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Re: Bark up

Posted by RRC on September 17, 2007

In Reply to: Re: Bark up posted by Baceseras on September 17, 2007

: : Can you say "to bark up" meaning "to peel the bark of a tree"?

: Not really. "To bark up a tree" is the action of a hunting hound in pursuit of prey: the dog's barking locates the creature for the benefit of the hunter with gun, who follows after, coming in for the kill. From this we also get the common phrase, "barking up the wrong tree", the meaning of which should be obvious.

According to Merriam-Webster, you can bark a tree (or your shin).
From the transitive verb definition:
2 a : to strip the bark from b : to rub off or abrade the skin of

IMO, debark is more clear for the tree use.

I'm sure I have heard people say that they "barked up" their shin or knee, but I find no Google hits for it so it may have been a local/regional usage.