Barnicle Family History
Barnicle Name Meaning
English: from Middle English bernacle, barnakyll, a diminutive of bernak, from Old French bernac, a type of severe bit, which was also used as an instrument of torture; the term may have been applied as a nickname for a tamer of restive horses, for a man with an unruly temperament, or for a torturer. Alternatively, the surname may have originated as a nickname for someone thought to resemble a barnacle goose (Middle English barnakyll) in some way. Americanized spelling of German Barnickel, Barnikel, from a byname of uncertain origin for someone who was cross-eyed or suffering from an eye disease; or presumably from a personal name, a compound of Bern(o) + Nickel (pet form of Nicolaus).
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press