Word Origin & History
early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. barbour (attested as a surname from 1221), from O.Fr. barbeor, barbieor (Mod.Fr. barbier, which has a more restricted sense than the English word), from V.L. *barbatorem, from L. barba "beard." Originally also regular practitioners of surgery and dentistry, they were restricted
to haircutting and dentistry under Henry VIII. Barber-shop is from 1570s; in reference to close harmony male vocal quartets, it is attested from 1910.