Where Do The Terms “Bull Market” and “Bear Market” Come From?


The terms go back more than two centuries, to when middlemen called bearskin jobbers would sell the skins of bears not yet caught, and then wait for the market price to drop before buying the skins from trappers, pocketing the difference. Thus a bear market has falling prices, and is favorable to bearskin jobbers and modern-day short sellers. Because bull and bearbaiting were popular sports at the time, bull market came to mean the opposite: a market with rising prices. Now see if your accountant knew that.