barred » barrel

Chiefly in:   no holds barrel

Variant(s):  no holds barreled

Classification: English – vocalized /l/ – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • Looking at the sex scene in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand on any night about town. This is a no-holds-barrel report with places, attractions, prices and what to really expect. (link)
  • The discussion leader was energetic and informative. He was truthful in his presentation and his ‘no holds barrel’ approach makes the realism of this course so much more believable. (link)
  • It could have been great: JC making a real, excessive, no-holds-barreled, hong-kong movie… (link)
  • About the information published, it is absolutely ground breaking and no holds barrelled. Keep it up! (link)
  • Described as a no-holds barrel death match, Battle Mode can be quite exhilarating thanks to the jump pads spaced throughout the rolling hills. (link)
  • Ken Shamrock, the first King of Pancrase, three-time Ultimate Fighting Superfight Champion, winner of numerous bar brawls and Toughman wars, widely regarded as the finest no-holds-barrel fighter in the world, is being booed. (link)

Phonetically, _no holds barrel(ed)_ involves an old acquaintance: the vocalized /l/, which we’ve already documented in _wheel barrow>wheel barrel_, _bogged down>balked down_ and _handful>hand few_.

Semantically, this eggcorn is a little more obscure. The wrestling metaphor (”no manner of grasping the opponent is forbidden”) has been lost, but what is it replaced with? The idea of barrels that don’t hold whatever they supposedly contain? Barrels without handles, so that you can’t hold on to them?

As for the form in /-ed/, we know of double-, single-, long-, or short-barreled guns, and barreled beer.

Exactly what meaning or underlying metaphor inspired the various occurrences is not entirely clear.

See also _no holes barred_.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/02/11 |

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