How did that come around? – Kick the bucket
This evening a very young visitor to our house was mentioning about the unfortunate passing away of her P.E. teacher. Instantly, the phrase “kick the bucket” came to my mind. And the next instant, I was wondering why is it called “kicking the bucket”?
After the guests left, started doing the research. And finally came to find this…
A common – and wrong – derivation comes from the theory that people used to commit suicide by standing atop a bucket, tying their neck to the ceiling and then kicking the bucket. There is another theory that instead of committing suicide, people were hanged that way. Both are wrong. Buckets are very unnatural choices for this purpose. In fact, statistically, a chair is more commonly used for suicide in that particular way.
There was another theory about the goat kicking the bucket after getting milked and coming to an unfortunate end.
The real derivation has an intersting twist to the word “bucket”. Back in the 16th century, “bucket” refered to a wooden beam or frame. The root comes from a French word. Such a frame was often used to hang an animal up before being slaughtered. Most commonly it was used for pigs. A refernce to this meaning of the word “bucket” can be found in Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
Anyways, the pig while being slaughterd would kick violently as it went thru its death spasms. As gross as that picture is, that is how “kicking the bucket” came around.