bottom of the barrel


Also found in: Acronyms.

bottom of the barrel

 and bottom of the heap
Fig. the location of persons or things of the very lowest quality; someone or something of the lowest quality. (The fruit at the bottom of a barrel of apples is likely to be bruised from the weight of the other apples.) That last secretary you sent me was really the bottom of the barrel. I don't need any candidates from the bottom of the heap.
See also: barrel, bottom, of

bottom of the barrel

The least desirable, the dregs, as in The nominating committee had trouble finding candidates; they were settling for the bottom of the barrel . The phrase often occurs in scrape the bottom of the barrel, meaning "to use the least desirable elements" (because one has no choice), as in Bringing up that minor legal point proves that you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. This metaphor for the sediment left by wine in a barrel was already used by Cicero to describe the lowest elements of Roman society. [First half of 1900s]
See also: barrel, bottom, of

bottom of the barrel

and bottom of the heap
n. the location of persons or things of the very lowest quality. (see also scrape the bottom of the barrel.) That last secretary you sent me was really from the bottom of the barrel. If you drop out of school, you stay at the bottom of the heap.
See also: barrel, bottom, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Even the shops are full of bottom of the barrel sales stock.
In view of the derision which many now have for these Royal baubles,and the numerous celebrities who are known to have refused them,it is surely scraping the bottom of the barrel for the great and the good to go out touting for people who are willing to accept membership or commandership of the long-defunct BritishEmpire.
In the hunt for cheap publicity stunt, Mr Elliott has scraped the bottom of the barrel.
Hey, it's difficult for adults to understand how people can get so low as to scrape the bottom of the barrel and steal from an elementary kid's education.
But scrumpy's spiritual home of Somerset and Devon only just scraped the bottom of the barrel, eighth out of 10.
Put a few inches of gravel on the bottom of the barrel.
In the past five years, the McKee refinery has significantly increased its production of these bottom of the barrel products as a result of increasing crude throughput more than 20 percent and running heavier crudes.
By improving the conversion of lower value and often difficult to process, bottom of the barrel oil, Headwaters Heavy Oil believes that its process creates significant additional value for petroleum refiners.
To get the trust back, you have to go right to the bottom of the barrel and be brutally honest with each other.
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas must be really scraping the bottom of the barrel if they are subjecting us to the latest Indy film.
They'd dredged the bottom of the barrel and scraped out Quentin Willson to talk about the rise in violence and crime on public transport.
THE Government's broadcasting service hit a new low in journalism on Monday last when it scraped the bottom of the barrel for news stories.
BLIMEY, they must have really scraped the bottom of the barrel for this lot of Z-list celebs.
They're scraping at the bottom of the barrel looking for evidence if this is what it's come to,'' Werksman said.
TALK about scraping the bottom of the barrel, writes Steve Palmer.