Ernie’s buddy

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BERT.

Last seen on: Premier Sunday – King Feature Syndicate Crossword – Mar 31 2019

Random information on the term “BERT”:

Bert is a hypocoristic form of a number of various Germanic male given names, such as Robert, Albert, Herbert, Gilbert, Norbert, Bertram, Berthold, Isanbert, and probably Colbert.

There is a large number of Germanic names ending in -bert, second in number only to those ending in -wolf (-olf, -ulf). Most of these names are early medieval and only a comparatively small fraction remains in modern use.


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The element -berht has the meaning of “bright”, Old English beorht/berht, Old High German beraht/bereht, ultimately from a Common Germanic *berhtaz, from a PIE root *bhereg- “white, bright”. The female hypocoristic of names containing the same element is Berta.

Modern English bright itself has the same etymology, but it has suffered metathesis at an early date, already in the Old English period, attested as early as AD 700 in the Lindisfarne Gospels. The unmetathesized form disappears after AD 1000 and Middle English from about 1200 has briht universally.

There is no evidence of the berht element in Germanic personal names prior to the 6th century. It is mostly unknown in names of Goths, Vandals, Frisians or Norse, and only rarely occurs in names of Saxons. By contrast, it is very common among Anglo-Saxons, Lombards, Franks and Bavarians. The popularity of the element in certain areas may be related to religion, similar to the wolf element being due to the worship of Wodanaz, the names with berht can be considered theophoric, in connection with the goddess Perchta. The full form of Old High German beraht is reduced in two ways, by omission of either the second (berht, perht, pert) or the first vowel (braht, praht, brat, prat, brecht). Early attestations of such names include Ethberictus, Garberictus, and Transberictus mentioned in Hontheim’s Historia Trevirensis s. a. 699. Pardessus’ Diplomata s. a. 745 has Berdbert as a rare example of a reduplicated Germanic name. Förstemann counts 369 names with final -bert(a), of which 61 are feminine.[1]

BERT on Wikipedia