Edward? Doesn’t sound right. Well, that was his name-Edward Bear-before he adopted the more popular Winnie the Pooh. The author, A. A. Milne took his inspiration for his stories from his son and the little boy’s stuffed animals. The son was born Christopher Robin in 1920 and he is the voice of the little boy who talks to animals in the Winnie the Pooh tales.
How the name came about? The real-life Christopher Robin was given a stuffed bear for his birthday on August 21, 1921 and he named him Edward Bear. He loved his stuffed bear, but an Canadian black bear he saw at the London Zoo stole his heart. He paid him frequent visits and sometimes even went into the cage where the bear was. It is this bear that was called Winnie, short form for Winnipeg, the hometown of the guy who raised the bear as a cub before bringing him later to the zoo.
A. A. Milne states in Winnie the Pooh’s intro; “Well, when Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie the Pooh. And so he was.” The ‘Pooh’ part of the name is from a swan that went by that name. The popular lazy bear from the stories thus got his name despite Winnie being a girl’s name and he being a boy bear.