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OTHER FORMS: Barkus
Meaning & History
Meant "person who works in a tannery" (from Middle English barkhous "tannery" - bark was used in the tanning process). A fictional bearer is Barkis, a carrier in Charles Dickens's 'David Copperfield' (1849) who sends a message via David to Clara Peggotty that "Barkis is willin'" (i.e. to marry her).