Posted by Bob on August 08, 2005
In Reply to: Cracker Barrel posted by ESC on August 08, 2005
: : : We are discussing the origin of the phrase
: : : Cracker Barrel
: : : Someone here thinks the crackers were delivered
: : : in a wooden barrel -
: : : my g-g-grand mother told me the phrase was coined
: : : by the slaves when the foreman would stand on a barrel and crack
: : : the whip.
: : I'm interested in what your g-g-grandma told you that the phrase meant as I find it hard to reconcile that derivation especially since most dictionary definitions say something about "an old country store". Also, your origin would lead to very bad consequences for Kraft's Cracker Barrel brand of cheese and the over 500 nation-wide Cracker Barrel Olde Country Store restaurants.
: Cracker Barrel did run into a little legal problem -- http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan/press/05-03-04.html But I would be very surprised if "cracker barrel" has anything to do with cracking a whip.
Crackers were, indeed, sold out of barrels in general stores. The slave story is a tall tale. (By the way, I once ate at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant, a mistake I urge you all not to repeat.)