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barnacle goose

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noun
  1. a wild goose, Branta leucopsis, of northern Europe and Greenland.

Origin of barnacle goose

1760–70; earlier barnacle, Middle English bernacle; compare Middle French bernacle, New Latin bernacula, all derivative of earlier Middle English bernak, bernekke, Anglo-Latin bernaca, Old French bernaque, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for barnacle goose

Historical Examples

  • This barnacle-goose tree was a great article of faith with our ancestors in the Middle Ages.

    Myth-Land

    F. Edward Hulme

  • In France, the barnacle-goose may be eaten on fast days, by virtue of this old belief in its fishy origin.

    Folk-lore of Shakespeare

    Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer


British Dictionary definitions for barnacle goose

barnacle goose

noun
  1. a N European goose, Branta leucopsis, that has a black-and-white head and body and grey wings
  2. a former name for brent goose

Word Origin

C13 bernekke, related to Late Latin bernaca, from the belief that the goose developed from a shellfish; ultimate origin obscure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012