scrape the barrel

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Related to Scraping the Barrel: scraping the bottom of the barrel

scrape the barrel

To use or select from the last or worst of the resources or options from a particular range or set, even if they are not satisfactory, because there are no others to choose from. We used to get hundreds of qualified candidates, but lately I feel like we've been scraping the barrel with the applicants we bring in. A: "These were the best you could get?" B: "Sorry, the selection was already picked through, so I really had to scrape the barrel even to find those."
See also: barrel, scrape

scrape the barrel (or the bottom of the barrel)

be reduced to using things or people of the poorest quality because there is nothing else available. informal
See also: barrel, scrape

scrape (the bottom of) the ˈbarrel

(disapproving) use things or people of a low quality because all the good ones have already been used: TV is terrible at the moment, it’s nothing but old movies. They’re really scraping the barrel, aren’t they?
See also: barrel, scrape