Bear/Bare with Me While I Confuse You

I recently used this saying in a e-mail and realized afterward that I had no idea if I used the correct term: “bear” or “bare.” I then realized that was because I have no idea of the meaning behind this saying.

As it turns out, it’s much easier to remember which spelling to use if you know the whole story. (As is often the case in life in general.) 🙂

bare

verb uncover and reveal.

bear1

verb (past bore; past part. borne) 5 manage to tolerate; endure: I can’t bear it. 6 (cannot bear) strongly dislike. 7 give birth to (a child). 8 (of a tree or plant) produce (fruit or flowers). 9 turn and proceed in a specified direction: bear left.

— PHRASE bear with be patient or tolerant with.

So the confusion falls with what “bear” means. It’s not the noun, like grizzly or black bear, but the verb. And to say “please bare with me” is suggesting someone ought to get naked with you. Oops! So bear with me while I get this all straight. 🙂

Leave a comment 2 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    It is no wonder that foreigners have so much trouble learning English. This is the perfect example of how difficult it can be to understand how words that sound alike are used, and how one must know the difference between the sound and the written word use in writing. Of course the thought of learning all of the Chinese characters seems way more overwhelming to me!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    If I had a dime for every time I’ve done this~put it in the bank~earned interest on it from the time I was old enough to speak…well, I think those dimes would have created a nice little “nest egg” (hope I used that correctly;-) by now.

    Can you imagine how difficult it must be for many immigrants to learn English? We have so many words that sound exactly the same but are spelled differently & can mean a multitude of things. But it is fun hearing/reading a word or phrase in a new light. Kids seem especially gifted at turning a phrase on its ear. I’m sure it something I never grew out of, so to speak:-)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *