"beak or bill of a bird," Old English nebb "beak, nose; human face, countenance; beak-shaped thing," from Proto-Germanic nabja "beak, nose" (source also of Old Norse nef "beak, nose," Middle Dutch nebbe "beak," Old High German snabul, German Schnabel "beak," Old Frisian snavel "mouth"), which is of uncertain origin.
1580s, "beak or bill of a bird," Scottish variant of neb "beak or bill of a bird." Perhaps influenced by nibble (v.). Meaning "point" (of a pen or quill) is recorded by 1610s (neb in this sense is from 1590s).
alcoholic drink made with carbonated water and lime juice, 1895, American English; in contemporary sources reputedly from the name of "Colonel" Joseph K. Rickey (1842-1903) of Callaway County, Missouri, Democratic lobbyist and wire-puller, who is said to have concocted it to entertain political friends.
And as long as there is thirst and limes, or lemons and gin, so long will the Honorable Joe Rickey be remembered in Missouri and his famous beverage tickle the palates of discriminating citizens. A hundred summers hence Joe Rickey will be called and Champ Clark and DeArmond forgotten. [The Conservative, Nebraska City, Neb., July 6, 1899.]