Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bark v.2

[all fig. uses of SE]

1. [19C] to cough.

2. [early 19C+] to tout a shop or attraction; to work as a costermonger’s assistant; thus barking n. and occas. adj.

3. [late 19C; 2010s] (UK Und.) to inform [underpinned by dog n.2 (1)].

4. [late 19C–1940s] to fire a gun [ext. of SE bark, to make a sudden loud noise, esp. of gunfire].

5. [1950s+] to hurt.

6. [1960s] (US) to boast, to brag.

7. [1990s+] (also bark out, (orig. Aus./N.Z.) to vomit.

8. [1990s+] (US campus) to lie.

In phrases

bark on (v.)

[2010s] (US black) to attack verbally; to reprimand.

In exclamations

go and bark up a tree! (also go chew on a chitlin!)

[1900s; 1960s] a generally dismissive excl.