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teddy bear

Meaning: a soft toy bear filled with stuffing

For example:

  • Miles can't sleep without his blue teddy bear.

  • We bought a cute teddy bear for the new baby.

Origin: Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th US president (1901-1909). His nickname was Teddy. In 1902, Roosevelt was on a bear-hunting trip and he was the only one of his fellow hunters that hadn't caught a bear. The hunters found an old, sick black bear and tied it up to a tree. They told Roosevelt to shoot it. He refused, saying it would be unsportsmanlike. However, he thought someone else should kill the bear because it was suffering. A political cartoonist picked up the story and published a cartoon featuring the President and the bear. Then a toymaker made a stuffed bear and sold it as "Teddy's bear". The toy became popular and the name stuck.

Quick Quiz:

You would most likely buy a teddy bear in a

a. pet shop

b. toy shop

c. hunting shop

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Contributor: Tara Benwell