1. (orig. US) a large amount, usu. of money [SE barrel, pertaining to a large amount].
|Hist. U.S. Secret Service 483: He said at Surrattsville that he meant to make a barrel of money, or his neck would stretch.|
|Culture’s Garland 21: [He] is making a barrel of money in Chicago.|
|Fools of Fortune 357: The mysterious [...] friend has a ‘barrel of money’.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 251: While the Marters were merely well-to-do, the Amos’s [...] had barrels of it.|
|Shorty McCabe 162: ‘He left a barrel, then?’ ‘A cellarful,’ says Sadie.|
|‘Bill Peters’ in Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 60: When they brung his body home / A barrel of tears was shed.|
|My Lady of the Chimney Corner 118: On one of his semi-annual visits to Antrim, Hughie got into a barrel of trouble.|
|Taking the Count 99: ‘Father left him money,’ said Smalley. A barrel of it,’ supplemented Davis.‘The Spotted Sheep’ in|
|Top-Notch 1 Sept. [Internet] We’ve got a barrel of trouble—the whole works have struck!‘Shorter Hours, Longer Pay’ in|
|That Old Gang o’ Mine (1984) 52: Having a barrel of good clean fun.in Marschall|
|Dead End Act III: Yuh loin a barrel a good tings in rifawm school.|
|Breakfast at Tiffany’s 36: He’s written barrels of the most marvellous stories.|
|Sweet Ride 139: And I left my Dollie [...] for this barrel of laughs!|
|(con. late 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 650: We’ll just lay in a barrel of those pills you take.|
|Scully 36: They’d had a barrel or two already, you could tell by the way they was walking up the steps on their knees.|
|Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 279: That didn’t sound like a barrel of laughs.|
|Indep. on Sun. Rev. 20 June 57: It’s been a barrel of laughs.|
|Life 271: The next day he was brooding again. Not a barrel of laughs.|
2. a fat person [physical shape].
|in Daily Chronicle 16 July 1/5: When that measure reached the House of Lords it was met with a barricade of barrels insufficiently disguised in robes and coronets .|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 45: A little barrel of a man with a large black hat.|
|Amer. Dream Girl (1950) 197: ‘That barrel, uh ...’ growled Porky.‘Milly and the Porker’ in|
|Golden Orange (1991) 68: Gone! Stolen by that barrel of guts! That heartless, three-hundred-pound monster.|
|Davey Darling 32: He was a real barrel of demons, the Old Man.|
3. (drugs) in pl., LSD [physical shape].
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|Recreational Drugs.et al.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 2: Barrels — LSD.|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|ONDCP Street Terms 3: Blue barrels — LSD.|
SE in slang uses
|DN IV:ii 68: barrelled up, adj. Intoxicated.‘Rural Locutions of Maine and Northern New Hampshire’ in|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 532: I’d like to get barrelled to-night.Judgement Day in|
|Fellow Countrymen (1937) 429: Kind of ashamed of yourself for some damn fool clown stunt you had pulled the night before when you were barrelled.‘A Sunday in April’ in|
|,||DAS 21/1: barrelled up Drunk.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 790: barreled – To be drunk.|
see separate entries.
see separate entry.
drunkenness; thus delirium tremens.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Barrel Fever. He died of the barrel fever; he killed himself by drinking.|
|Life and Adventures.|
|Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 2nd series 26: Must look out for a barrel fever.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. of Provincialisms 8/2: Barrel-Fever, A violent propensity to drunkenness, or sickness.|
|New and Improved Flash Dict.|
|Vocabulum 10: barrel fever. Delirium tremens.|
|Sl. Dict. (1890).|
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 438: Barrel-fever, The delirium tremens.|
|AS VII:2 87: Terms referring to the state of intoxication: Have barrel fever.‘Volstead English’ in|
|Amer. Thes. Sl. 157: Delirium tremens. Barrel fever, [...] shivery-shakes, snakes, snakes in the boots.|
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. (2nd edn).|
|I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 230/1: barrel fever – delirium tremens.|
see separate entries.
see barrel-boarder n.
(Can.) illicitly distilled liquor.
|Totally True Diaries of an Eighties Roller Queen [Internet] 9 Aug. The stuff was moonshine and came out of a barrel. They call it barrel wash. I had three barrel wash and two beer and two drinks of whisky. I didn’t think the stuff worked and then an hour later it hit me like a brick wall.|
(US) to lose control.
|Devils 245: ‘Arab,’ laughed Finkelstein, ‘You’re blowing your barrel. No man’ll step out to be killed.’.|
(US) to be drunk.
|Connecticut Yankee 46: That same old weary tale [...] he will tell till he dieth, every time he hath gotten his barrel full and feelth his exaggeration-mill a-working.|
to put at a great disadvantage, to inconvenience deliberately.
|Indep. Record (Helena, MT) 12 Oct. 4/1: The Hon. Daniel Webster Voorhees grows melodramatically maudlin [...] He will feel better after the silver boys have rolled him over a barrel.|
|Woodland (CA) Daily Democrat 7 Jan. 2/1: To use a vulgar expression, a Republican congress gleefully assembled in Washington for the express purpose of getting President Cleveland ‘over a barrel.’.|
|Spicy Detective Stories Nov. [Internet] ‘You’ve got me over a barrel!’ he whined.‘Too Many Diamonds’ in|
|Cry Tough! 19: You’ve got me across a barrel.|
|Criminal (1993) 71: Tell him you tried to push the wrong guy around, and he’s got you over a barrel.|
|Yarns of Billy Borker 44: I thought Melbourne Mick had Sydney Sam over the barrel.|
|Pallet on the Floor 89: I tell you, we’ve got him over a barrel.|
|It (1987) 347: It may just be the barrel I have you over. Wot-wot?|
|Therapy (1996) 81: To be frank, you and Jake have us over a barrel on this one.|
|Harry Reasoner 24: Harry denied he was the father or even had enjoyed relations with the girl, but he contended she had him ‘over a barrel’.|
|Guardian 6 July 23/3: EDF does not have us over a barrel on this because we have other low-carbon options.|
1. (also in the bucket) in debt, bankrupt.
|‘In the Barrel Blues’ [lyrics] Hard luck done come in got me in the barrel.|
|Novels and Stories (1995) 102: A red hot pimp like you say you is, ain’t got no business in the barrel.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|Misery (1988) 169: ‘Arrears. That means in the bucket, doesn’t it?’ ‘In the bucket, in the hole, behind. Yes.’.|
|Prison Sl. 15: Out in the Water In debt. (Archaic: in the barrel, in the hole, on the nut).|
2. dismissed or likely to be dismissed from one’s job.
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 36: You puttin’ this kid in the barrel already?|
(US) well-dressed, fashionable.
|Two & Three 18 Apr. [synd. col.] All the girls will be right out of the barrel on Easter Sunday. They’ll be furnished new from their bunions to their hat pins.|
(Aus.) absolutely perfect, completely to one’s taste, exactly what one wants.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Sept. 27/1: If he comes that game Oi’ll knock a hole as big as a sewer-poipe thro’ him. It’ll jist be roight into me ’and – thim’s the sort of chaps that soot me down to the ground.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 4 Mar. 2/1: Kentucky [...] The five is right into his barrel. There’s nothing wrong with his condition, and his weight’s O.K .|
|Courtship of Uncle Henry 69: I was at Drake’s in the Haymarket seven years. Anything in this line is right into my barrel.|
|Argot in DAUS (1993).|
see under scrape v.