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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

barnacle1

[bahr-nuh-kuh l] /ˈbɑr nə kəl/
noun
1.
any marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia, usually having a calcareous shell, being either stalked (goose barnacle) and attaching itself to ship bottoms and floating timber, or stalkless (rock barnacle or acorn barnacle) and attaching itself to rocks, especially in the intertidal zone.
2.
a person or thing that clings tenaciously.
Origin
1580-1585
1580-85; perhaps a conflation of barnacle barnacle goose with Cornish brennyk, Irish báirneach limpet, Welsh brenig limpets, reflecting the folk belief that such geese, whose breeding grounds were unknown, were engendered from rotten ships' planking
Related forms
barnacled, adjective

barnacle2

[bahr-nuh-kuh l] /ˈbɑr nə kəl/
noun
1.
Usually, barnacles. an instrument with two hinged branches for pinching the nose of an unruly horse.
2.
barnacles, British Dialect, spectacles.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English bernacle bit, diminutive of bernac < Old French < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for barn acle

barnacle

/ˈbɑːnəkəl/
noun
1.
any of various marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that, as adults, live attached to rocks, ship bottoms, etc. They have feathery food-catching cirri protruding from a hard shell See acorn barnacle, goose barnacle
2.
a person or thing that is difficult to get rid of
Derived Forms
barnacled, adjective
Word Origin
C16: related to Late Latin bernicla, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for barn acle

barnacle

n.

early 13c., "species of wild goose;" as a type of "shellfish," first recorded 1580s. Often derived from a Celtic source (cf. Breton bernik, a kind of shellfish), but the application to the goose predates that of the shellfish in English. The goose nests in the Arctic in summer and returns to Europe in the winter, hence the mystery surrounding its reproduction. It was believed in ancient superstition to hatch from barnacle's shell, possibly because the crustacean's feathery stalks resemble goose down. The scientific name of the crustacean, Cirripedes, is from Greek cirri "curls of hair" + pedes "feet."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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barn acle in Science
barnacle
  (bär'nə-kəl)   
Any of various small marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that form a hard shell in the adult stage and attach themselves to underwater surfaces, such as rocks, the bottoms of ships, and the skin of whales.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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