Bottom-of-the-barrel



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 ]

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  • Bottom-of-the-ladder

    Lowest or most junior position in a hierarchy. For example, If we hire you, you’ll have to begin at the bottom of the ladder . The rungs of a ladder have been likened to a step-wise progression since the 14th century. Also see low man on the totem pole

  • Bottom-of-the-line

    being the cheapest item of its kind made by a manufacturer; produced as inexpensively as possible (opposed to top-of-the-line): bottom-of-the-line merchandise that has no warranty.



  • Bottom

    the lowest or deepest part of anything, as distinguished from the top: the bottom of a hill; the bottom of a page. Synonyms: base, foot, pedestal. the under or lower side; underside: the bottom of a typewriter. the ground under any body of water: the bottom of the sea. Usually, bottoms. Also called bottom land. […]

  • Bottom–out

    the lowest or deepest part of anything, as distinguished from the top: the bottom of a hill; the bottom of a page. Synonyms: base, foot, pedestal. the under or lower side; underside: the bottom of a typewriter. the ground under any body of water: the bottom of the sea. Usually, bottoms. Also called bottom land. […]



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