Bear Necessities: What does the Popular Idiom “Bear Necessities”Mean?

What does “Bear Necessities” mean? If you are a fan of Disney, then you have probably heard this term before. However, it is not just a popular song from an animated movie. Here you will find the real meaning of the idiom “bear necessities,” the story of its origin, and some example sentences and conversations using the phrase in its proper context. Lastly, you will find some suggested words or phrases that you can use in place of the phrase “bear necessities” that will convey the same meaning.

Bear Necessities

Bear Necessities Meaning

The idiomatic phrase “bear necessities” is more commonly and correctly written “bare necessities.” The phrase means having only the basic things that you need to survive and nothing extra.

Origin of this idiom

The term “bare necessities” uses the word “bare” meaning “minimal and nothing else.” This definition of “bare” has existed since the year 1200, but when this became an official idiom is not specifically mentioned. It is believed that many people confuse the spelling of “bare necessities” with “bear necessities” because of a song from the Disney animated film The Jungle BookOne of Disney’s first animated movies produced in 1967, the film featured a song called “Bare Necessities” sung by a character named Baloo who happens to be a bear. This led people to believe the spelling was “bear necessities” rather than the proper spelling.

“Bear Necessities” Examples

Example Sentences

  • We were told to only take the bare (bear) necessities with us on the camping trip.
  • Mom said that all you need in life is the bare (bear) necessities to make you happy.
  • We brought only the bare (bear) necessities with us.
  • Provide the bare (bear) necessities of life, especially food; keep away hunger.
  • The family was short of even the bare (bear) necessities of life.

Example Conversations

A conversation between mother and daughter

  • Mother: Did you get everything packed so we can leave on time to go to your grandmother for Christmas?
  • Daughter: No, not yet. I need another suitcase.
  • Mother: Lucy, we are only going for a week. You don’t need more than the bare (bear) necessities.
  • Daughter: I know! That’s all I am taking. I have to make sure I have enough choices though.
  • Mother: You do not need another bag. Use the one you have. If you can’t fit everything in there, then it doesn’t need to come with you.

A discussion between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: We can’t load this up with unnecessary things.
  • Co-worker 2: I agree. We only need the simple bare (bear) necessities.
  • Co-worker 1: Exactly! Let’s see what we can take off to lighten the load and get it down to the specified weight.

Alternatives to “Bear Necessities”

There are many words or phrases that you can use to replace the helpful idiom “bare (bear) necessities” in a conversation to convey the same meaning. Some of the substitute words or phrases you can use include:

  • Core requirements
  • Essential needs
  • Only the basics
  • Basic necessities
  • What you need

Bear Necessities | Picture

Bear NecessitiesPin

1 thought on “Bear Necessities: What does the Popular Idiom “Bear Necessities”Mean?”

  1. Disney was making animation well before the jungle book. Fantasia, Dumbo, and many others predated Jungle Book by decades.


Leave a Comment