early 14c., bikere, "to skirmish, fight," perhaps from M.Du. bicken "to slash, stab, attack," + -er, M.E. frequentative suffix. Meaning "to quarrel" is from mid-15c. As a noun, bicker is recorded from c.1300; often used to describe the sound of a flight of a missile, in which sense it is perhaps at least partly echoic.