Etymology
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bicker (v.)
early 14c., bikere, "to skirmish, fight," perhaps from Middle Dutch bicken "to slash, stab, attack," + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix (as in blabber, hover, patter). Meaning "to quarrel, petulantly contend with words" is from mid-15c. Meaning "make a noisy, repeated clatter" is from 1748. Related: Bickered; bickering.
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bicker (n.)
c. 1300, "a skirmish, a confused battle;" from the same source as bicker (v.). In modern use, often to describe the sound of a flight of an arrow or other repeated, loud, rapid sounds, in which sense it is perhaps at least partly echoic.
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bickering (adj.)
1808 in the sense of "contentious," present-participle adjective from bicker (v.). Earlier it was used to mean "flashing, quivering" (1660s).
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bickering (n.)
c. 1300, "a skirmish," verbal noun from bicker (v.). Meaning "a verbal wrangle" is from 1570s.
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