Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday April 25, 2012
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.
“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
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.