from The Century Dictionary.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"That means trouble for some one, unless they can dig up something to take its place, for an Indian who has his mouth made up fer fresh meat is lierble ter become rantankerous if he don't get it."
Thar lay the biggest, oncommonest black snake the Lord uver made, sartin -- which he has made a many a one -- full fifteen foot long, with a pair of rantankerous big buck's horns, big as antelope's horns.
I soon got a-hongry, which I allers had a rantankerous appertite, and thought uv uvry thing to eat, good and bad, in all creation, pertic'ler uv the big, lungin ', fat oysters on the seaboard.
Mountings; fur this scrape had made a rantankerous impression on me.
It makes me rantankerous mad to hear sich little stuff, it does.
"He sure is a rantankerous cuss when he's lickered up.