Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chasing Icebergs in St. Anthony, Errr...Kicking the Bucket!

What do you want to do before you “kick the bucket?”
I want to cross as many things as possible off my very long Bucket List.

Everybody is talking bucket lists these days.  It’s understood that these are things you want to do before you die or “kick the bucket.”  Now I’ve heard the phrase “kick the bucket” all my life, but I’ve never really thought about its origin. 

Until now.
I googled “kick the bucket” in curiosity.
It’s an English idiom that means to die.  Well, I knew that!
Dating back to at least 1785.  Okay.
Its origin is unclear, but there are several theories about how the idiom came to be.

One theory comes from a method of execution used during the Middle Ages.
The condemned stands on a bucket. 
The executioner fits a noose around the condemned’s neck, kicks the bucket out from under his feet, and the condemned hangs. 

Just thinking about this makes me extremely uncomfortable. 
If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I gut-know I’ve been hanged.

Another theory comes from the slaughtering of pigs.  The bucket is a yoke or beam that slaughtered pigs were hung from where they struggled. 
I can't help thinking: If a pig has been slaughtered, how can it struggle?  Trying to expunge the image is worse than trying to erase the song "MacArthur Park" from your head.
Bucket, in this instance, is derived from the French word “trébuchet or “buque.”
Don’t even think of trying to get rid of that embedded link, Louise!
Because then you’d have the bigger problem of how to type that French e with that slanty thing on top! 

A troisième theory… 

On no!  There’s a French e with a slanty thing going the other way! 

I did not do well studying French. 

I do not speak French, in spite of the fact that I am a Canadian.

Everybody knows all Canadians speak French, eh? 


Actually, I am a Canadian American.

Or is it an American Canadian? 

At least I have a flag just for me!

Spotted in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia


Anyway, the troisième theory has to do with dead bodies, holy-water buckets, and sprinkling holy-water on the feet of corpses. 

I cannot make this stuff up! 

If you don’t believe me, go to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia online. 

Check out this link:


And I thought "kick the bucket" was a euphemism for dying.

I had no idea when I turned on my trusty Mac that this was where my post Chasing Icebergs in St. Anthony was going!  I had promised my niece Heather pictures of icebergs, not pans, tomorrow, and that was several days ago.   I have some shortcomings in the aunt department.

So for you, Heather:
Small Humpy Iceberg (Left)
A Very Big Flat Pan (Right)
Some would argue that it's an iceberg too!

In the very near future, I will get to The Great American Road Trip of 2011 where we chased icebergs in St. Anthony.  That was just one of a number of Bucket List Items on my list for the road trip. 

My sisters Bert and Barb had other BLIs on that trip.
Bertie definitely did not have icebergs on her BL.  She hates the cold! 

My ever-patient husband had no BLIs to scratch off. 
Terry went on that 16-day road trip with his wife and two sisters-in-law in an overloaded SUV through Newfoundland and Labrador.
And four ferry crossings.  Two of which sailed over the spot where the storied William Carson went down.  
So I could scratch off Bucket List Items.
Now that is a great husband!

I can't believe it!  
There's another meaning for trébuchet” - but without that slanty thing.  
It's a Font you can use on Blogger!  I just found it! 


  1. I can barely manage 'daily bucket lists', let alone ones as far-reaching as yours, Louise. Now I know where that expression came from....thanks!
    I really like your energy put into these posts. I can feel your enthusiasm.....must be the 'teacher' in you. Let me see, grade three....yes one would need a lot of energy just to face that age-group!!
    Was one of your parents American, or is it because you are an ex-patriate?
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Hi Jim,
    My mother's family has lived in the Smith's Cove, Digby County area since the 1670s. One group had an original land grant in sometime in the 1670s (French). Another group of ancestors came in 1791 (English). I'm going to have to make a trip to the Smith's Cove Historical Museum to be certain about those dates, but they're correct or very close.

    My mother was born an American by an accident of the Great Depression. Her father had taken the family to Pennsylvania so he could find work.

    My father's people are from Prince Edward Island. They've been there since the mid-1750s.

    I'm in Colorado because I went on a blind date in Madrid with a paralyzed Vietnam vet who was singing blues and country western songs to homesick American GIs in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

    Embedded in this reply are the beginnings of a number of future posts. Ever since Ron gave me a premature push into the blogosphere, my mind has been churning! I have scratched down over 175 ideas in a brain storming list I have (another teacher thing!) I'm someone who has waited for TIME to write for many, many years.

    Sorry about the long reply. I can't help myself! Most likely I won' get a new post entered today. I will see Cloud Atlas today! My sister-in-law called this morning. She was on her way here from New Delhi with a stop to see her kids who are all on the East Coast. Now she's fleeing Frankenstorm (after making sure all her kiddos are stocked with water, tuna, and candles). She's landing here early! That means I have to get cracking and deal with everything I haven't dealt with in the past week like dishes and dusting and mail. I'm in big trouble!

    You should have seen me sneaking back into B&N and surreptitiously with my camera and snapping the photos. I had to flash the games right in front of the Starbucks cafe. It was so fun!


    1. Thank you for this 'teacher' reply....meant in the best of way!! My maternal grandparents are from PEI....the eastern side Souris and East Point areas. I so love the Island and feel those roots in me.
      Now you have all the time in the world Louise! Blog your head off!

    2. All my father's people hail from the Island. They are scattered about. The MacBeath family farm is in Marshfield and I'm in the eighth generation listed in the family bible. My father's mother's people (Pratts) were (and are) centered in St. Peter's Bay. There's a national park on the north shore of P.E.I. that includes my great Uncle Chester's north shore farm where he used to train race horses. I also had relatives in Charlottetown and Morrell. A fun person in my Island family tree is L.M. Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Gables. She was a second cousin to my paternal grandmother. I have very early memories of going to Souris, so who knows, I may have connections there to. When I remember Souris, I think of the brown eyed Susans and Devil's paintbrush that ran amok along the sides of the road. It is a lovely area. Did you ever take the Wood Island ferry?

  3. AawwwKKK! Another teacher hangup!
    My proofreading fell short in my previous comment.
    I am driven.
    Is there a way to edit a comment after you publish it?

    1. I believe there isn't any recourse after you send your reply....I'll check my blogger notes though!

  4. Guess what, I never knew your history either and it's very colourful indeed. "paralyzed Vietnam Vet"....OK what's that all about? The blog fodder is thick for you. I learned something from you...the French thingies are on blogger...I thought you had switch the font stuff on your keyboard etc....nope...phew thank you!

    1. Sorry, Ron, the French thingies I googled and pasted.


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.