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From the Norman personal name BERNIER from Old English beornan ‘to burn’, hence an occupational name for a burner of lime (compare German Kalkbrenner) or charcoal. It may also have denoted someone who baked bricks or distilled spirits, or who carried out any other manufacturing process involving burning. Also an English occupational name for a keeper of hounds, from Old Norman French bern(i)er, brenier (a derivative of bren, bran ‘bran’, on which the dogs were fed). Southern English topographic or occupational name for someone who lived by or worked in a barn, from Middle English bern, barn ‘barn’ + the suffix -er. Compare BARNES.