"to shave and dress the hair," c.1600, from barber (n.). Related: Barbered; barbering.
"one whose occupation is to shave the beard and cut and dress the hair," c. 1300, from Anglo-French barbour (attested as a surname from early 13c.), from Old French barbeor, barbieor (13c., Modern French barbier, which has a more restricted sense than the English word), from Vulgar Latin *barbatorem, from Latin barba "beard" (see barb (n.)).
Originally also regular practitioners of minor surgery, they were restricted to hair-cutting, blood-letting, and dentistry under Henry VIII. The barber's pole (1680s) is in imitation of the ribbon used to bind the arm of one who has been bled.
also barbershop, 1570s, from barber + shop (n.). Earlier in same sense was barbery (c. 1500). Barber-shop in reference to close harmony male vocal quartets is attested from 1910; the custom of barbers keeping a musical instrument in their shops so waiting customers could entertain themselves is an old one, but the musical product formerly had a low reputation and barber's music (c. 1660) was "wretched, poorly performed music."
"a shearer of sheep," also "mower, reaper," perhaps also "barber;" by late 13c. as a surname (Matilda le Scherer), agent noun from shear (v.).
"pertaining to barbers," 1765, from -al (1) + Latin tonsorius "of or pertaining to shearing or shaving," from tonsor "a shaver, barber, shearer, clipper," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave, clip, crop," from PIE *tend-, from root *tem- "to cut." Generally used in an attempt at humor. Tonsorious in the same sense is attested from 1650s.
1550s, "instrument for scraping," originally a type of knife, agent noun from scrape (v.). Especially an iron implement at or near a door of a house from which to scrape dirt from the soles of shoes or boots" (1729). From 1560s as "miser, money-grubber;" 1610s as a derogatory term for a fiddler; 1792 as a contemptuous term for a barber. The earlier noun was Middle English scrapel (mid-14c.); also compare scrape (n.).
also Pasquin, "a libelous public lampoon," 1650s, from French, from Italian pasquinata (c. 1500), from Pasquino, name given to a mutilated ancient statue (now known to represent Menelaus dragging the dead Patroclus) set up by Cardinal Caraffa in his palace in Rome in 1501; the locals named it after a schoolmaster (or tailor, or barber) named Pasquino who lived nearby. A custom developed of posting satirical verses and lampoons on the statue.
also cat-bird, 1731, common name for the North American thrush (Dumetella Carolinensis), related to the mockingbird, so called from its warning cry, which resembles the meowling of a cat; from cat (n.) + bird (n.1). "Its proper song is voluble, varied, and highly musical" [Century Dictionary].
Catbird seat is a late 19c. Dixieism, popularized by Brooklyn Dodgers baseball announcer Walter "Red" Barber (1908-1992) and by author James Thurber:
"She must be a Dodger fan," he had said. "Red Barber announces the Dodger games over the radio and he uses those expressions—picked 'em up down South." Joey had gone on to explain one or two. "Tearing up the pea patch" meant going on a rampage; "sitting in the catbird seat" means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. [Thurber, "The Catbird Seat," The New Yorker, Nov. 14, 1942]
1510s, "refuse, reject" someone or something, a sense now obsolete, from French réfuter (16c.) and directly from Latin refutare "to drive back; rebut, disprove; to repress, repel, resist, oppose," from re- "back" (see re-) + *futare "to beat" (from PIE root *bhau- "to strike").
The meaning "prove (someone) wrong, prove (someone) to be in error, disprove and overthrow by argument or countervailing proof" is from 1540s; of statements, opinions, etc., by 1590s. Many have frowned on the subtle shift in meaning towards "to deny," which occurred as the word came to be used in connection with allegation. Related: Refuted; refuting.
For people who still use the word in its older sense it is rather shocking to hear on the B.B.C., which has a reputation for political impartiality, a news-report that Politician A has refuted the arguments of Politician B. [Charles L. Barber, "Linguistic Change in Present-day English," 1964]
late 14c., "sheep-shearer;" early 15c., "a barber;" c. 1300 as a surname; agent noun from Middle English clippen "shorten" (see clip (v.1)). In late 18c., the word principally meant "one who cuts off the edges of coins" for the precious metal.
The type of sailing ship with sharp lines and a great spread of canvas is so called from 1823 (in Cooper's "The Pilot"), probably from clip (v.1) in sense of "to move or run rapidly." Compare early 19c. clipper "person or animal who looks capable of fast running." Perhaps it was influenced by Middle Dutch klepper "swift horse," which is echoic (Clipper appears as the name of an English race horse in 1831). The nautical sense was perhaps originally simply "fast ship," regardless of type:
Well, you know, the Go-along-Gee was one o' your flash Irish cruisers — the first o' your fir-built frigates — and a clipper she was! Give her a foot o' the sheet, and she'd go like a witch — but somehow o'nother, she'd bag on a bowline to leeward. ["Naval Sketch-Book," by "An officer of rank," London, 1826]
The early association of the ships was with Baltimore, Maryland. Clipper-ship is attested from 1850.