an argument.
a prizefight.
a fight or brawl.
a blunder or mistake.

a small locomotive used in mining and logging.
Movie Slang. a heavily padded cover for a camera, used to reduce the camera noise so that it will not be picked up by the sound-recording equipment.
a male given name, form of Bernard.
Berna Eli
[bur-nuh] /ˈbɜr nə/ (Show IPA), (“Barney”) 1878–1946, U.S. racing-car driver.
Contemporary Examples

barney supported excluding transgender people from [the Employee Non-Discrimination Act].
A Meandering Gay March Jacob Bernstein October 11, 2009

His current fans know him as the womanizing barney Stinson on the CBS sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother.’
Neil Patrick Harris Hosts the Tonys Kevin Sessums June 9, 2011

Just ask Shirley Sherrod (or barney Frank, for that matter).
Weiner’s Dangerous Resignation Eric Alterman June 15, 2011

And what Tim Geithner and what barney Frank might like to pass.
Fitting In at Fox Lloyd Grove December 5, 2009

barney Frank makes the bankers an offer they can—and will—refuse.
CEO Smackdown! The Daily Beast Video February 10, 2009

Historical Examples

Hampton, barney, and Neb Dumlow were the only men who sailed with us again.
Sail Ho! George Manville Fenn

“It’s barney Black and his wife,” he answered, in a whisper.
Cap’n Dan’s Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln

barney, after all, was to gain everything from what he had to tell him, and Lydia was to lose; how much was Lydia to lose?
Adrienne Toner Anne Douglas Sedgwick

I caught a glimpse of him at the club, that time when I went there with barney—Godfreys!
Cap’n Dan’s Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln

This task he reserved for himself and barney, with the assistance of Mboyo and Samba.
Samba Herbert Strang

a noisy argument
verb (intransitive)
(mainly Austral & NZ) to argue or quarrel
Bruce. born 1950, British fashion designer

1859, British slang, “lark, spree, rough enjoyment,” of uncertain origin. Later also “a fixed prize-fight.”


A prizefight or race whose outcome has been prearranged; a fixed fight or race: looked like a barney, as if there were some collusion (mid-1800s+)
A despised person; nerd

[1980s+ college students; second sense fr the name of a character in the TV show The Flintstones]

In Commonwealth hackish, “barney” is to fred as bar is to foo. That is, people who commonly use “fred” as their first metasyntactic variable will often use “barney” second. The reference is, of course, to Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble in the Flintstones cartoons.
[Jargon File]


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    to conduct a campaign or speaking tour in rural areas by making brief stops in many small towns. Theater. to tour small towns to stage theatrical performances. (of a pilot) to give exhibitions of stunt flying, participate in airplane races, etc., in the course of touring country towns and rural areas. (of a professional athletic […]

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