A ships meat rations would be supplied soaked in brine and stored in barrels. The fat would become hard and would stick to the sides and bottom of the barrel and was less likely to be used in day to day consumption. However, if you were hungry and there was nothing else, then that would do.
By SailingQuiz November 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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Definition of the nautical phrase "Scraping the barrel.".