One of the oldest euphemisms for taking the dirt nap. Lot of folks have assumed that it comes from folks who committed suicide by hanging themselves by standing on a bucket and then kicking the bucket out from underneath themselves. But there's no real proof that folks preferred buckets for this task more than they would a stool or a chair, which would make a lot more sense, since you'd fall further and die more quickly.

What is it with folks hanging themselves, anyway? I have never understood that whole deal. I mean, unless you're in a jail cell and have nothing else available, why in God's name would you nuke yourself with this barbaric method. What the hell do you think we invented guns for?

Anyway, these folks who assumed that this is where we got kick the bucket are wrong, according to most folks who do this sort of stuff for a living. They maintain that the beam in a barn was called a bucket. Bucket has existed as an English word for beam since the 1500s, probably drawn from the Old French word buquet, meaning balance. This is unrelated to the Old French word buket, meaning washing tub.

So, when a farmer would kill a pig, he'd hang it from the beam, or bucket. In the final death throes, the pig would kick the bucket. Now you know.

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