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90s Slang You Should Know

John Barleycorn

a personification of barley as used in malt liquor, of malt liquor itself, or of any intoxicating liquor.
Origin of John Barleycorn
First recorded in 1610-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for John Barleycorn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The most delicate lady could procure no more suitable beverage than the blood of John Barleycorn.

    Cakes & Ale Edward Spencer
  • Laban told a little more of his battle with John Barleycorn.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • What he saw as he peered within would have made John Barleycorn turn green with envy.

    Triple Spies Roy J. Snell
  • Skullen must have 134 forgotten his old nemesis, John Barleycorn.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • Alfred had spoken once, at the moment when they left the Sir John Barleycorn tavern behind them.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam Horace Annesley Vachell
  • But he and John Barleycorn were strangers now; they were not on speaking terms.

    Gabriel Tolliver Joel Chandler Harris
  • I happened into the Sir John Barleycorn just afore seein' you, sir.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam Horace Annesley Vachell
  • Let this be remembered when John Barleycorn is before his many judges.

    A Wanderer in Holland E. V. Lucas
  • They have been there two days now, and one of them is hitting up old John Barleycorn right hard.

    Mason of Bar X Ranch Henry Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn

generally (jocular) the personification of alcohol, esp of malt spirits
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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