Yes, it’s that simple word that we use to call someone affectionately.
Or sometimes, with a little accent on the word; yes, dear and no, dear.
In other words, it’s a person regarded with deep affection.
It can also mean expensive, by saying, that’s a bit dear, isn’t it, when we’re really saying it’s way overpriced.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve said something is ‘too dear’ to the children.
Grannies tend to use the expression, ‘be a dear and…’, to get you do do something for them.
Friends, sometimes tongue in cheek, will say, ‘oh dear, I’ve upset you’, when that was exactly what they meant to do. Friends you say? Yes, friends indeed.
And then we always start a letter (always? Who writes letters any more?) with
Dear John (oops, not one of THOSE letters)
Of course, instead of swearing, you could simply say ‘Oh dear, you’ve let us down again!’.
And when you lose your job, which is happening a lot at the moment, it is said it would cost you dear, though sometimes it would be more appropriate to use the adverb, dearly.
It is not to be confused with the word deer which is an animal, the males of which have antlers.
There are a number of different types of deer, such as reindeer and elk. In Canada, they are called caribou.
In Robin Hood’s day, killing deer brought you very harsh punishment.
And one of my favourite meats is venison, meat from a deer, which are farmed in New Zealand along with sheep.