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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. German (Bär): from Middle High German ber ‘bear’, a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal in some way, a metonymic occupational name for someone who kept a performing bear, or a habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of a bear. In some cases, it may derive from a personal name containing this element.
  2. Jewish (Ashkenazic): from the Yiddish male personal name Ber, from Yiddish ber ‘bear’.
  3. Dutch: from Middle Dutch baer ‘naked’, ‘bare’. Debrabandere suggests it may have been a nickname for someone who wore ragged clothes.
  4. The family name Baer was established in Northampton Co., PA, in 1743.
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