bottom of the barrel


Also found in: Acronyms.

the bottom of the barrel

The cheapest, worst, or lowest quality. Used to describe an item in a range of comparable products. I know we need to save money, but this bottom-of-the-barrel computer barely even works. Our washing machine broke down after just two months of use, but that's what we get for buying the bottom of the barrel.
See also: barrel, bottom, of

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

bottom of the barrel, scrape the

Obtain the last dregs, the least desirable remains. The sediment of wine was likened to the lowest, most despicable elements of society nearly two thousand years ago by Cicero. The metaphor remains current.
See also: bottom, of, scrape
References in periodicals archive ?
It's true there must be approximately 1/64 to 1/32 inch of space between the bottom of the barrel ramp and the frame.
The Man United's centre-back's Q & A session quite literally scrapes the bottom of the barrel Millie Clode Which Sky Sports News presenter carries around signed photocards 'in case I run into a fan that wants one'?
If the secret to being hip is to keep abreast of the entertainments that no one else has heard of, then no site could be hipper than o Views (zeroviews.biz), the blog that bills itself as "The Best Of The Bottom Of The Barrel." The site's curators have a simple mission: They scour YouTube for videos with a view count of nada, then embed them on their site.
Their earlier works were drained dry of imagination, creativity and humour and this toothless escapade doesn''t just scrape the bottom of the barrel - it claws straight through and keeps on going to cinematic purgatory.
The spring-powered roller on the plug presses against the bottom of the barrel.
My winesnob friends will kill me for making my new love a public fact, for they consider Nine Hills to belong to the bottom of the barrel.
The water makes it so slippery inside that riders don't get spun around, but stay sliding in the water at the bottom of the barrel.
PIERS has reached new lows in his scraping the bottom of the barrel as he meets former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones.
Q: In the late '70s and early '80s there was a small company in northern Colorado selling BB pistols with a freon canister fitted to the bottom of the barrel section, and the handle would hold several hundred BBs and would fire full auto as long as you held the trigger and had BBs in the gun.
Charles Weidner, defending, said: "You have got a young girl here, 21, before the court on numerous occasions and she has come to the end of the line, she is scraping the bottom of the barrel.
The water would soak into the floor sweepings and then out through the holes in the bottom of the barrel, feeding the garden vegetables with nutrients.
It focuses on the bottom of the barrel, those who presumably are "left behind," perhaps 10 percent of the population.
The pre-weighed rubber specimen is placed at the bottom of the barrel of the rheometer.
The year 2048, he says, offers "avery tangible deadline of when we're going to hit the bottom of the barrel."
As for that grating you heard this summer, that was the sound of Hollywood scraping the bottom of the barrel. And, with the worst ticket sales in fifteen years, they've got the receipts to show for it.