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
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Twenty years ago, zoo officials say animals were fed the bottom of the barrel of human leftovers -- veggies gone south, bread gone stale, meat not tailored to each animal species.
As for that grating you heard this summer, that was the sound of Hollywood scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Put a couple of bolts through the side of the barrel to keep the cut-out from falling in, screw a length of pipe into the large bung for a flue, and line the bottom of the barrel with bricks to sink it in the tank.
The barrel can tip slightly forward while rotating, forcing the castings away from the bottom of the barrel and exposing fresh surfaces to the blast stream.
Nurses are America's most honest and ethical professionals, while car salespersons are at the bottom of the barrel, according to a new Gallup survey.
Union labor and reputable contractors have almost no chance to perform work on these projects given this bottom of the barrel approach.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel comes this stultifyingly-dull teen horror tosh that couldn't raise a goose-pimple if its life depended on it.
Refiners use hydroprocessing technologies to help meet the most stringent product specifications and emissions legislation, maximizing the value from bottom of the barrel processing, while enjoying the higher unit availability of owner/operator developed technology.
The ME-CAT conference is lined up right after the Bottom of the Barrel Technology Conference (BBTC MENA 2017) on December 4 and 5.
By repeatedly attempting to resort to the basest of technicalities, and in lieu of substantial arguments against the merits of her Supreme Court petition, is scraping the bottom of the barrel for whatever argument is left to support her continued illegal detention,' De Lima said in a statement.
Please note, that high-pitched sound you can currently hear isn't a ghost, it's television chiefs scraping the bottom of the barrel.
It has a milled slot on its lop that is put there to align with another slot in the bottom of the barrel when either pin or barrel is replaced.
Rodger McPhail (left), whose grouse is splashed across the bottle of the famous namesake whisky, will be appearing in cabaret The Bottom of the Barrel at Norgren Social Club, Pittway Avenue, Shipston on Friday, March 25 and 26.