A bucket or pail is typically a watertight, vertical cylinder or truncated cone, with an open top and a flat bottom, attached to a semicircular carrying handle called the bail. A common volume is 10 liters (dm³).
Building materials and solvents have been packaged in large metal pails, but in recent decades plastic buckets have been greatly favored. Plastic buckets have more uses due to the popularity of plastic for food products and the tendency of metal pails to rust.
Types and uses
There are many types of buckets;
- A water bucket is used to carry water
- Household and garden uses are often for carrying liquids and granular products
- Elaborate ceremonial or ritual buckets in bronze, ivory or other materials are found in several ancient or medieval cultures and are sometimes known by the Latin for bucket, situla
- Large scoops or buckets are attached to loaders and telehandlers for agricultural and earthmoving purposes
- A lunch box is often called a lunch pail
- Buckets can be reused as seats, tool caddies, hydroponic gardens, chamberpots, "street" drums, or livestock feeders
- Buckets are often used as a children's toys to shape and carry sand on a beach or in a sandpit
Roman bronze situla from Germany, 2nd-3rd century
A young lady carrying a bucket. By the German artist Heinrich Zille.
An excavator bucket.
The bucket has been used in many phrases and idioms in the English language.
- Kick the bucket: a euphemism for someone's death.
- Drop the bucket on: which refers to implicating a person.
- A drop in the bucket: which means a small, inadequate amount when is given in terms of how much is requested or asked.
- Bucket List: list of the things you want to do before you die.
In Popular Culture
- On the planet of Alternia in the world of the webcomic Homestuck, buckets are used to carry the genetic resuids of trolls to Mother Grub, from those fluids she will create more trolls.
- "Bucket". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Flexner, Stuart; Hauck, :epmpre, eds. (1993) . Random House Unabridged Dictionary (hardcover) (second ed.). New York: Random House. p. 271. ISBN 0-679-42917-4.
- Soroka, W. Illustrated Glossary of Packaging Terminology (Second ed.). Institute of Packaging Professionals.
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