John Barleycorn love

John Barleycorn


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. a personification of alcoholic drink, particularly beer and whisky.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a humorous personification of barley as the source of malt liquor or whisky.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See barleycorn.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented


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


  • And so it went, a very lively and well-patronised road, and, from what I knew of all of them, John Barleycorn was responsible, with the sole exception of Smith of the Annie.

    Chapter 17

  • And here, by the very system of things, by the way life was organised and men transacted affairs, John Barleycorn reached out and tucked my arm in his.

    Chapter 17

  • For this sickness of pessimism, caused by drink, one must drink further in quest of the anodyne that John Barleycorn promises but never delivers.

    Chapter 35

  • And the point of this instance is that later on, after more years had passed, contact with John Barleycorn at last did induce in me the alcoholic desire.

    Chapter 20

  • That led to the linguistic prettification of saloons as taverns and of shops purveying the mother’s milk of John Barleycorn as package stores.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time


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  • There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
    And these three men made a solemn vow
    John Barleycorn must die
    They've ploughed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
    Threw clods upon his head
    And these three men made a solemn vow
    John Barleycorn was dead
    They've let him lie for a very long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall
    And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all
    They've let him stand 'til Midsummer's Day 'til he looked both pale and wan
    And little Sir John's grown a long long beard and so become a man
    They've hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee
    They've rolled him and tied him by the waist serving him most barbarously
    They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks who've pricked him to the heart
    And the loader he has served him worse than that
    For he's bound him to the cart
    They've wheeled him around and around a field 'til they came unto a barn
    And there they made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn
    They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone
    And the miller he has served him worse than that
    For he's ground him between two stones
    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass
    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    The huntsman he can't hunt the fox nor so loudly to blow his horn
    And the tinker he can't mend kettle or pots without a little barleycorn


    April 18, 2011