1. Showboat: These were floating theatres built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie ‘Showboat’ these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is ‘showboating.’
2. Over a barrel: In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.
3. Hogwash: Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless ‘hog wash.’