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The bear is a common charge in heraldry, perhaps inherited from its totemic use among Germanic peoples and by some interpreted as symbolizing strength, cunning and ferocity in the protection of one's kindred. Numerous cities around the world have adopted the bear in their arms, notably the Swiss capital Bern, which takes its name from the German for bear, Bär. The bear is similarly the name-emblem of Berlin, through false etymology (Bärlein means 'small bear'), although in fact the city's name descends from a Slavic word for swamps.