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[luhnch-peyl] /ˈlʌntʃˌpeɪl/
a worker's lunchbox in the shape of a pail, originally for carrying hot food.
Origin of lunchpail
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95; lunch + pail Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lunch-pail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • lunch-pail and hat went down on the floor as Lanse got rid of them and seized Charlotte's arm.

    The Second Violin Grace S. Richmond
  • The two boys were content to sit on the railway track, and each ate out of his or her own lunch-pail.

    Derrick Sterling Kirk Monroe
  • Derrick took this opportunity to secure his lunch-pail and water-can, which he slung by their chains over his shoulder.

    Derrick Sterling Kirk Monroe
  • But just as she flung herself down beside the whip, there came a harsh call from behind her, where the lunch-pail stood.

Slang definitions & phrases for lunch-pail



  1. Working-class; blue-collar; proletarian and ordinary: Phillips is a regular commentator on NPR, that bastion of lunch-bucket values/ The fight made Tomashek a lunch pail hero/ hard worker, good player, overlooked contributor, a lunch-pail guy
  2. Favoring the political interests of the working class: Traditional lunch-pail liberals and progressive Democrats are beginning to question the vitality of their own programs (1990s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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