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barney (n.)

British slang word of uncertain origin, attested from 1859 as "a fixed or sham prize-fight," also "lark, spree, rough enjoyment;" 1864 as "noisy dispute."

"Notes and Queries," from March 21, 1863, describes Barnard Castle, the market town in Teesdale, as having "no enviable reputation. Longstaffe supposes that Sir George Bowes's refusal to fight with the rebels during the rising of the north, gave rise to the contemptuous distich:

'Coward, a coward of Barney Castell,
Dare not come out to fight a battel' "

And adds that "Come, come, that's a Barna' Cassell," is "a reproof to an exaggerator, or liar."

Barney

masc. proper name, short for Barnaby (attested from 14c.; see Barnabas) or Barnard.