kick the bucket


To die: “Scarcely anyone was sorry when the old tyrant finally kicked the bucket.”

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with kick 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]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.