- any marine crustacean of the subclass Cirripedia, usually having a calcareous shell, being either stalked (goose barnacle) and attaching itself to ship bottoms and floating timber, or stalkless (rock barnacle or acorn barnacle) and attaching itself to rocks, especially in the intertidal zone.
- a person or thing that clings tenaciously.
Origin of barnacle1
- Usually barnacles. an instrument with two hinged branches for pinching the nose of an unruly horse.
- barnacles, British Dialect. spectacles(def 3).
Origin of barnacle2
Examples from the Web for barnacle
Contemporary Examples of barnacle
Playing an aging superhero named Merman (with sidekick Barnacle Boy), Borgnine takes on the “champion of the deep.”The Best of Ernest Borgnine: ‘Marty,’ ‘McHale’s Navy’ & More (VIDEO)
The Daily Beast Video
July 9, 2012
Historical Examples of barnacle
My father's not in the way, and won't be in the way to-day,' said Barnacle Junior.
This dashing young Barnacle, in a word, was likely to become a statesman, and to make a figure.
The Barnacle family had for some time helped to administer the Circumlocution Office.
You haven't got any appointment, you know,' said Barnacle Junior.
You stick to us in a devil of a manner,' Said Barnacle junior, looking over his shoulder.
Word Origin for barnacle
early 13c., "species of wild goose;" as a type of "shellfish," first recorded 1580s. Often derived from a Celtic source (cf. Breton bernik, a kind of shellfish), but the application to the goose predates that of the shellfish in English. The goose nests in the Arctic in summer and returns to Europe in the winter, hence the mystery surrounding its reproduction. It was believed in ancient superstition to hatch from barnacle's shell, possibly because the crustacean's feathery stalks resemble goose down. The scientific name of the crustacean, Cirripedes, is from Greek cirri "curls of hair" + pedes "feet."
- Any of various small marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that form a hard shell in the adult stage and attach themselves to underwater surfaces, such as rocks, the bottoms of ships, and the skin of whales.