'Empty Barrels Make the Most Noise' Meaning

"Empty barrels make the most noise" is a phrase which refers to how people with little to say are often the loudest.

The person who has the least knowledge on a topic may often be the most vocal person in the room.

This phrase make sense because if you hit an empty barrel it makes a loud echoey 'boom'.

If you hit a full barrel it will make a much lower-pitched and quieter noise as there is no space inside it for the noise to reverberate around in.

If you load a truck with empty barrels they will make a lot of noise every time you drive over a bump in the road!

Why Are Empty Barrels So Noisy?

Empty barrels are hollow, the space inside allows sound to echo around and effectively become amplified inside the barrel.

empty barrels

Conversly a full barrel has no space for sound to reveberate in so the sound will be far less amplified.

In terms of the metaphor, empty people, i.e people who have no real knowledge of a topic, are often the noisest for a number of different reasons:

  • They feel a need to speak to hide the fact that they really have nothing to say.
  • Jealousy
  • They are insecure

How To Do Deal With Noisy Barrels (Actual Barrels)

Real barrels can be made quieter by doing the following:

  • Store them with padding
  • Separating them

Putting padding between your barrels will dampen sounds so if they do get hit, or they bounce off each other while in transit the noise will be greatly reduced.

Separating them will also prevent them from hitting each other when in transit thus reducing the noise...obviously, this requires a good amount of space in your truck or wagon.

How To Do Deal With Noisy Barrels (People)

Noisy (human) barrels are often hiding insecurities by being so talkative, avoid just shutting them down as this can make them feel even more out of palce and insecure.

Instead here are a few things you could do:

  • Avoiding laughing at them, instead, listen and then add to what they say so that you help build their confidence while also adding something beneficial to the conversation.
  • If what they are saying is negative or harmful then take them to one side and politely discuss what their issue is, often 'empty barrels' make a lot of noise in group settings as they feel exposed, whereas one on one they will behave more reasonably.

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda,

I'm Dan, I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out.

This is my place to document what I've learnt on my soundproofing journey.