Talk:kick the bucket

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It should also be noted that "kick the bucket" is an idiom.

My understanding was that the bucket was a rafter or beam from which the noose is suspended. --Bodnotbod 00:42, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Um, not quite. You stand on a bucket. You put the noose around your neck, ensuring there is no slack. Optionally, you bind your hands in some manner. Then you kick the bucket out from under you.
The metaphor itself is clearly no longer live, as "kick the bucket" is used as a general euphemism for "die" as opposed to "kill oneself". I suppose it has itself kicked the bucket. -dmh 03:04, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed that a suicide would not kick the beam from which his noose was suspended; but if one accepts the other explanation, that the expression comes from a term (admittedly obscure, archaic or foreign) for the frame on which a butchered animal is suspended, the gloss rafter or beam is reasonable. I read in the book Almost Everything There is to Know by Tim Hunkin that the French term was buchet. Plausible, though (as far as I know) unproven.
In favor of this view is the observation that these days, the term has no associations for most people with suicide; perhaps it never did. In summary, see my note below. -- Douglas W. Boone, guest at 23:30, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Both the "bucket as support for a suicide" explanation and the "bucket as container for holy water" explanation seem to me to be folk etymologies. (Why should the deceased metaphorically kick the bucket containing the holy water?) I more readily believe that bucket is a hobson-jobson. -- Douglas W. Boone, guest at 23:30, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

The article w:Idiom points out that in Brazilian Portuguese, an idiom that literally translates to "kick the bucket" too, is used to mean "to give up on a difficult task", and explains it by the common reaction to kick a bucket (or some other object) out of frustration. It says the meanings are unrelated, but I can see a clear relation: "to die" can be interpreted as "to give up (one's life/breath)" or "to give up trying to hold on life". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:02, 9 April 2013 (UTC)