"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bik-er] /ˈbɪk ər/
verb (used without object)
to engage in petulant or peevish argument; wrangle:
The two were always bickering.
to run rapidly; move quickly; rush; hurry:
a stream bickering down the valley.
to flicker; glitter:
The sun bickered through the trees.
an angry, petty dispute or quarrel; contention.
Origin of bicker1
1250-1300; Middle English bikeren < ?
Related forms
bickerer, noun
unbickered, adjective
unbickering, adjective
1. disagree, squabble, argue, quarrel, haggle, dispute, spar, spat.


[bik-er] /ˈbɪk ər/
noun, Scot.
any wooden dish or bowl, especially a wooden porridge bowl.
Obsolete. a wooden drinking cup.
1300-50; Middle English biker beaker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bicker
  • It allows them to bicker about abstracts without actually doing anything.
  • He warns that they'll bicker and possibly even brawl.
  • Nor did they bicker or fall silent at moments of disagreement.
  • In the early days of their ordeal, they bicker and mourn, but solitude and need draw them together.
  • Good night nurse you think that with all her fame and fortune she could find something better to bicker about.
  • As its political leaders bicker, investors are having nightmares about its defaulting on its sovereign debt.
  • But turmoil at the top will eventually trickle down, and three years is a long time for a board to bicker, especially so publicly.
  • Yet their tendency to bicker among themselves keeps letting others grab the toys.
  • Over the next year politicians will continue to bicker about whether the law will push spending up or push it down.
  • Any coalition could bicker, procrastinate and eventually dissolve.
British Dictionary definitions for bicker


verb (intransitive)
to argue over petty matters; squabble
  1. (esp of a stream) to run quickly
  2. to flicker; glitter
a petty squabble
Derived Forms
bickerer, noun
bickering, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C13: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bicker

early 14c., bikere, "to skirmish, fight," perhaps from Middle Dutch bicken "to slash, stab, attack," + -er, Middle English frequentative suffix. Meaning "to quarrel" is from mid-15c. Related: Bickered; bickering.


c.1300, skirmish, 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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