John-barleycorn definition

A personification of alcoholic liquor.
noun
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(person, proper) Corn liquor, malt liquor, etc.
noun
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A personification of alcoholic drink, particularly beer and whisky.
pronoun
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Origin of john-barleycorn

  • John (commonly used to personify a concept) + barleycorn; barley is used to produce malt the source of most British alcoholic drink.

    From Wiktionary