One very old meaning of the word “barrow” is an open container for carrying people or goods. The earliest barrows were carried by two people holding handles on either end. Add a wheel to one end and you have a wheelbarrow which can be handled by a single person. The word is also sometimes applied to two-wheeled versions.
The word has nothing to do with barrels.
This is the tenth year of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.
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