Keyword Analysis & Research: barrel of laughs pic

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Where did the term 'a barrel of laughs' originate?

Enslaved Africans were not allowed to laugh on some plantations, and so, in an act of defiance and as a mode of survival, they often stuck their heads into barrels in order to laugh out of sight and out of earshot of white slavers. This, apparently, is where we get the term "barrel of laughs."

What does barrel of laughs mean?

barrel of laughs (plural barrels of laughs) (idiomatic) That which is enjoyable or entertaining. You should see this movie I just got, it's a real barrel of laughs. (idiomatic) That which is immature, embarrassing, or disgraceful.

What is the origin of the phrase barrel of laughs?

The source of abundant fun and enjoyment. We might have images of sailors getting drunk on barrels of rum being the origin of 'a barrel of laughs' - but it isn't. The expression began life as 'a barrel of fun' - 'barrel' in this context just meaning 'lots of'. barrel of fun, n. phr.


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