1. an enjoyable social occasion; a rowdy party.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 3: BARNEY, a lark, spree, rough entertainment; ‘get up as barney,’ to have a lark.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|‘’Arry on the Rail’ in Punch 13 Sept. 109/1: Comin’ ’ome was the barney, my bloater!|
|‘’Arry at the Sea-Side’ in Punch 10 Sept. 111/2: Socierty sez, ‘When the Season is hover, slide off to the Sea!’ It’s the place for a fair autumn barney.|
|‘’Arry on a ’ouseboat’ in Punch 15 Aug. 76: We ’ad a rare barney, I tell you, although a bit spiled by the pour.|
|‘That Pretty Girl on the Army’ in Roderick (1972) 482: There was no barney in the bar because there was a fight in the backyard.|
|🎵 What a barny, what a day, soon there's going to be. / Billy Thomkins, ’e’s so nice, with ’is Liza means to splice.[perf.] ‘The Donah’s Wedding’|
|Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 8: I don’t drink with me mates, only when me mother and father gets some in for a barney.|
|All Night Stand 49: It was a huge soft barney all day.|
2. (also barny) an argument; a discussion; a suggestion.
|Queen of the South 156: Arter a bit of a barney, they consents.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 48/1: Something struck me that there was a ‘barney’ on somewhere, and that the job was going to turn out, ‘Get all you can; but more if you can,’ on each side.|
|Sth Bourke & Mornington Jrnl 5 June 3/4: After some ‘barney’ they called for two gins.|
|Blue Cap, the Bushranger 97/1: Alick and Charlie had a bit of a barney, which ended up a regular, stand-up fight.|
|‘Brummy Usen’ in Roderick (1972) 77: She was just as self-opinionated as the neighbours, and many a barney she had with them.|
|Mirror of Life 12 Jan. 15/3: [T]hat caused ‘Big Tim’ to turn rusty, and they had a ‘barney’ (row).|
|In Bad Company 104: Well, we had a bit of a barney, nothing much.|
|Ballades of Old Bohemia (1980) 64: Had a barney, Chopsey?Woman Tamer in|
|N.Z. Truth 21 Sept. 6/4: He again woke and heard them having a barney in their bedroom.|
|Juno and the Paycock Act III: You’ll let me have a barny for a minute or two with you, Mr. Boyle.|
|Cheapjack 59: I was having a bit of a barney with a gorgie there, when he ups and calls me a bastard. Of course I chinned him.|
|A Man and His Wife (1944) 75: I’d hook off while they had their barney.‘A Man & his Wife’ in|
|Billy Liar (1962) 137: I’ve just had an almighty barney with Arthur about the song.|
|Inside Mr Enderby in Complete Enderby (2002) 70: He’s gone off [...] We had a bit of a barney.|
|Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 58: I told Ma about the barney in the shop.|
|Eng. Lang. in Aus. and N.Z. 107: The list of items valid in both countries is a long one and would include [...] barney ‘argument’.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I don’t know what this barney’s all about and I don’t want to know!‘Cash and Curry’|
|Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] And when the estate was sold, there was a bit of a barney over that, wasn’t there?|
|Outlaws (ms.) 44: I’m not in the mood for a barney.|
|Black Swan Green 128: Mum and Dad’s last barney when Mum smashed the plate.|
|Decent Ride 181: They’ve been huvin another wee barney. — Make that your priority! Ronnie snaps.|
|Braywatch 257: I become aware of a serious borney happening between a man and a woman.|
3. a crowd of people.
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
|Autobiog. of a Gipsey 414: I used to prac-tize wipe-hauling, tail buzzing, and thimble-twisting, on Jack and Rose for an hour or two hevery day, and when I was pretty puffec at the job I’d go hout with Rose and work the pushes and barneys.|
4. a way of life.
|‘’Arry on Song & Sentiment’ Punch 14 Nov. 229/1: The bokos who try other barneys are bossing about in the dark.|
|‘’Arry on African Affairs’ Punch 22 Feb. 90/1: Toffs and Tin [...] They’re the only two barneys as pay.|
5. a scolding.
|‘’Arry at Stonehenge’ Punch 28 Aug. in (2006) 85: He shuddered [...] And pattered a proper old barney to me and Bob Jones.|
6. a fight; also as bit of (a) barney.
|Colonial Songster (rev. edn) 68: A barney first commences / With a little bit of ‘skiting’, / But calling names is not enough, / And so it ends in fighting.|
|‘’Arry on Woman Rights’ Punch 2 Apr. 156/1: Thinks I, ‘There’s a barney on here.’.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 374: I’m sorry [...] that I had that barney with Warrigal.|
|No. 5 John Street 210: I darkly hint at ‘a barney’ in the provinces.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 124: His love of a barney was [...] weaker than his strict observance of the laws of meum and tuum.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 14 July 4/8: In the barney at the Boulder, it’s a plain as A.B.C. / That Smith was simply paramount, in fact the Perfect Pea.|
|‘Mitchell on the “Situation”’ in Roderick (1972) 715: Did you ever see two men get into a barney in the Bush when they’re both on the same job?|
|(con. 1835–40) Bold Bendigo 74: There’ll be a barney then. Bosher’s in a wicked temper.|
|Gilt Kid 179: Blimey, I wish I got that cane. It’d be handy in a barney.|
|None But the Lonely Heart 39: He can take care of His self [...] any time there’s a bit of a barney anywhere.|
|Bang To Rights 33: All of a sudden there was a right barney at the other end of the shop.|
|Cut and Run (1963) 40: There was more than one South Side mob in this barney.|
|Inside the Und. 116: Eventually, there was a real barney.|
|Exploring Aus. Eng. 15: Other Australianisms derived from English dialect include [...] barney (for an argument).|
|Soft Detective 243: You had a bit of a barney with Conor, didn’t you?|
|Grits 142: The only wans oo’d be up ferra bahney would be Paul an Colm.|
1. (UK Und.) to gather a group of criminals to assist in confidence trickery.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 201: RISE (or raise) A BARNEY, to collect a mob.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1860].|
|Sharping London 36: Rise a Barney, to collect a mob for any sharping purpose.|
2. to cause trouble, to inspire an argument.
|Manchester Courier 17 July 10/4: ‘There,’ he said, ‘this will rise a barney,’ meaning that the stopping of the drink would cause a row.|