Barbie Look up Barbie at
1959, trademark name (reg. U.S.). Supposedly named after the daughter of its creator, U.S. businesswoman Ruth Handler (1916-2002); see Barbara.
barbiturate (n.) Look up barbiturate at
1928 (morphine barbiturate is from 1918), from German, coined 1863 by chemist Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917) from Barbitursäure "barbituric acid," itself coined by Baeyer, perhaps from woman's name Barbara, or perhaps from Latin barbata, in Medieval Latin usnea barbata, literally "bearded moss." Second element is because it was obtained from uric acid. With chemical ending -ate (3).
Barcelona Look up Barcelona at
city in Spain, said to have been named for Carthaginian general Hamlicar Barca, who is supposed to have founded it 3c. B.C.E.
bard (n.) Look up bard at
mid-15c., from Scottish, from Old Celtic bardos "poet, singer," from PIE root *gwer- "to lift up the voice, praise." In historical times, a term of contempt among the Scots (who considered them itinerant troublemakers), but one of great respect among the Welsh.
All vagabundis, fulis, bardis, scudlaris, and siclike idill pepill, sall be brint on the cheek. [local Scottish ordinance, c. 1500]
Subsequently idealized by Scott in the more ancient sense of "lyric poet, singer." Poetic use of the word in English is from Greek bardos, Latin bardus, both from Gaulish.
bardic (adj.) Look up bardic at
1775, from bard + -ic.
bardolatry (n.) Look up bardolatry at
"worship of Shakespeare (the 'Bard of Avon')," 1901, from bard + -latry.
bare (adj.) Look up bare at
Old English bær "naked, uncovered, unclothed," from Proto-Germanic *bazaz (source also of German bar, Old Norse berr, Dutch baar), from PIE *bhosos (source also of Armenian bok "naked;" Old Church Slavonic bosu, Lithuanian basas "barefoot"). Meaning "sheer, absolute" (c. 1200) is from the notion of "complete in itself."
bare (v.) Look up bare at
Old English barian, from bare (adj.). Related: Bared; baring.
bare-handed (adj.) Look up bare-handed at
also barehanded, mid-15c., from bare (adj.) + -handed.
bareback (adj.) Look up bareback at
1560s, of riding, from bare (adj.) + back (n.).
barefaced (adj.) Look up barefaced at
1580s, "with face uncovered or shaven;" see bare (adj.) + face (n.). Thus, "unconcealed" (c. 1600), and, in a bad sense, "shameless" (1670s). Compare effrontery. The half-French bare-vis (adj.) conveyed the same sense in Middle English.
barefoot (adj.) Look up barefoot at
Old English bærfot; see bare (adj.) + foot (n.).
barely (adv.) Look up barely at
Old English bærlice "openly, clear, public;" see bare (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "only, just" is recorded from late 15c.; that of "merely, simply" is from 1570s. In 15c. it also could mean "naked."
bareness (n.) Look up bareness at
early 15c., from bare (adj.) + -ness.
barf (v.) Look up barf at
"to vomit or retch,"1960, American English slang, probably imitative. Related: Barfed; barfing. As a noun, from 1966. Barf bag "air sickness pouch" attested from 1966.
barfly (n.) Look up barfly at
"habitual drunkard," 1910, from bar (n.2) + fly (n.).
bargain (v.) Look up bargain at
late 14c., from Old French bargaignier (12c., Modern French barguigner) "to haggle over the price," perhaps from Frankish *borganjan "to lend" or some other Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *borgan (source also of Old High German borgen; Old English borgian, source of borrow). Another suggestion is that the French word comes from Late Latin barca "a barge," because it "carries goods to and fro." There are difficulties with both suggestions. Related: Bargained; bargaining.
bargain (n.) Look up bargain at
mid-14c., "business transaction or agreement," also "that which is acquired by bargaining," from Old French bargaine, from bargaignier (see bargain (v.)). Meaning "article priced for special sale" is from 1899. A bargain basement (1899) originally was a basement floor in a store where bargains were displayed.
barge (n.) Look up barge at
c. 1300, "small seagoing vessel with sails," from Old French barge, Old Provençal barca, from Medieval Latin barga, perhaps from Celtic, or perhaps from Latin *barica, from Greek baris "Egyptian boat," from Coptic bari "small boat." Meaning "flat-bottomed freight boat" dates from late 15c.
barge (v.) Look up barge at
"to journey by barge," 1590s, from barge (n.). The form barge into and the sense "crash heavily into," in reference to the rough handling of barges, dates from 1830s, American English. Related: Barged; barging.
bariatric (adj.) Look up bariatric at
1976, from Greek baros "weight," related to barys "heavy," from PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy" (see grave (adj.)) + -iatric.
barista (n.) Look up barista at
"bartender in a coffee shop," as a purely English word in use by 1992, from Italian, where it is said to derive ultimately from the English bar (n.2), as borrowed into Italian. The word is of generic gender and may be applied with equal accuracy to women and men (it is said that the typical barista in Italy is a man).
baritone (adj.) Look up baritone at
c. 1600, from Italian baritono, from Greek barytonos "deep-toned, deep-sounding," from barys "heavy, deep," also, of sound, "strong, deep, bass," from PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy" (see grave (adj.)) + tonos "tone" (see tenet). Technically, "ranging from lower A in bass clef to lower F in treble clef." Noun meaning "singer having a baritone voice" is from 1821. As a type of brass band instrument, it is attested from 1949.
barium (n.) Look up barium at
1808, coined in Modern Latin by its discoverer, English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829), because it was present in the mineral barytes "heavy spar" (barium sulphate), so named by Lavoisier from Greek barys "heavy," from PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). The metal is actually relatively light.
bark (n.1) Look up bark at
"tree skin," c. 1300, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse borkr "bark," from Proto-Germanic *barkuz, which probably is related to birch and Low German borke. The native word was rind.
bark (n.2) Look up bark at
"any small ship," early 15c., from Middle French barque (15c.), from Late Latin barca (c. 400 C.E.), probably cognate with Vulgar Latin *barica (see barge). More precise sense of "three-masted ship" (17c.) often is spelled barque to distinguish it.
bark (v.) Look up bark at
in reference to a dog sound, Old English beorcan "to bark," from Proto-Germanic *berkan (source also of Old Norse berkja "to bark"), of echoic origin. Related: Barked; barking. To bark up the wrong tree is U.S. colloquial, first attested 1832, from notion of hounds following the wrong scent.
bark (n.3) Look up bark at
dog sound, Old English beorc, from bark (v.). Paired and compared with bite (n.) since at least 1660s; the proverb is older: "Timid dogs bark worse than they bite" was in Latin (Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet, Quintius Curtius).
barkeep (n.) Look up barkeep at
1846, probably short for barkeeper (1712); from bar (n.2) + agent noun of keep (v.).
barker (n.) Look up barker at
"noisy fellow," late 15c., agent noun from bark (v.). Specific sense of "loud assistant in an auction, store, or show" is from 1690s.
barley (n.) Look up barley at
Old English bærlic, originally an adjective, "of barley," from bere "barley" (from Proto-Germanic *bariz, *baraz) + -lic "body, like." First element is related to Old Norse barr "barley," and cognate with Latin far (genitive farris) "coarse grain, meal;" probably from PIE *bhars- "bristle, point, projection" (see bristle (n.)).
barleycorn (n.) Look up barleycorn at
late 14c., from barley + corn (n.1). Perhaps to distinguish the barley plant or the grain from its products. In Britain and U.S., the grain is used mainly to prepare liquor, hence personification as John Barleycorn (1620) in popular ballad, and many now-obsolete figures of speech, such as to wear a barley cap (16c.) "to be drunk."
barm (n.) Look up barm at
Old English beorma "yeast, leaven," also "head of a beer," from Proto-Germanic *bermon- (source also of Dutch berm, Middle Low German barm), from PIE root *bher- (4) "to cook, bake" (source also of Latin fermentum "substance causing fermentation," Sanskrit bhurati "moves convulsively, quivers," Middle Irish berbaim "I boil, seethe;" see brew (v.)).
barmaid (n.) Look up barmaid at
1650s, from bar (n.2) + maid.
barmy (adj.) Look up barmy at
1530s, "frothing, covered with barm;" see barm + -y (2). Figurative sense of "excited, flighty, bubbling with excitement" is from c. 1600. Meaning "foolish" (1892) is probably an alteration of balmy.
barn (n.) Look up barn at
Old English bereærn "barn," literally "barley house," from bere "barley" (see barley) + aern "house," metathesized from *rann, *rasn (source also of Old Norse rann, Gothic razn "house," Old English rest "resting place"). For the formation, compare Old English sealtærn "saltworks," horsern "stable."
Barley was not always the only crop grown as the data recovered at Bishopstone might suggest but it is always the most commonly represented, followed by wheat and then rye and oats. [C.J. Arnold, "An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms," 1988, p.36]
Another word for "barn" in Old English was beretun, "barley enclosure" (from tun "enclosure, house"), which accounts for the many Barton place names on the English map, and the common surname. Barn door used figuratively for "broad target" and "great size" since 1540s.
Barnabas Look up Barnabas at
surname of Joseph the Levite of Cyprus (Acts iv.36), literally "son of exhortation," from Aramaic (Semitic) bar "son" + nabha "prophecy, exhortation." St. Barnabas' Day (colloquially St. Barnaby), June 11, in the Old Style calendar was reckoned the longest day of the year.
barnacle (n.) Look up barnacle at
early 13c., "species of wild goose;" as a type of "shellfish," first recorded 1580s. Often derived from a Celtic source (compare Breton bernik, a kind of shellfish), but the application to the goose predates that of the shellfish in English. The goose nests in the Arctic in summer and returns to Europe in the winter, hence the mystery surrounding its reproduction. It was believed in ancient superstition to hatch from barnacle's shell, possibly because the crustacean's feathery stalks resemble goose down. The scientific name of the crustacean, Cirripedes, is from Greek cirri "curls of hair" + pedes "feet."
barney (n.) Look up barney at
1859, British slang, "lark, spree, rough enjoyment," of uncertain origin. Later also "a fixed prize-fight."
barnstorm (v.) Look up barnstorm at
1815, in reference to a theatrical troupe's performances in upstate New York barns (usually featuring short action pieces to suit vulgar tastes); extended 1896 to electioneering, 1928 to itinerant airplane pilots who performed stunts at fairs and races. Related: Barnstormed; barnstorming.
barnyard (n.) Look up barnyard at
1510s, from barn + yard (n.1). Figurative of coarse or uncivilized behavior from 1920.
barometer (n.) Look up barometer at
1660s, from Greek baros "weight," from suffixed form of PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy" (see grave (adj.)) + -meter. Probably coined (and certainly popularized) by English scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691).
barometric (adj.) Look up barometric at
1802, from barometer + -ic. Barometrical is recorded from 1660s.
baron (n.) Look up baron at
c. 1200, from Old French baron (nominative ber) "baron, nobleman, military leader, warrior, virtuous man, lord, husband," probably from or related to Late Latin baro "man," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frankish *baro "freeman, man;" merged in England with cognate Old English beorn "nobleman."
baroness (n.) Look up baroness at
early 15c., from Old French barnesse "lady of quality, noblewoman" (also, ironically, "woman of low morals, slut") or Medieval Latin baronissa (see baron).
baronet (n.) Look up baronet at
c. 1400, diminutive of baron with -et; originally a younger or lesser baron; as a titled hereditary order, established 1611.
baronial (adj.) Look up baronial at
1767, from baron + -ial.
barony (n.) Look up barony at
c. 1300, from Old French baronie, from Late Latin *baronia, from baron (see baron).
baroque (adj.) Look up baroque at
1765, from French baroque (15c.) "irregular," from Portuguese barroco "imperfect pearl," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Spanish berruca "a wart."
This style in decorations got the epithet of Barroque taste, derived from a word signifying pearls and teeth of unequal size. [Fuseli's translation of Winkelmann, 1765]
Klein suggests the name may be from Italian painter Federigo Barocci (1528-1612), a founder of the style. How to tell baroque from rococo, according to Fowler: "The characteristics of baroque are grandeur, pomposity, and weight; those of rococo are inconsequence, grace, and lightness." But the two terms often used without distinction for styles featuring odd and excessive ornamentation.
barouche (n.) Look up barouche at
type of four-wheeled carriage, 1801, from dialectal German barutsche, from Italian baroccio "chariot," originally "two-wheeled car," from Latin birotus "two-wheeled," from bi- "two" + rotus "wheel," from rotare "go around" (see rotary). Frenchified in English, but the word is not French.