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Kick the Bucket

Posted by Mark Adamson on January 05, 2005

I understood the phrase to come from hanging. When a criminal was hung - particularly where there were no formal gallows, a rope would be placed around his neck and put over the bow of a tree. The criminal would be stood upon a bucket. The executioner, soldier or other appointed person would then "kick the bucket" from under the feet of the villain causing him to drop. I beleive this originates in England.

See also - the meaning and origin of Kick the bucket.