*bear* with me

Posted by Word Camel on January 18, 2005

In Reply to: Bare with me posted by prof d'anglais on January 18, 2005

: I asked my French students to "bare with me" and realised I couldn't explain it's origin, meaning or even certain of it's spelling. I'm also aware "to bare" occurs in many other phrases eg "to bare in mind" etc

Unless your students are nudists, you were likely to be asking them to *bear* with you. One of the many meanings of the verb "to bear" is to "To press, force one's way against resistance; to move with effort, with persistence, or with a distinct bias in some direction" (from the OED). So "bear with me" means persist in me in something, a line of reasoning, perhaps. It's also to "bear in mind" as in to bear or carry some though in mind.

But be of good cheer. At least it's a funny spelling mistake. Personally, I can not spell to save my life, and I've spelled it "bare" (to lay bare or disclose) on occasion. You could always claim it was a Freudian slip.