From Middle English bec, borrowed from Anglo-Norman bec, from Latin beccus, from Gaulish *bekkos, from Proto-Celtic *bekkos ("beak, snout"), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bak-, *baḱ-. Cognate with Breton beg ("beak"). Compare Saterland Frisian Bäk ("mouth; muzzle; beak"); Dutch bek.
Unknown; originally cant; first recorded in 17thC; probably related to obsolete cant beck "constable".
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