Author Topic: Barrel of pickles  (Read 1075 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Barrel of pickles
« on: June 09, 2014, 01:04:29 PM »
Me: [explaining an issue I'm having while plotting out my next book]

DH: "That sounds like you have a real barrel of pickles."

Me: ?

DH: "Barrel of fish?  I know it's an expression.  Something about having a big problem."

Me: "Kettle of fish, maybe?  That's not really it, though."  *checks the internet* "Google doesn't know either."

So, kind eHellions - anyone ever heard of a barrel of pickles?  Or know what expression DH might have been thinking of?  He may have imagined the whole thing, but now I'm curious  :P

lowspark

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 01:10:02 PM »
A kettle of fish makes sense to me.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kettle+of+fish
Quote
an awkward, difficult, or bad situation; muddle; mess.

A pickle (on its own) does mean a similar thing, as in, you seem to have gotten yourself in a pickle there.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys is another expression but that wouldn't apply here.

Sounds to me like he just sort of mixed up a couple different expressions.

TootsNYC

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 01:12:27 PM »
I've never heard "kettle of fish" to mean "something that's difficult."

I've only heard it in the sense of "another scenario": "That's a different kettle of fish." I supposed it could be "that's a different muddle/mess," but I never think of that as being part of the definition. Interesting!


Jones

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 01:14:53 PM »
Barrel of monkeys? Describes my life anyway.

lowspark

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 01:21:09 PM »
When I've heard kettle of fish used that way, it's usually got "fine" in front of it.
That's a fine kettle of fish = That's a nice mess!

I've actually never heard of it as a different kettle of fish. Funny that.
For that meaning, I'm more familiar with "a horse of a different color". Which always brings the Wizard of Oz movie to mind.

TootsNYC

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 01:38:13 PM »
Look! We're both right.

(I don't remember "a fine kettle of fish," but I would probably have interpreted it to mean "a [sarcastic] fine case or situation." I.e., the same exact meaning, but turned into sarcasm by the sarcastic use of the adjective "fine.")

(this is a U.K. site, but...)
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/kettle-of-fish.html


http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/kettle-of-fish.html


and a U.S. site
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kettle+of+fish

wx4caster

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 01:48:01 PM »
To me, it sounds like a smash-up of "that's a fine kettle of fish" (difficult situation), "over a barrel" (no options) and "in a pickle" (in a bit of trouble).
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lowspark

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 01:48:48 PM »
Ya. The US site is the one I referenced above.

I agree! We're both right! I think it's funny that we both had heard the one meaning but not the other.

And yeah, I take the "fine" part to be sarcastic.  :)

miranova

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 01:54:27 PM »
The only pickle expression I've ever heard is "I'm in a real pickle here".  No barrels.  LOL.

lowspark

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 02:01:29 PM »
That actually reminded me of "gathering around the pickle barrel" as in, hanging out at the general store schmoozing with the other small town folks. Like they do in old movies. Sergeant York comes to mind. Maybe that's what he was channeling?

TootsNYC

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 02:47:09 PM »
To me, it sounds like a smash-up of "that's a fine kettle of fish" (difficult situation), "over a barrel" (no options) and "in a pickle" (in a bit of trouble).

I vote for this being what happened in the OP's DH's brain.

carol1412

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 02:58:48 PM »
There's always "like shooting fish in a barrel" - one of those things that's so easy you can't fail.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 03:24:07 PM »
This sounds like my dad, who was an adult before he learned that the phrase was "next door," not "next store," and "I know that like the back of my hand," not "I know that like the back of my head."  Heh.

I agree that it was probably a combination of "kettle of fish" and "a pickle," perhaps.

Thipu1

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 09:55:47 AM »
Actually, a 'barrel of pickles' sounds delicious. 

None of the suggested alternatives seem to fit the situation in the OP.  A problem with a story plot would more likely be described as 'painting yourself into a corner'.  Still, the 'barrel of pickles' has a certain ring to it. 

I had an Aunt who was noted in the family for getting sayings just a little wrong.   At her son's Wedding she was complimented on how well the ceremony and reception had gone. 

Her response was, 'Thanks but you should have been here last week.  We were all running around like chickens with their hats off'. 


TriCrazy73

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Re: Barrel of pickles
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2014, 01:56:15 PM »
 ;D ;D

Mmmm..Barrel of pickles.  Yummy!  (can some be fried? i love fried pickles)