the bottom of the barrel

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 ?
Commenting on the deal, Giacomo Rispoli, Eni s Refining & Marketing and Chemicals Executive Vice President, Portfolio Management & Supply and Licensing, said: After two years of successful operation of the Sannazzaro refinery s EST unit, the first of its kind in the world, a new, proven technology is now commercially available to be assessed as an option for upgrading the bottom of the barrel.
And on that farm we had some daft C-listers and enough barnyard noises to drown out the sound of ITV scraping the bottom of the barrel.
But now the show's producers seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel with the weird mix of contestants.
But we still need to keep donations flowing as we are now scraping the bottom of the barrel to get loads.
We are on the verge of default, we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel," he told reporters on August 30.
COVENTRY Labour are scraping the bottom of the barrel by recruiting former Conservative councillor Altaf Adalat.
UOP's Uniflex processing technology was developed to help refiners processing the bottom of the barrel, the heaviest portions of a barrel of crude also known as vacuum residue, into higher-value transportation fuels.
Come off it, you really are scraping the bottom of the barrel.
UOP's Uniflex[TM] processing technology was developed to help refiners processing the bottom of the barrel, the heaviest portions of a barrel of crude also known as vacuum residue, into higher-value transportation fuels.
I always felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel just trying to get a song together" Singer Leonard Cohen "Beards are messy.
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'?
We have not a lot of men left at 90 years old, and we should not be scraping the bottom of the barrel to live on.
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.
We're coming to the end of durum stocks and there are a lot of worries in terms of availability and quality-we're scraping the bottom of the barrel," said Nigel Singh, UK commercial manager for Pasta Lensi, the big gest own-label pasta supplier in the world.