Barrel: (n) a cylindrical container bulging out in the middle, traditionally made of wooden staves
Imagine my surprise when I first discovered that monkeys didn’t actually come in barrels.
I don’t even know where that saying came from. I’m a little surprised that PETA has not lodged a formal objection to the whole concept.
It astounds me how certain words evoke images in my mind, often without rhyme or reason. When I hear the word “barrel” I think of the hard candies I used to eat, called Root Beer Barrels, which seemed to last four days in your mouth.
I also think about the rustic planters I put in my front yard for a season, which were called “half-barrels,” and held soil for showcasing pretty flowers.
But the “barrel of monkeys” thing keeps popping back to my brain and annoying my sensibility. Because if you think about it, a barrel of monkeys would be much more frustrating than fun.
Could it be that somewhere along the line someone actually had a whole barrel of monkeys, and they were desperately trying to get rid of them, so they put out an ad in the local circular, trying to get somebody to purchase the damn things so they wouldn’t have to deal with a bunch of wiggling and squiggling primates?
Yes, maybe that’s where all the erroneous ideas have come from–some hapless individual is desperately trying to get out from under a bad investment and comes up with an advertising spin to market a fiasco.
Maybe that’s why we still call it a “Presidential campaign.”
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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