General English



  • A scoop-shaped attachment for an excavating machine that digs and transports loose earthen materials. Often outfitted with opening and closing mechanisms to facilitate unloading.


  • In computers, a storage location which may contain more than one record, and which can be referenced as a whole.

Media Studies


  • noun a pejorative or humorous term for a car or boat
  • noun the mouth. In this sense the word is typically heard in working-class speech in such phrases as ‘shut your bucket!’ or ‘stick this in your bucket!’, recorded in the mid-1990s.
  • noun an unfortunate person. An item of possibly ersatz slang from the lexicon of the cult 1992 film, Wayne’s World. Pail is a synonym.
  • noun the vagina. A vulgarism used by males and females since around 2000.
  • verb to criticise or denigrate. This use of the word probably arose from the image of tipping a bucket, e.g. of excrement, over a victim, although the noun ‘bucketing’ was recorded in England in 1914 in the sense of a harsh or oppressive task.


  • noun a round plastic or metal container with an open top and a handle

Origin & History of “bucket”

We first encounter bucket in the Anglo-Norman forms buket and buquet. It is not entirely clear where this came from, but it may be a derivative of Old English būc. The primary underlying sense of this was ‘something bulging or swelling’, and hence it meant not only ‘jug’ but also ‘belly’ (related are German bauch and Swedish buk ‘paunch’). It survived dialectally into modern English as bowk, meaning ‘milk-pail’ and ‘large tub used in coal mines’. The bucket of ‘kick the bucket’ was originally a beam from which slaughtered animals were hung; it is probably a separate word, from Old French buquet ‘balance’.