"cheap saloon, often with an associated brothel," by 1875, American English, so called in reference to the barrels of beer or booze typically stacked along the wall. See barrel (n.) + house (n.).
Q. What was this place you rented? — A. It was a room adjoining a barrel-house.
Q. What is a barrel house? — A. It is a room where barrels of whisky are tapped, a very inferior kind of whisky, and the whisky is sold by the glassful right out of the barrel. It is a primitive coffee house. [Committee Report of the 43rd Congress, Select Committee on Conditions of the South, 1874-75]
c. 1200, "incapable of producing its kind" (of female animals, plants), from Old French baraigne, baraing "sterile, barren" (12c.), perhaps originally brahain, a word of obscure derivation, possibly from a Germanic language. Its use in reference to males is rare. Of land, "producing little or no vegetation," by late 14c.
As a noun from mid-13c., "a barren woman;" later "tract of more or less unproductive land."
BARRENS. Elevated lands, or plains upon which grow small trees, but never timber. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
type of flat cap, 1828, from French barrette, cognate with Spanish birreta, Italian beretta (see biretta).
"bar clip for women's hair," 1901, from French barrette, diminutive of barre "bar" (see bar (n.1)).
"hastily made fortification for defense or to obstruct the progress of an enemy," 1640s, from French barricade, from Spanish barricada, literally "made of barrels," from barrica "barrel," from barril (see barrel (n.)). Earlier was barricado (1580s) with false Spanish ending (see -ado). The word's association with revolutions began during the 1588 Huguenot riots in Paris, when large barrels filled with earth and stones were set up in the streets. Related: Barricades.
"to obstruct with a barricade," 1590s, from barricade (n.). Related: Barricaded; barricading.
"anything meant to obstruct entrance," early 14c., barere, from Anglo-French barrere, Old French barriere "obstacle, gatekeeper," from barre "bar" (see bar (n.1)). Earliest known record of barrier reef is from 1805.
late 14c., "act of fastening with a bar," verbal noun from bar (v.). The meaning "exclusion" is from 1630s. As a preposition, "excepting, excluding," it is from late 15c. The schoolhouse prank of barring out the teacher was so called by 1728.