Bear With Us: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 11, 2023

"Bear with us" is a polite expression used to ask someone for their patience and understanding while dealing with a temporary inconvenience, delay, or difficulty. The phrase often implies that the speaker acknowledges the inconvenience and is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

In short:

"Bear with us" typically signifies a request for patience or tolerance while something is being handled or completed.

What Does "Bear with Us" Mean?

The phrase is commonly used to express the need for a little patience or forbearance while a task is being accomplished or a problem is resolved. For example, you might ask someone to bear with you as you sort through documents, complete a complex procedure, or find a solution to a technical issue.

Let's explore its core meanings:

  • It is generally a request for patience or understanding during a delay.
  • It is commonly used in customer service or when facing a technical or logistical difficulty.
  • Despite its formal tone, it is used in both formal and informal situations.

Where Does "Bear with Us" Come From?

The origin of the phrase "bear with us" can be traced back to the Old English verb "beran," which means "to carry" or "to endure." The use of "bear" in the sense of "endure" or "tolerate" can be found in various literary works throughout history, including the King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare.

Historical Example

"Bear with us while we add this terrible passage, which we once before made mention of, Matt. 18:5-6. [Whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name, receives me; but whosoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.]"

- A Petition for Peace: with The Reformation of the Liturgy, 1661

10 Examples of "Bear with Us" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • Bear with us as we navigate through these changes; your patience is much appreciated.
  • Bear with us for a moment, and we'll have your order ready.
  • We ask that passengers bear with us as we deal with this unexpected delay.
  • I appreciate you bearing with us as we navigate this challenging situation.
  • Could you bear with us while we finalize the details of the contract?
  • Please bear with us as we work diligently to resolve the issue. With kind regards, the Customer Support Team.
  • The restaurant is short-staffed today, so we're asking customers to bear with us as we do our best to serve everyone.
  • If you wish to inquire about our services, please bear with us as we're experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes.
  • We know that joining a new team can be challenging, so please bear with us and welcome aboard.
  • We're striving to follow our protocols to a tee, so bear with us while we get things sorted.

Examples of "Bear with Us" in Pop Culture

The phrase "bear with us" occasionally appears in pop culture, often in scenarios where patience is requested from an audience or group.

Let's examine some examples:

  • "Bear With Us: A Collection of Tavern Club Verses" is a collection of poems written by members of the Tavern Club, a social and literary club founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1825.
  • "Grandmother Bear With Us" is a book written by Meredith Brooks-Wynfield and Sandy Denis and published in 2011. The book presents an elder's story, told in the tradition of ancient wisdom and lore.
  • "Bear with Us" is a 2016 comedic romance film directed by William J. Stribling, featuring a cast including Christy Carlson Romano and Cheyenne Jackson.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Bear with Us"

There are numerous alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "bear with us."

Here are some of them:

  • Please be patient
  • Hang on a moment
  • Stay with us
  • Hold on
  • Wait a minute/moment

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Bear with Us":

  • What does "bear with us" mean?

"Bear with us" generally signifies a request for patience or tolerance while a problem is resolved or a task completed.

  • How can I use "bear with us" in a sentence?

You can use "bear with us" to ask for someone's patience. For example, "Please bear with us while we fix this issue."

  • Where does the idiom "bear with us" come from?

The phrase comes from the Old English word "beran," which means to carry or endure. It's been used in the sense of "tolerate" for centuries.

  • Is "bear with us" a formal term?

"Bear with us" has a somewhat formal tone, but it is used in both formal and informal situations.

  • Does "bear with us" imply a lengthy wait?

Not necessarily. The phrase requests patience but doesn't specify the length of the delay.

  • Is "bear with us" only used in customer service?

While common in customer service, the phrase can be used in any situation where patience is requested.

  • Is "bear with us" a polite expression?

Yes, "bear with us" is generally considered a polite request.

  • Is "bear with us" the same as "bear with me"?

Yes, they have the same meaning. The choice between "us" and "me" depends on whether the speaker is representing a group or themselves individually.

  • Can you use it in written communication?

Yes, it is appropriate in both spoken and written communication.

  • Is "bear with us" a global phrase or specific to certain cultures?

The phrase is used globally, though it is most common in English-speaking countries.

Final Thoughts About "Bear with Us"

"Bear with us" is a widely used and versatile expression that requests patience and understanding from others during temporary inconveniences or difficulties.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase typically asks for patience while a problem is resolved or a task is completed.
  • The term originates from the Old English word "beran," which means to carry or endure.
  • While the phrase has a somewhat formal tone, it is used in both formal and informal situations.

It's important to remember that "bear with us" is best used when addressing temporary inconveniences rather than long-term issues or problems. So the next time you encounter a delay, just remind yourself to take it in stride and be tolerant.

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