from The Century Dictionary.
- noun Same as
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Of origins we know nothing certainly, nor how words came by their meanings in the remote beginning, when speech, like the barnacle-goose of the herbalist, was suspended over an expectant world, ripening on a tree.
But what shall we say to this piece of plank, hung with barnacles that look large enough for the fabled barnacle-goose to emerge from?
[FN#39] Lane suggests (iii. 97), and with some probability, that the "bird" was a nautilus; but the wild traditions concerning the barnacle-goose may perhaps have been the base of the fable.
(iii. 97), and with some probability, that the “bird” was a nautilus; but the wild traditions concerning the barnacle-goose may perhaps have been the base of the fable.
It is to be remarked that Gerard's description of the goose-progeny of the barnacle tree exactly corresponds with the appearance of the bird known to ornithologists as the "barnacle-goose"; and there can be no doubt that, skilled as was this author in the natural history lore of his day, there was no other feeling in his mind than that of firm belief in and pious wonder at the curious relations between the shells and their fowl-offspring.
Once upon a time people believed that the barnacles which are found attached to ships 'bottoms, or pieces of timber long floating on the ocean, turned into geese, and the barnacle-goose was so called because it was supposed to have its origin in that common mollusc, the barnacle. "