Sunday, October 30, 2016
Pat Phelan wrote, “I am curious as to why people say bare with me when you are talking to them? I find it happens more often during a telephone conversation rather than in person; offhand, I don't know of any time I heard that in person, actually.”
First of all, remember that bare and bear, while they sound identical, are very different in meaning. “Bare with me” would be like saying, “get naked with me.” “Bear with me” is the spelling that you need.
“Bear with me” is connected to words such as forebear and forbearance, words that project patience and putting up with something.
Bear started out meaning to carry a weight, but it progressed to toleration. “Bear in mind”—meaning remember—amounts to “carry this in your head.” “Bear with me” amounts to “tolerate me, be patient with me.” It has carried this meaning since the 16th century.
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