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Water well buckets

A bucket or pail is typically a watertight, vertical cylinder or truncated cone and a Square, with an open top and a flat bottom, attached to a semicircular carrying handle called the bail.[1][2]



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 usesEdit

There are many types of buckets;

  • A water bucket is used to carry water
  • Household and garden buckets are used 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 earth-moving purposes
  • Crusher buckets attached to excavators are used for crushing and recycling material in the Construction Industry
  • A lunch box is sometimes called a lunch pail, or a lunch bucket.
  • Buckets can be re-purposed as seats, tool caddies, hydroponic gardens, chamber pots, "street" drums, or livestock feeders, or for long term food storage by survivalists[3]
  • Buckets are often used as children's toys to shape and carry sand on a beach or in a sandpit

Shipping containersEdit

As a shipping container, the word "pail" is a technical term for a bucket shaped package with a sealed top or lid which is used as a shipping container for chemicals and industrial products.[4]

English literatureEdit

The bucket has been used in many phrases and idioms in the English language.[5]

  • Kick the bucket: a dysphemism for someone's death
  • Drop the bucket on: implicating a person (Australian slang)
  • A drop in the bucket: a small, inadequate amount in relation to how much is requested or asked
  • Bucket list: a list of activities an individual wishes to undertake before death

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Bucket". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Flexner, Stuart; Hauck, :epmpre, eds. (1993) [1987]. Random House Unabridged Dictionary p (hardcover) (second ed.). New York: Random House. p. 271. ISBN 0-679-42917-4. 
  3. ^ Durado, John. "Gamma Lids for Long Term Storage". Pyramid Reviews - Prepping for Life. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Soroka, W. Illustrated Glossary of Packaging Terminology (Second ed.). Institute of Packaging Professionals. 
  1. Earth Day 2008 article, Fredericksburg, VA, Free Lance-Star Newspaper [1]
  2. Warning [2]

External linksEdit