from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A brown bear of northwest North America having a grizzled appearance from the silver tips on the guard hairs, and often considered a subspecies (Ursus arctos subsp. horribilis).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A North American subspecies, Ursus arctos horribilis, of the brown bear.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun powerful brownish-yellow bear of the uplands of western North America


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  • The Grizzly Bear started in San Francisco, along with the Bunny Hug and Texas Tommy and was also done on the Staten Island ferry boats in the 1900's. It has been said that dancers John Jarrott and Louise Gruenning introduced this dance as well as the Turkey Trot at Ray Jones Café in Chicago, IL around 1909. The Grizzly Bear was first introduced to Broadway audiences in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1910 by Miss Fanny Brice.

    The dance was rough and clumsy. During the dance, the dancers would yell out: "It's a Bear!" The genuine Grizzly Bear step was in correct imitation of the movements of a dancing bear, moving or dancing to the side. A very heavy step to the side with a decided bending of the upper part of the body from one side to the other, a decidedly ungraceful and undignified movement when performed as a dance.


    February 26, 2008