- any of the scoops attached to or forming the endless chain in certain types of conveyors or elevators.
- the scoop or clamshell of a steam shovel, power shovel, or dredge.
- a vane or blade of a waterwheel, paddle wheel, water turbine, or the like.
- Informal.field goal.
- the part of the keyhole extending from the foul line to the end line.
verb (used with object), buck·et·ed, buck·et·ing.
verb (used without object), buck·et·ed, buck·et·ing.
Origin of bucket
Regional variation note
verb -kets, -keting or -keted
Word Origin for bucket
mid-13c., from Anglo-French buquet "bucket, pail," from Old French buquet "bucket," which is from a Germanic source, or a diminutive of cognate Old English buc "pitcher, bulging vessel," originally "belly" (buckets were formerly of leather as well as wood), both from West Germanic *buh- (cf. Dutch buik, Old High German buh, German Bauch "belly"), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *bheu- "to grow, swell" (see be).
Kick the bucket "to die" (1785) perhaps is from unrelated Old French buquet "balance," a beam from which slaughtered animals were hung; perhaps reinforced by the notion of suicide by hanging after standing on an upturned bucket (but Farmer calls attention to bucket "a Norfolk term for a pulley").
kick the bucket
To die: “Scarcely anyone was sorry when the old tyrant finally kicked the bucket.”
kick the bucket
Die, as in All of my goldfish kicked the bucket while we were on vacation. This moderately impolite usage has a disputed origin. Some say it refers to committing suicide by hanging, in which one stands on a bucket, fastens a rope around one's neck, and kicks the bucket away. A more likely origin is the use of bucket in the sense of “a beam from which something may be suspended” because pigs were suspended by their heels from such beams after being slaughtered, the term kick the bucket came to mean “to die.” [Colloquial; late 1700s]
see drop in the bucket; kick the bucket; rain cats and dogs (buckets); weep buckets.