Informal government appropriations for political patronage, as for local improvements to please legislators' constituents
A government project or appropriation that yields jobs or other benefits to a specific locale and patronage opportunities to its political representative.
Origin of pork barrelFrom pork barrel, barrel for storing pork, supply of money.
(plural pork barrels)
- (now rare) A barrel used to store pork. [from 18th c.]
- (chiefly US) A ready supply of income; one's livelihood. [from 19th c.]
- (politics, chiefly US) State funds as assigned for local or regional expenditure; especially, central money used for regional projects which are eyecatching or designed to appeal to voters. [from 19th c.]