Even Urban Dictionary, a crowdsourcing website for slang terms, did not list any definitions of “empty barrel” or “empty vessel,” as of Friday morning.Famous writers have used the expression over the centuries.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins, the proverb means that “foolish people are always the most talkative.” Similarly, the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs defines it this way: “Shallow people with nothing valuable to say are the most talkative or noisy.” The DCNF also found no informal use of the term that would suggest a racial connotation.
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Kelly made the remark during a press briefing Thursday while defending a phone call that President Donald Trump made to the widow of a fallen soldier.
Verdict: False The Daily Caller News Foundation could not find any instances where “empty barrel” has been used as a racial epithet.