barn-burner

barnburner

[bahrn-bur-ner]
noun
1.
Informal. something that is highly exciting, impressive, etc.: The All Stars game was a real barnburner.
2.
Chiefly Pennsylvania. a wooden friction match.
3.
(initial capital letter) a member of the progressive faction in the Democratic Party in New York State 1845–52.
Compare Hunker.


Origin:
1835–45, Americanism; barn1 + burner; (def 3) so called with reference to burning down a barn to get rid of rats

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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