scrape the barrel


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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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