Word of the Day

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

barnburner

\BAHRN-bur-ner\ , noun;
1.
Something that is highly exciting or impressive.
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.
Quotes:
“So, ready for the elder's meeting tonight?” Olan said, pouring himself some coffee. “Should be a barnburner from what I hear.”
-- Jonathan Weyer, The Faithful
"A real barnburner — look, you got me sweating buckets." Jason's sitting on the curb with his teammates.
-- Craig Davidson, Rust and Bone
Origin:
Barnburner is an Americanism that was first observed in the 1830s. It referred to the practice of burning down a barn to get rid of rats.
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