Word Origin & History
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
c.1300, "a skirmish," from bicker
(q.v.). Meaning "a verbal wrangle" is from 1570s. As a prp. adj., attested from 1808 in the sense of "contentious;" earlier it was used to mean "flashing, quivering" (1660s).