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Meaning and Origin of: Dear

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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: from the Middle English personal name Dere, Old English Dēora, in part a short form of various compound names formed with dēore ‘dear’, in part a byname meaning ‘beloved’, or dēor ‘brave’, ‘bold’.
  2. English: nickname from Middle English dere, Old English dēor ‘wild animal’, or from the adjective of the same form, meaning ‘wild’, ‘fierce’. By the Middle English period the adjective was falling out of use, and the noun was beginning to be restricted to the sense of modern English deer, so that this may be the sense behind the surname in some cases.
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