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A bear is the type of an uncouth and savage creature. In medieval usage, also taken as symbolizing sloth and gluttony.

A bear is the emblem of St Gall, a 7th-century Irish monk and hermit living in what is now Switzerland, and the Russian St Seraphim (1759–1833), who while living as a hermit cared for bears and other wild animals.

From the late 18th century, the Bear has been used to denote Russia.

bear and ragged staff the crest of the Earls of Warwick, showing a bear with a staff having projecting stumps or knobs; the bear is said to derive from Arthgal, a legendary Earl of Warwick, who because his name meant ‘bear’ took the animal as his badge; the ragged staff refers to the story that his son killed a giant with a young ash tree, which he tore up by the roots.

bear garden originally (like the Paris of Chancery) a place set apart for baiting of bears with dogs for sport, and such areas were also often used for other rough sports. The term is now used for a scene of uproar and confusion.

bear leader in the 18th century, a humorous name for a rich young man's travelling tutor, seen as one managing a somewhat uncouth charge.

Subjects: Religion.

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