From Middle English barnakille, from earlier bernake, bernekke, from Old Northern French bernaque (“barnacle”) (compare French barnache), from Vulgar Latin *bernacca (“limpet”), from Gaulish (compare Welsh brennig, Irish báirneac), from Proto-Celtic *barinākos, from *barinā (“rock, rocky ground”) (compare Old Irish barenn (“boulder”)), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷr̥H- (“hill, mountain”) + Proto-Celtic *-ākos, from Proto-Indo-European *-kos, *-ḱos; for sense development, compare Ancient Greek λέπας (lépas, “rock”) which gave λεπάς (lepás, “limpet”).
barnacle (plural barnacles)
- A marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia that attaches itself to submerged surfaces such as tidal rocks or the bottoms of ships.
- The barnacle goose.
- (engineering, slang) In electrical engineering, a change made to a product on the manufacturing floor that was not part of the original product design.
- (computing, slang) On printed circuit boards, a change such as soldering a wire in order to connect two points, or addition such as an added resistor or capacitor, subassembly or daughterboard.
- (obsolete) An instrument like a pair of pincers, to fix on the nose of a vicious horse while shoeing so as to make it more tractable.
- (archaic, UK) A nickname for spectacles.
- (slang, obsolete) A good job, or snack easily obtained.
engineering: change made on the manufacturing floor
computing: on printed circuit boards, a change
instrument to fix on the nose of a vicious horse
slang: good job, or snack easily obtained
barnacle (third-person singular simple present barnacles, present participle barnacling, simple past and past participle barnacled)
- To connect with or attach.
- 2009, Liza Dalby, Hidden Buddhas: A Novel of Karma and Chaos, Stone Bridge Press (2009), ISBN 9781933330853, page 178:
- Tokuda went over everything his grandfather had taught him, including the commentary that had barnacled on to the core knowledge.
- To press close against something.
- 2002, Douglas Coupland, All Families Are Psychotic, Vintage Canada (2002), ISBN 0679311831, page 16:
- He turned a corner to where he supposed the cupboard might be, to find Howie and Alanna barnacled together in an embrace.