Last updated at 11:03 GMT, Thursday, 20 February 2014

Scraping the barrel

Barrels in a cellar in Spain

When all the good wine is gone you have to scrape the barrel

Today's Phrase

To scrape the barrel is to use the worst things or people because nothing or no one else is available.

Examples:

You chose Mark to represent us at the meeting? That's really scraping the barrel.

A: What are you wearing to the wedding?
B: The same dress as last time. I know I'm scraping the barrel. I just can't afford anything new!

Take note

If something is a barrel of laughs, it is funny or enjoyable. The phrase is often used in the negative form.

Example:

A: How was the meeting?
B: Pretty bad. We found out they are cutting 10 jobs. Not exactly a barrel of laughs.

Interesting fact

A person who makes barrels is called a cooper. They also make other containers such as casks, buckets and tubs.

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