Bare or Bear With Me?

By Maeve Maddox

Commonly seen on the Web is the misspelled phrase “bare with me.” The correct expression is “bear with me.” It means, “be patient with me.”

One of the many meanings of the verb “to bear” is “to tolerate.” The verb bare, on the other hand, means “to reveal” or “to uncover.” For example, “Do not bare your navel in public.”

It’s not unusual to find “bear with me” spelled incorrectly in discussions of domestic problems:

I know it’s long, but please bare with me, I’m in desperate need of advice.

I’m having trouble putting my thoughts into words so you will have to bare with me through this.

After all, people suffering emotional pain are not immediately concerned with correct usage or concise writing even when they are capable of it.

It’s a little more surprising to find “bare with me” in the published transcripts of the minutes of government agencies and professional associations:

It’s been a long day people. Please bare with me. (Minutes of a government committee hearing)

Dr Kaul added that the partners are actively working together to appoint GPs, [and] asked that patients bare with them… (Minutes of a medical practice)

Our new webpage is currently under construction so bare with us while we fix up the bugs. (University website)

I just typed all of this up in a matter of minutes. So bare with me with the grammatical errors and what not. lol. (Report published on what seems to be a commercial site)

The amended language is not yet available…. So please bare with us a little longer. (Home owners’ association site)

Most surprising is to find “bare with me” in a news article:

He [Councillor Tim Crumpton] said: “I know car parking is causing a problem and I would ask people to bare with us.” (The Worcester News)

Beware of bare. Unless you’re inviting someone to play strip poker with you, don’t write the phrase “bare with me.” The correct version is bear with me.

5 Responses to “Bare or Bear With Me?”

  • Dale A. Wood

    This was posted on the front door of a snack shop in San Diego:

    “We are taking a brake.
    Please bare with us.”

  • XirmiX

    I can’t stand the fact that it’s “bear with me” and not “bare with me”. It irritate my noggin because the word “bear” makes you think of the animal bear. “Bare with me” isn’t so irritating at least, even though the word “bare” is commonly related to being naked.

  • Xcom

    “Bare with me” is known to have been used on purpose on a nudist website!

  • George Bunzi

    This is great! Just can’t stop chuckling on the image of naked folks!

  • Roberta B.

    That’s hilarious! I couldn’t get rid of the image in my mind of all these folks getting naked (i.e., baring themselves) with each other. For the example which said, “So bare with me with the grammatical errors and what not. lol,” was that a “commercial” site or a “comical” site? (I seem to find myself transposing letters in those two words!) LOL

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