"This style in decorations got the epithet of Barroque taste, derived from a word signifying pearls and teeth of unequal size." [Fuseli's translation of Winkelmann, 1765]
Klein suggests the name may be from It. painter Federigo Barocci (1528-1612), a founder of the style. How to tell baroque from rococo, according to Fowler: "The characteristics of baroque are grandeur, pomposity, and weight; those of rococo are inconsequence, grace, and lightness." But the two terms often used without distinction for styles featuring odd and excessive ornamentation.