masc. proper name, from French ourson, diminutive of ours "bear," from Latin ursus (see arctic).
"pertaining to a bear," 1550s, from Latin ursinus "of or resembling a bear," from ursus "a bear," cognate with Greek arktos, from PIE *rtko- (see arctic).
masc. proper name, from Medieval Latin Arthurus/Arturus, usually said to be from Welsh arth "bear," cognate with Greek arktos, Latin ursus (see arctic).
1766, a misapplication to the European bison (Bos bison) of a word that actually refers to a species of wild cattle (Bos ursus) that went extinct early 17c.; from German Aurochs, from Old High German urohso, from uro "aurochs" (cognate with Old English ur, Old Norse ürr), which is of unknown origin, + ohso "ox" (see ox). Latin urus and Greek ouros are Germanic loan-words.
late 14c., artik, "of or pertaining to the north pole of the heavens," from Old French artique and directly from Medieval Latin articus, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos "of the north," literally "of the (constellation) Bear," from arktos "bear;" also "Ursa Major; the region of the north," the Bear being the best-known northern circumpolar constellation.
This is from *rkto-, the usual Indo-European root for "bear" (source also of Avestan aresho, Armenian arj, Albanian ari, Latin ursus, Welsh arth). For speculation on why Germanic lost the word, see bear (n.). The -c- was restored from 1550s.
It is attested from early 15c. as "northern;" from 1660s as "cold, frigid." As a noun, with capital A-, "the northern polar regions," from 1560s.
"large carnivorous or omnivorous mammal of the family Ursidae," Old English bera "a bear," from Proto-Germanic *bero, literally "the brown (one)" (source also of Old Norse björn, Middle Dutch bere, Dutch beer, Old High German bero, German Bär), usually said to be from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown." There was perhaps a PIE *bheros "dark animal" (compare beaver (n.1) and Greek phrynos "toad," literally "the brown animal").
Greek arktos and Latin ursus retain the PIE root word for "bear" (*rtko; see arctic), but it is believed to have been ritually replaced in the northern branches because of hunters' taboo on names of wild animals (compare the Irish equivalent "the good calf," Welsh "honey-pig," Lithuanian "the licker," Russian medved "honey-eater"). Others connect the Germanic word with Latin ferus "wild," as if it meant "the wild animal (par excellence) of the northern woods."
Used of rude, gruff, uncouth men since 1570s. Symbolic of Russia since 1794. The stock market meaning "speculator for a fall" is by 1709, a shortening of bearskin jobber (from the proverb sell the bearskin before one has caught the bear); i.e. "one who sells stock for future delivery, expecting that meanwhile prices will fall." Paired with bull from c. 1720. Bear claw as a type of large pastry is from 1942, originally chiefly western U.S. Bear-garden (1590s) was a place where bears were kept for the amusement of spectators.