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Etymology 1[edit]

From bark (dog noise) +‎ -er.


barker (plural barkers)

  1. Someone or something who barks.
    My neighbor's dog is a constant barker that keeps me awake at night.
  2. A person employed to solicit customers by calling out to passersby, e.g. at a carnival.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
    Bob had amassed a considerable stockpile of double entendres from his days working as a barker for a strip joint.
  3. A shelf-talker.
  4. (video games) A video game mode where the action is demonstrated to entice someone to play the game.
    The barker mode of the arcade video game convinced the teenager to spend a quarter.
  5. (slang, dated) A pistol.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens to this entry?)
    • 1969, George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman, page 45:
      ...Parkin, the Oxford Street gunmaker, sent me a brace of barkers in silver mountings, with my initials engraved—good for trade, I imagine.
  6. The spotted redshank.

Etymology 2[edit]

From bark (surface of tree) +‎ -er (forming agent nouns).


barker (plural barkers)

  1. (historical) A person who removes needed or valuable tree bark, as on a cinnamon or cinchona plantation.
    The professor of barker has been made largely obsolete by the realization that in most cases saplings can be cultivated far more profitably.
  2. (obsolete) A tanner.
    The profession of barker has been made largely obsolete by the introduction of more effective tanning agents, but it lives on as a surname.
  3. A machine used to remove unneeded bark from wood.
    Run these logs through the barker so we can use them as fence posts.

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


barker m

  1. indefinite plural of bark