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Empty Barrels Make the Most Noise: What Does It Mean?

Silent Home Hub Empty Barrels Make the Most Noise

As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.” – Plato

Teachers say, “Empty barrels make the most noise!” when students in the room are noisy. It’s a phrase which talks about people who talk a lot.

Want to know the origin of this phrase and how to reduce the sound of such empty barrels? Read more to find out!

Table of Contents

Empty Barrels Make the Most Noise: 2 Variations

Literal Meaning

Imagine two barrels or a drum beside each other. 

One barrel is filled with water, while the other has empty space inside.

Try throwing a piece of rock inside each of the barrels.

Which Barrel Makes the Most Noise? 

Of course, the rock will be noisiest inside the barrel with empty space inside.

This story tells us that the barrel needs to be empty to create noise inside it.

The more empty or shallow the vessel is, the more noise or sound it creates.

The hollow space inside the drum and the loud sounds are also comparable to a person’s knowledge.

Makes sense? This gets interesting!

Figuratively Speaking

We’ve checked out the Bible, and our search tells us about this proverb:

A person who talks too much gets into trouble. A wise person learns to be quiet.” – Proverbs 10:19

All “empty barrels make the most noise.”

It’s an expression that means that the louder an empty barrel talks, the less wisdom they have. It can also mean the reverse sometimes. 

The ones with the least knowledge are the most arrogant because they try too hard to prove themselves.

This phrase is often used to insult or criticize someone who speaks their minds.

They act like they have all the knowledge, but they actually have the LEAST knowledge and end up preaching about needless information.

Noisy people are the same thing as noisy barrels!

When Empty Barrels Make the Most Noise: Simple Solution

Transporting wine barrels from the wine presser’s point of view can be challenging. 

Empty barrels really make the most noise and are a bit annoying when transporting them in a moving truck or moving them to and from storage.

We found a simple soundproofing hack to this noisy-barrels-problem.

A moving blanket will do the trick.

What Is a Moving Blanket?

A moving blanket is a cylinder-shaped blanket made up of stretchable and elastic fabric. It’s a great type of blanket for soundproofing that you can use.

It is mostly used in the professional trucking industry to ensure cargo has no damage when it arrives at its destination.

 AND… it greatly reduces noise while traveling!

  • NO NEED to buy expensive soundproofing blankets.
  • NO NEED to fill it up the barrel with nonbiodegradable polystyrene packing peanuts!

In old times, packers would use shrink wrap, packaging tape, and old blankets to move furniture.

This took A LOT of work and TRASH that accumulates. Not good for the environment!

Simple Way to Use a Moving Blanket:

  • Cover the barrel with the moving blanket
  • Secure the belt around it
  • Carry it anywhere

What Are the Benefits:

  • Eco-friendly
  • It saves time and effort
  • Safe
  • Reusable
  • It fits any shape and size

When Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise: How to Deal With Them

You have encountered this in every place and space many times for sure!

We tend to get annoyed a lot by rude, angry, and critical people. They are louder than others, and it steals our time and energy.

Just because someone is loud doesn’t mean they deserve our time.

Their loudness stems from an emptiness within.

Most negative people are the ones who are empty cans because of the empty feeling inside them.

Those who have anxiety don’t usually talk about their anxiety. It’s something they themselves can’t control. In any case, you need to give them space.

REMEMBER: “Empty barrels make the most noise.”

Important Tips in Dealing With Empty Vessels:

  1. Understand that loud doesn’t mean important.  If a barrel is loud, if what they say means nothing to you, then you shouldn’t give it your attention.
  2. Shift your focus.  Listen to people who know what they’re doing, on the right path of life, whose knowledge we seek.
  3. Recognize destructive noise and good advice. Not all advice is good advice.  Will it support your goals? Does it match your opinions or values?  If not, it’s noise.
  4. Remember, the right people can be quiet. They support us and encourage us along the way.  Search for them and concentrate on them instead.
  5. Be compassionate towards empty barrels. Develop empathy for empty barrels. Remember that their noise comes from emptiness. The hardest people to love are the ones that actually need it.


Man in factory carrying steel barrels

Using moving blankets when empty barrels make the most noise — makes the most sense!

It’s a fast, effective way to muffle the sound empty barrels make when being transported.

As for empty vessels, we’ve learned that there may be emptiness within them. We don’t know the reason for their behavior.

Whatever it is, we should practice empathy. The idea is: to be a good listener.

Don’t be an empty barrel. Don’t make unnecessary “barrel noise.”


July 8, 2021 – removed product links, updated article links

June 30, 2021 – fixed article formatting, added 1 new article link, updated article links, optimized content

About the Author


Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.