I was about to type "please bare with me" into an email, but as I was about to type "bare", I realized that I wasn't sure which [Bare/Bear] was the correct usage of the phrase.

Doing my own research into it, there are entire blogs dedicated to the history of the phrase, but each with only one particular spelling, not mentioning the other, and each offering possible origins based on the single spelling they chose.

Most of these seem strictly opinion, leading to my question; Is there an official answer to this, as in a source to reference it against?

It is: Please, bear with me.

Think of the use of the word bearing, as in weight-bearing or ball bearings.

"Bear with me" means, "support this process by waiting a moment while I explain, clarify or complete it"

Bear means:

  1. To hold up; support.
  2. To carry from one place to another; transport.
  3. To carry in the mind; harbor: bear a grudge.
  4. To transmit at large; relate: bearing glad tidings.
  5. To have as a visible characteristic: bore a scar on the left arm.
  6. To have as a quality; exhibit: "A thousand different shapes it bears" (Abraham Cowley).
  7. To carry (oneself) in a specified way; conduct: She bore herself with dignity.
  8. To be accountable for; assume: bearing heavy responsibilities.
  9. To have a tolerance for; endure: couldn't bear his lying.
  10. To call for; warrant: This case bears investigation.
  11. To give birth to: bore six children in five years.
  12. To produce; yield: plants bearing flowers.
  13. To offer; render: I will bear witness to the deed.
  14. To move by or as if by steady pressure; push: "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" (F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Ball Bearing and forbearing both have a sense of carrying a load or weight. If someone bears a load they are carrying or enduring it.

"Bear with me" means to patiently carry the weight/result of my slowness, stupidity, etc. A ball bearing is a ball that carries weight or pressure.

Forebear means to refrain, abstain, patiently carry a burden (forbearance can mean to delay foreclosure on a mortgage which implies someone else carries the burden of the debt).

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Considering that the origins of the English language were back in the days of Elizabethan English (or at least a lot closer to that form of English than the current form).

I would look towards the word "forbearance" as having the correct meaning of the word bear in the phrase "bear with me".

The phrase has the connotation of "have patience with me". That's what the idea of "forbearance" is all about. I don't think one has to look for a highly technical answer to explain this.



verb uncover and reveal.


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.



It is bear not bare in the phrase "Please, bear with me."

Unless you're at the pool, the beach, or in a romantic, secluded place with your significant other, saying "Please, bare with me" could have a very undesirable outcome.

While a bear is an animal, you'll probably never see a bare in the woods.

I haven't the foggiest idea where the phrase came from, but when it's written, be sure to use the correct word, or risk sounding either illiterate or offensive, depending on your reader.

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bare with me: get naked/nude with me Emotion: smile


Is It Bear With Me Or Bare With Me?

The correct expression is "Bear with me."

Bear with me

The word bear is both a noun and a verb.

The noun, bear, indicates a large animal, while the verb, bear, explains the process of supporting someone, carrying their weight, being patient or tolerant, and so on.


Expression: Please, bear with me while I try to pronounce this word.

Meaning: Please be patient with me while I try to pronounce this word.

Bare with me

The word Bare can be an adjective, meaning naked or simple/basic or a verb, describing the process of undressing.

How to remember which one is correct?

A simple trick could help you remember the correct spelling for this expression. It always helps to associate new learnings with what we already know.

So the next time you have to use the expression "bare with me," think about a big furry animal - bear.

Bear and Bare as homographs

Why do we still ask this question, after so many of us speak the English language?


Bear and Bare are homographs - a pair of words with the same sound but different meaning and spelling. Because these words sound the same, we make mistakes, and even the most masterful English speakers sometimes think about it.

Both words have different meanings that might come in handy in another situation.


  • Bear (noun) - a large, furry animal (polar, brown, grizzly, and panda bear).
  • Bear (noun) - a large, heavy man (it's an informal saying used in some communities in the US).
  • Bear (noun) - on stock markets, they call people who sell their shares in the hope of buying them back with a lower price bears.
  • Bear (verb) - to carry something (to bear something).
  • Bear (verb) - support, carry the weight of something, be patient.
  • Bear (verb) - to give birth to a child (to bear, bore)
  • Bear (verb) - to turn and continue in a specific direction


  • Bare (adj) - naked, not clothed
  • Bare (adj) - simple, basic, with no additions
  • Bare (verb) - to uncover, expose (a part of the body or other thing)
  • Bare (determiner) - they use the word bare in the UK to describe a large amount of something.

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I was about to do the same. The best explanation I heard was "Bearing the load." That truly makes sense, although the one that states "...so I had a line of naked people standing at my door." was the most memorable one. I think whichever helps you remember is the best one to keep in mind.
it's bare NOT bear.. a bear is an animal
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Did you read this thread before expressing your opinion?

Best wishes, Clive
Anonymousa bear is an animal
Oh dear! The animal is a noun. What is being discussed here is the verb, which is spelt "bear" and has nothing to do with being naked.
lol okay thanks i had the same issue- quickly changed it from bare to bear when i read this Emotion: big smile
i suffered the same problem.

The good word guide says that the verb bear to support is the correct spelling.
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