Pork-barrel meaning

A government project or appropriation that yields jobs or other benefits to a specific locale and patronage opportunities to its political representative.
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Government appropriations for political patronage, as for local improvements to please legislators' constituents.
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(now rare) A barrel used to store pork. [from 18th c.]
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(chiefly US) A ready supply of income; one's livelihood. [from 19th c.]
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(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.]
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Origin of pork-barrel

  • From pork barrel barrel for storing pork, supply of money
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition