masc. proper name, from German Bernhard, literally "bold as a bear," from Old High German bero "bear" (see bear (n.)) + harti "hard, bold, strong" (from PIE root *kar- "hard"). Saint Bernard (1091-1153) was the famous Cistercian monk; the breed of Alpine dogs is said to have been so called from early 18c. (in English by 1839), from the hospice founded in the Alpine pass that bears his name.

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