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What’s in a word – Teddy Bear

Recommended for Preparatory Grades

Did you know that the beloved cuddly teddy bear was invented in honour of a former American President? In fact, the term “teddy bear” did not exist before 1902.

It is named after former US President Theodore Roosevelt. The story goes like this:

Roosevelt went on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi, US on 14 November 1902. However, he was not able to find a single bear. So, people around him invited him to shoot an injured bear that was tied to a tree. But Roosevelt refused, saying that it was extremely unsportsmanlike.

This story quickly spread through newspapers and a cartoonist made a cartoon drawing of it too. Then, a couple (called the Michtoms) saw the cartoon and decided to make a stuffed toy bear. They dedicated the toy to the president, calling it ‘Teddy’s Bear’.

After that, the Michtoms got Roosevelt’s permission to make more of the ‘teddy bear’ and eventually, they became very popular.


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English is one of the most commonly used languages today. However, many words in the English language come from different languages, especially, Greek and Latin. They usually have some interesting history behind them and it is fun to find out about them. So, in this “What’s in a word” series, come along with us at Curious Times as we try to find out the origin of common English words. Prepare to be awed, impressed or even shocked sometimes.

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