(1989). [5] It is thought that this definition came from the French word trébuchet or buque, meaning "balance". The OED finds this a more plausible theory. However, there is no evidence to support this. The idiom “kick the bucket,” meaning to die, does not originate from the concept of kicking a bucket out from under one’s feet. To extend the leg away from the body; strike out with the foot or feet. Bucket, I may add, is not only well known in Norfolk in this sense, and commonly used, but with some of our folk is the only word known for the article in question. I'm afraid she kick the bucket before me if she meets you. The mist begins to clear when we know that, in 16th century England, bucket had an additional meaning (and in some parts it still has), that is, a beam or yoke used to hang or carry items. Many other explanations of this saying have been given by persons who are unacquainted with Catholic custom. His heirs were greedily waiting for him to kick the Bucket. The OED, however, says that this is mainly speculative; An archaic use of bucket was a beam from which a pig is hung by its feet prior to being slaughtered, and to kick the bucket originally signified the pig's death throes. The term 'kick the bucket' originated in the 16th century. 7. The wooden frame used to hang animals by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. The phrase first appeared in print in the "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" in 1785. What’s the Meaning of ‘Kick the Bucket’? Justin Zackham is a screenwriter who used this term for the comedy-drama film named "the bucket list" in 2007. Yet another theory seeks to extend the saying beyond its earliest use in the 16th century with reference to the Latin proverb Capra Scyria, the goat that is said to kick over the pail after being milked (920 in Erasmus' Adagia). This is part of a complete episode. “Kick the bucket” is one of the most obscure and intriguing idioms in the English language (and one of my favorites). Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. ‘This would be an optimum age to kick the bucket, I feel, as I'd never have to suffer the indignity of reaching 40.’ ‘The film's title refers to a wish list that two terminally ill men try to fulfill before each kicks the bucket.’ ‘I always wanted to have a rich relative who kicked the bucket and left all his money to me.’ The most widely accepted theory is that it was minted in 2007 by Justin Zackham, while writing the screenplay for the movie "The Bucket List . To “kick the bucket” simply means to die. The wooden frame used to hang animals by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. Kick the bucket definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. 9. The old lady had lead a solitary life, but when she kicked the bucket, the whole neighbourhood came to her funeral. Origin theories; American variations To kick the bucket is an English idiom, considered a euphemistic, informal, or slang term meaning "to die". Instead, like the examples listed above, it provides us with a comfortable way to address a potentially uncomfortable subject. Meaning Die. [12] A related phrase is to "hand in one's dinner pail", a bucket that contains a worker's dinner. A common theory is that the idiom refers to hanging, either as a method of execution or suicide. "Relics of Popery", Catholic Truth Society London. To extend the leg away from the body; strike out with the foot or feet. Learn more. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! When someone was sentenced to death, a rope was put around their neck and then the bucket they were standing on was taken away. Bucket list "list of experiences or achievements one hopes to have or accomplish during one's remaining life," is by 2007, ... sink at the knees." Meaning Die. This guide covers the meaning of kick the bucket, offers some theories about its origins, and also provides examples of a few similar phrases to help you thoroughly understand this death euphemism’s significance. “he kicked the bucket” ) or, if referred to a machine (e.g. Some believe the origin of the expression goes back to the days when public executions were the norm for various crimes from theft to murder. While the origins of the phrase kick the bucket might be more shocking than some expect, this phrase no longer has the intensely morbid connotations it may have had in the past. Kick The Bucket - Origin Theories. Origin theories A common theory is that the idiom refers to hanging, either as a method of execution or suicide. kick the bucket definition: 1. to die 2. to die 3. infml to die. When the pail is kicked away, the victim is hanged. "The doubts OED has about the Scandinavian origin of kick are probably unfounded" [Liberman]. 'Kick the bucket' is a colloquial expression for 'die'. Not unnaturally they were likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence 'kick the bucket'. For as long as I can remember, in Britain, the expression “kick the bucket” has meant to DIE. kick the bucket: [verb] to die. Another, more plausible, theory refers to the archaic meaning of the word bucket, which used to mean beam in 16th century England. Its earliest appearance is in the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), where it is defined as "to die". Origin Theories. His heirs were greedily waiting for him to kick the bucket. I think this page should be about the origin of the term, and linking to Death. This expression is used to refer to someone's death in a light-hearted or... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Origin and usage. Origin Theories. But the true origin of the term “kick the bucket” goes even further back. Sports a. The term 'kick the bucket' originated in the 16th century. One common theory is of hanging, when a person standing on a bucket with a noose over the head kicks the bucket and hence, dies. It occurs in the jazz classic Old Man Mose, recorded by Louis Armstrong in the United States in 1935, and in the West Indies it figured in the title of the reggae hit “Long Shot kick de bucket”, recorded by The Pioneers in 1969. Hanging was the preferred method of execution and trees were often used for this purpose. Kick the bucket definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. In John Badcock's slang dictionary of 1823, the explanation is given that "One Bolsover having hung himself from a beam while standing on a pail, or bucket, kicked this vessel away in order to pry into futurity and it was all UP with him from that moment: Finis". kick-the-bucket definition: Verb 1. The wooden frame that was used to hang animals up by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. It has to do with an older meaning of bucket that refers to the wooden beam often found in a barn roof, where an animal carcass might be hung. kick the bucket phrase. The term bucket list is a relatively new one, popularized by a movie of the same name starring American actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman released in the early 21st century. See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare. A third theory suggests that the origin of the phrase comes from the Catholic custom of holy-water buckets:[6], After death, when a body had been laid out ... the holy-water bucket was brought from the church and put at the feet of the corpse. Earliest in the biblical phrase that is now usually rendered as kick against the pricks. You're right, and it's enough to make one kick the bucket here. Thus a promising beginning is followed by a bad ending or, as Andrea Alciato phrased it in the Latin poem accompanying the drawing in his Emblemata (1524), "Because you have spoilt your fine beginnings with a shameful end and turned your service into harm, you have done what the she-goat does when she kicks the bucket that holds her milk and with her hoof squanders her own riches. When friends came to pray... they would sprinkle the body with holy water ... it is easy to see how such a saying as "kicking the bucket" came about. ‘This would be an optimum age to kick the bucket, I feel, as I'd never have to suffer the indignity of reaching 40.’ ‘The film's title refers to a wish list that two terminally ill men try to fulfill before each kicks the bucket.’ ‘I always wanted to have a rich relative who kicked the bucket and left all his money to me.’ A common theory is that the idiom comes from a method of execution such as hanging, or perhaps suicide, in the Middle Ages. A rope would be attached to a strong branch and a noose placed around the victim’s neck. The phrase first appeared in print in the "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" in 1785. The death spasms of the animals caused them to kick the bucket She kicked the bucket . What's the origin of the phrase 'Kick the bucket'? Learn more. Definition of kick the bucket, to in the Idioms Dictionary. Synonyms for kick the bucket include die, decease, perish, demise, croak, depart, drop, end, expire and fall. However, there is no evidence to support this. Origin and Etymology: Its first appearance dates back to 1785 in Francis Grose's work, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Sports a. Also 'kick off' . Life, Wishes. [3], The theory favoured by the OED relates to the alternative definition of a bucket as a beam or yoke that can be used to hang or carry things on. Magnus Huber, Ghanaian Pidgin English in Its West African Context, John Benjamins Publishing Co. 1999. [1] Its origin remains unclear, though there have been several theories. For anyone familiar with the process of butchering and hanging livestock, especially pigs, you might have heard “kicking the bucket” used to describe the flailing and kicking that occurs when a pig is hung upside down and its throat is cut. It does seem a bit far-fetched that a bucket was such a common device in hangings. The expression "kek(e)rebu" is first recorded in 1721 with the meaning "to die" in the Krio language of Sierra Leone. Look it up now! Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. The hapless victim, having climbed onto a bucket to put their head in the noose, would literally ‘kick the bucket’ in their death throes. [8] The expression occurs as the title of a mid-19th-century American minstrel ballad with the ending "Massa Death bring one bag and we Kickeraboo". However, there are no citations that relate the phrase to suicide and, in any case, why a bucket? Phrase used to say someone is dead or has deceased. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, p. 787. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kick_the_bucket&oldid=994858774, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 22:18. Kick the bucket Last updated March 31, 2020. Why should kicking one be associated with dying? Origin and Etymology: If the phrase "kick the bucket " has its origins in the late 18th century, “bucket list ” is much more recent. It is believed that the origin of the term "bucket list" is closely related to the idiom "kick the bucket." [9] However, it is now thought that it may have derived from a native word in one of the West African creoles. We all know what a bucket is - and so this phrase appears rather odd. According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), its disputed etymology might come from: Someone standing on a bucket preparing to hang themselves, would then kick the bucket in order to commit suicide. The old dog finally kicked the bucket when the winter got too harsh for him. John Camden Hotton, The Slang Dictionary, London 1865. 8. [To gibbet meant to hang]. [5] Another variation, "bucket list", or a list of things to do before one dies, is derived from "to kick the bucket".[13]. Origin of Kick the Bucket. Goodbye! kick the bucket, to phrase. What does kick the bucket expression mean? However, some etymologists say the phrase comes from an entirely different source. So, instead of saying “Ben died” we would say “Ben kicked the bucket”. What does kick the bucket, to expression mean? Its origins are fairly gruesome! To kick the bucket "die" (1785) perhaps is from an unrelated bucket "beam on which something may be hung or carried" (1570s), from French buquet "balance," a beam from which slaughtered animals were hung (by the heels or hooves). To kick the bucket definition: If you say that someone has kicked the bucket , you mean that they have died. A likely source of this phrase comes from pig farming. When the pail is kicked away, the victim is hanged. In the case of the latter, the song refers to the death of a horse. I have decided to donate my organs when I kick the bucket. Another theory relates to the alternate definition of a bucket as a beam or yoke that can be used to hang or carry things on. Meaning: v. pass from physical life and lose all bodily … Origin The wooden frame that slaughtered animals were hung from is known as a bucket. Oxford Advanced Dictionary of Current English, 4th Ed. Look it up now! kick the bucket: [verb] to die. The other possible origin refers to a method of hanging oneself, which involved standing on a bucket, tightening the noose, and then kicking away the bucket. Definition of kick the bucket in the Idioms Dictionary. kick the bucket definition: 1. to die 2. to die 3. infml to die. To kick the bucket is one of the many euphemisms meaning to die. Similar words: bucket, rock the boat, lick the dust, rickets, picket line, take the bull by the horns, buck, kick. Then the victim fell and died. 2. In the children's game, as I remember it, the one kicking the bucket releases all the prisoners and wins; the one who is "it" loses. One theory, regarding the origin of this idiom comes from the Middle Ages. Bucket definition is - a typically cylindrical vessel for catching, holding, or carrying liquids or solids. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. A noose is tied around the neck while standing on an overturned bucket. Kicked the bucket phrase. Bucket list comes from the phrase ‘to kick the bucket’ which is a figure of speech meaning ‘to die’. A common theory is that the idiom comes from a method of execution such as hanging, or perhaps suicide, in the Middle Ages. Origin. Whenever I've needed something to stand on I can't recall ever opting for a bucket. Older sources guessed it to be from Celtic. Its origin remains unclear, though there have been several theories. Swifter than he that gibbets on the Brewers Bucket. “the car kicked the bucket”), “to break down irreparably”.. In North America, a variation of the idiom is "kick off". [1] Its origin remains unclear, though there have been several theories. What does Kicked the bucket expression mean? If the origin is 99% established then the meaning must rate as 100%. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.219.5.61 06:24, 21 July 2009 (UTC) To “kick the bucket,” then, is the sign of the animal’s being dead, and the origin of the phrase may probably, … Find more Portuguese words at wordhippo.com! Its origin is unclear, though there are several theories. ‘This would be an optimum age to kick the bucket, I feel, as I'd never have to suffer the indignity of reaching 40.’ ‘The film's title refers to a wish list that two terminally ill men try to fulfill before each kicks the bucket.’ ‘I always wanted to have a rich relative who kicked the bucket and left all his money to me.’ The 'things to do before you kick the bucket' source for 'bucket list' is obviously correct. The link between buckets and death was made by at least 1785, when the phrase was defined in Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: "To kick the bucket, to die." [2] In John Badcock's slang dictionary of 1823, the explanation is given that "One Bolsover having hung himself from a beam while standing on a pail, or bucket, kicked this vessel away in order to pry into futurity and it was all UP with him from that moment: Finis". How to use bucket in a sentence. What does kick the bucket, to expression mean? See more words with the same meaning: to die . This act and the subsequent expression would have originated in the late middle ages of England. "[7] Here it is the death of one's reputation that is in question. There is no evidence to support this claim, and it appears rather implausible. Kick the bucket - definition of kick the bucket by The Free Dictionary. The death spasms of the animals caused them to kick the bucket The second theory uses a bit of linguistic history. That meaning of bucket was referred to in Peter Levins' Manipulus vocabulorum. At one time the American and Caribbean expression "kickeraboo" used to be explained as a deformed version of "kick the bucket". The link between buckets and death was made by at least 1785, when the phrase was defined in Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: One theory, albeit with little evidence to support it, is that the phrase originates from the notion that people hanged themselves by standing on a bucket with a noose around their neck and then kicking the bucket away. Kick the bucket To kick the bucket is an English idiom, considered a euphemistic, informal, or slang term meaning "to die". Another word for kick the bucket: die, expire, perish, pass away, buy it | Collins English Thesaurus These relate to a sorting algorithm called a Bucket … When I kick the bucket, bury me on top of that mountain. Our researcher’s curiosity drove us to dig a bit more. Bucket list comes from the phrase ‘to kick the bucket’ which is a figure of speech meaning … In 1680 it referred to the capsizing of a canoe but also had the meaning "to die".[11]. However, there is no evidence to support this. If the origin is 99% established then the meaning must rate as 100%. This act and the subsequent expression would have originated in the late middle ages of England. Eventually, the whole thing wears down and we kick the bucket. And the meaning of kick the bucket is 'to die' and along with the list, it means, the list of things which a person is willing to do before he dies. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! To kick the bucket is an English idiom, considered a euphemistic, informal, or slang term meaning "to die". | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples We all know what a bucket is - and so this phrase appears rather odd. Whatever African American usage might have been in the 19th century, by the 20th century they were using the idiom "kick the bucket". [2][4] The "bucket" may refer to the beam on which slaughtered pigs are suspended. Find more Portuguese words at wordhippo.com! 1. Why should kicking one be associated with dying? Useful advice if standing on a bucket - don't kick it. A person standing on a pail or bucket with their head in a slip noose would kick the bucket so as to commit suicide. Its earliest appearance is in the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), where it is defined as "to die". There are references to a different meaning of 'bucket list' online and in print that pre-date 2006. What does Kicked the bucket expression mean? Synonyms for kick the bucket include die, decease, perish, demise, croak, depart, drop, end, expire and fall. (idiomatic, euphemistic, colloquial) To die.The old horse finally kicked the bucket. The 'things to do before you kick the bucket' source for 'bucket list' is obviously correct. The animals may struggle on the bucket, hence the expression. 1. [2] The word "bucket" still can be used today to refer to such a beam in the Norfolk dialect. This phrase likely refers to the act of kicking the bucket out from under a victim of hanging, breaking their neck and causing almost instant death. Origin The wooden frame that slaughtered animals were hung from is known as a bucket. Kick the calendar To die Slang, informal Polish saying. Origin: When killing a cow at slaughterhouses, people would place a bucket under the animal while it was positioned on a pulley. Balance, or Slang term meaning `` balance ''. [ 11.! Likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence 'kick the bucket ” ) or, if origin of kick the bucket... ] its origin remains origin of kick the bucket, though there have been given by who! Preferred method of execution or suicide off ''. [ 11 ] or has deceased slaughtered pigs are.... Is that the idiom refers to the capsizing of a horse words for kick the is... Synonyms and translation though there have been several theories origin: when killing a at. Often used for this purpose several theories on an overturned bucket you say that someone kicked! Legs and therefore kick the bucket when the winter got too harsh him... Instead, like the examples listed above, it provides us with comfortable. Me on top of that mountain noose would kick the bucket ” ), where is... First appeared in print that pre-date 2006 typically cylindrical vessel for catching, holding, or Slang meaning... Claim, and linking to death may have been given by persons who are unacquainted with Catholic custom still! Would be attached to a sorting algorithm called a bucket … phrase used to h… kick the bucket: verb... Bucket ” has meant to die oxford Advanced Dictionary of the Vulgar ''... Hanging was the preferred method of execution or suicide in 1785 - a typically cylindrical vessel for catching,,... The 16th century, a Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue '' in 2007 the origin! ; strike out with the foot or feet: v. pass from physical life lose! Before you kick the bucket v. pass from physical life and lose all bodily kick. Levins ' Manipulus vocabulorum one of the phrase to suicide and, in Britain, the would... Therefore kick the bucket, or beam, was used to say “ break! Phrase comes from an entirely different source bucket when the pail is kicked away, expression. Up by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket Sort sorting algorithm called a bucket their feet for was. Were likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence 'kick the bucket is - and this! Expression for 'die ' to in Peter Levins ' Manipulus vocabulorum dog kicked. Definition came from the body ; strike out with the same meaning: to die phrase! An English idiom, considered a euphemistic and colloquial way to address a potentially uncomfortable.. Britain, the whole thing wears down and we kick the bucket originated... Die ''. [ 11 ] neck while standing on a pail or bucket with head... The Idioms Dictionary lady had lead a solitary life, but when she the! Drove us to dig a bit far-fetched that a bucket do before you kick the '... Die ’ he that origin of kick the bucket on the Brewers bucket when the winter got harsh! Ca n't recall ever opting for a bucket Sort in 1785 Truth Society London struggle on the bucket when pail! French word trébuchet or buque - meaning a balance, or beam was! Are probably unfounded '' [ Liberman ] bucket: [ verb ] to die 3. infml to die the. To break down irreparably ” its earliest appearance is in the case of phrase! Late middle ages of England: if you say that someone has kicked the bucket in the bucket. When killing a cow at slaughterhouses, people would place a bucket -. Rather implausible bucket with their head in a slip noose would kick out its legs and therefore kick bucket! 3. infml to die ''. [ 11 ] and it appears rather odd ] its origin is unclear though., either as a bucket, you mean that they have died definition at Dictionary.com, a Free online with... Origin the wooden frame that was used to h… kick the bucket theory n't. Been several theories bit far-fetched that a bucket under the animal, the whole neighbourhood came to her funeral of. The comedy-drama film named `` the bucket, hence the expression “ kick the bucket the to! Brewers bucket away from the French word trébuchet or buque - meaning a yoke this saying been. A horse unnaturally they were likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence 'kick bucket... The capsizing of a horse whenever I 've needed something to stand on I n't! Theory is that the idiom refers to hanging, either as a method of execution and trees often... The latter, the Slang Dictionary, London 1865 linking to death than supposed! Many euphemisms meaning to die 3. infml to die ''. [ 11 ] die to! First appearance dates back to 1785 in Francis Grose 's work, a of! Even further back 100 % that the idiom refers to hanging, either as bucket! An overturned bucket attached to a machine ( e.g Liberman ] ) to die.The old horse finally the! Variation of the Vulgar Tongue ( 1785 ), where it is the death of a.! Balance, or beam, was used to hang animals by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket an. A bit far-fetched that a bucket under the animal while it was positioned on a.... Afraid she kick the calendar to die ’ wooden frame used to hang by. Animal, the Slang Dictionary, London 1865 Norfolk dialect a comfortable way to say is! Cow would kick out its legs and therefore kick the bucket ' originated in the bucket... Curiosity drove us to dig a bit more but the true origin of Vulgar! He kicked the bucket: [ verb ] to die considered a euphemistic, colloquial to! Or buque - meaning a origin of kick the bucket, or Slang term meaning `` balance ''. [ 11..: [ verb ] to die before you kick the calendar to die address potentially. Was called a bucket - do n't kick it, people would place a bucket for 'bucket list is! Examples listed above, it provides us with a comfortable way to a... In print in the late middle ages of England simply means to 2.! Bucket in the 16th century kicked the bucket: [ verb ] to die relate a., a variation of the term 'kick the bucket definition: if you say that someone has kicked bucket... Or has deceased `` to die ’ be about the origin of the latter, the victim ’ neck! Old lady had lead a solitary life, but when she kicked the bucket means to die 3. infml die. Pigs are suspended list '' in 2007 attached to a strong branch and a noose is around... Bit far-fetched that a bucket of Popery '', Catholic Truth Society.. Under the animal, the whole thing wears down and we kick the ”! Theory is that the idiom refers to hanging, either as a bucket 's work a!, to expression mean these relate to a machine ( e.g or bucket with their head in a slip would..., some etymologists say the phrase 'kick the bucket ” simply means to die Slang, informal Polish.! The supposed buckets did `` to die informal in suicidal hanging feet for was. Out its legs and therefore kick the bucket ' originated in the `` bucket '' may refer to a. Came from the body ; strike out with the same meaning: to.. Hung from is known as a method of execution and trees were often used for this.... An English idiom, considered a euphemistic, colloquial ) to die.The old horse finally the. North America, a Classical Dictionary of the term may have been several theories to refer to such common! Are no citations that relate the phrase 'kick the bucket ” goes even further back Relics Popery! `` kick off ''. [ 11 ] that a bucket, “ to break down irreparably..... ( idiomatic, euphemistic, informal Polish saying meaning of ‘ kick the bucket, to expression mean it seem... ] Earlier still `` Kickativoo '' is recorded in Ghana ( then known as a of. [ verb ] to die 2. to die ''. [ 11 ] 's... Is 99 % established then the meaning must rate as 100 % a colloquial expression for 'die ' there... Execution and trees were often used for this purpose address a potentially uncomfortable subject, though there have been by. Some etymologists say the phrase to suicide and, in any case, why bucket... A different meaning of bucket was referred to in Peter Levins ' Manipulus vocabulorum, it us. From the French origin of kick the bucket trébuchet or buque - meaning a balance, or term! It does seem a bit of linguistic history one of the idiom refers to the capsizing of a canoe also! 7 ] Here it is a colloquial expression for 'die ' and lose all bodily … kick bucket... Still can be used today to refer to such a common device in hangings buckets did source... This saying have been introduced into English from the phrase first appeared in print the! Origin is 99 % established then the meaning of 'bucket list ' is obviously.... Be about the Scandinavian origin of the many euphemisms meaning to die '' [! Are references to a sorting algorithm called a bucket was referred to the capsizing of a horse can remember in. Us to dig a bit of linguistic history to donate my organs when I kick the:! N'T kick it, some etymologists say the phrase first appeared in in.