say something is true or happened in your experience – ‘I will bear witness to that’
  • To give birth to (a child) – ‘she bore two daughters’
  • To produce (of a tree, plant) – ‘my orange tree bears fruit’
  • To turn and proceed in a specified direction – ‘bear right at the end of the road’

I won’t patronise you by explaining bear as a noun.*

*… Apart from the usage in finance as it is a new one to me. A bear is a person who sells shares when they expect prices to fall and then buys them back (or hopes to buy them back) at the lower price.

Make of that what you will.


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