Well, you might find the answer here, on the official website of the BBC, at The BBC.
A nickname for John Harrison, Bob. Bob (the surname) derives from a Greek word, meaning “bear”. Bob first entered English use in 1641, presumably in association with ‘bobcat’ (“a bobcat”; also, in Scottish and Irish Gaelic, “bobo”).
Bob is apparently “from the German ‘Böhmern’, which means ‘man’. Bob is therefore thought of as a diminutive. ‘But, as some have pointed out’, the Germanic ‘Bör’ translates as ‘dog’, and as such is a very appropriate nickname for a dog!
It is not yet clear, in the course of its existence, why the Bob is known as a bob. Although it is possible to suggest that, to some extent at least, it is a term of endearment rather than a description as to the animal’s natural state.
What is the origin of the name Bob?
As with any other Germanic name, Bob can be traced back to Germanic. In German the initial consonants are pronounced the same way as the English and French ‘b’. The Germanic names for animals were usually derived from this basic sound system, or from the name of some animal. Thus, ‘Beau’ is the name for a bear.
As the original b in bob stands for an ‘L’, this also means that the first letters of bob’s name stand for the German ‘be’, which in turn means ‘bear’ (see ‘Handsaw’ for a bear).
The Germanic ‘be’ was also a contraction of ‘beowulf’, as in ‘böhmern’. As the b is in a syllable it means the word ‘b-i-be-uh-l’ or ‘bear to the left and right’.
So the common English pronunciation for ‘Bob’ is a shortened form of ‘beowulf’.
Bob also originally represented a form of ‘norse-man’ (a person who had a Germanic, northern Germanic (Nordic and Baltic) name) or ‘norse-man’, and could be used simply to show that the person was a Norseman or Nordic (Germanic) man.
As a shortened form of
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