barn

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barn find

Something of great value, usually a vintage automobile, that was discovered abandoned in some place that is unbefitting or unbecoming its value, as in a disused barn, shed, or the like. Did you hear about that massive barn find outside of town? They discovered about 15 old cars, each of which was worth about $40,000!
See also: barn, find

barnburner

Any thing, event, or occasion that is especially exciting, impressive, and/or successful. I had so much fun at Jonathan's bachelor party last night; it was a real barnburner! The majority of the game was rather lackluster, but it was a barnburner in the final quarter.

close the barn door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. It isn't worth replacing the oil filter on the engine now—you can't close the barn door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, barn, bolt, close, door, horse

around Robin Hood's barn

A long, indirect route. A: "What took you guys so long to get here?" B: "Well, rather than just going through town, our esteemed driver took us all around Robin Hood's barn instead!"
See also: around, barn, robin

born in a barn

Uncouth. Uncultured. Most often used in the phrase "were you born in a barn?" What, were you born in a barn? Wash your hands before dinner!
See also: barn, born

go around Robin Hood's barn

To take a long, indirect route. A: "What took you guys so long to get here?" B: "Well, rather than just going through town, our esteemed driver went around Robin Hood's barn instead!"
See also: around, barn, robin

all around Robin Hood's barn

going somewhere by an indirect route; going way out of the way [to get somewhere]; by a long and circuitous route. We had to go all around Robin Hood's barn to get to the little town.
See also: all, around, barn, robin

*broad as a barn door

very broad or wide. (*Also: as ~.) Jim's backside is as broad as a barn door. The weight lifter's chest is broad as a barn door.
See also: barn, broad, door

can't hit the (broad) side of a barn

Rur. cannot aim something accurately. You're way off. You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Please don't try to throw the paper into the wastebasket. You can't hit the side of a barn.
See also: barn, hit, of, side

hit the (broad) side of a barn

Fig. to hit an easy target. (Usually negative.) He can't park that car! He can't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone that parking place. He's a lousy shot. He can't hit the side of a barn.
See also: barn, hit, of, side

raised in a barn

brought up to behave like a barnyard animal; having crude behavior. Close the door behind you! Were you raised in a barn? Don't wipe your nose on your sleeve. Were you raised in a barn?
See also: barn, raised

Were you born in a barn?

Rur. an expression chiding someone who has left a door open or who is ill-mannered or messy. Andy: Close the door! Were you born in a barn? Bob: Sorry. Fred: Can't you clean this place up a little? Were you born in a barn? Bob: I call it the messy look.
See also: born

can't hit the broad side of a barn

Have very poor aim. For example, That rookie can't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone strike anyone out or, as put in The New Republic (February 19, 1990): "Their missiles couldn't hit the broad side of a barn." This hyperbolic term, dating from the mid-1800s, at first denoted poor marksmanship. Around 1900 it also began to be used in baseball, for a pitcher with poor aim.
See also: barn, broad, hit, of, side

lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

Also, lock the stable door after the horse is stolen. Take precautions after damage has occurred. For example, After the burglary they installed an alarm system, but it's locking the barn door, or Deciding to negotiate now after they've been fired-that's a matter of locking the stable door after the horse is stolen . These expressions of action that is useless because it comes too late have long been proverbs in many languages and first appeared in English in the mid-1300s.
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock

can’t hit the (broad) side of a barn

tv. cannot aim something accurately. You’re way off. You couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.
See also: barn, broad, hit, of, side

can’t hit the side of a barn

verb
See also: barn, hit, of, side

Were you born in a barn?

interrog. Weren’t you trained to close the door by yourself? You sure are careless with that door. Were you born in a barn?
See also: born

couldn't hit the side of a barn

A lousy shot. This useful phrase can be applied to baseball pitchers who can't get the ball over the plate, basketball players who miss free throws, golfers whose balls routinely go out of bounds, target shooters and archers who miss the target, and anyone else who can't get it right. Another similar farm-based expression is “couldn't hit a bull's ass with a barn shovel.”
See also: barn, hit, of, side