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Drop in the bucket

Posted by ESC on December 11, 2000

In Reply to: Drop in the bucket posted by Barney on December 10, 2000

: : I thought this meant "a really small amount" i.e., one drop of water in a bucket that could hold thousands of drops, but I don't really know if that is the correct interpretation. Also, where did it originate?

: It means that, as a proportion of that which is required, the amount offered is a tiny percentage - a drop in the bucket. No certanity of it's origin other than the obvious relationship between a bucketfull and a drop of the same.

IT'S A DROP IN THE BUCKET - "An insignificant quantity. The phrase first appears in the Old Testament. Such words as 'just, only, no more than' may precede 'a drop.'.'Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance.' Isaiah 40:15 (King James Version)." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).