canton of Bern (sense 2)


Proper Noun


  • Alemannic German Bärn, of uncertain further origin.
  • A popular folk etymology says it was named by its founder, Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen, after the first animal he saw in the area, a Bär (compare Berlin, subject to a similar folk etymology).
  • The name is now thought to be connected to a Celtic word, Proto-Celtic *berna ("cleft") (from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerH-) and *branos (compare the name ΒΡΕΝΟΔΩΡ, on the Bern zinc tablet, which has also been connected with the Gaulish name Brennus). More at Bern.

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