Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "February"?

bucket shop

Stock Exchange. an unsound, unethical, or overly aggressive brokerage house.
Slang. any shady commercial agency, as one dealing in illegally priced theater tickets.
Origin of bucket shop
1870-75, Americanism; originally a cheap drinking establishment, allegedly so called because liquor was mixed or sold in buckets Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bucket-shop
Historical Examples
  • The workers were all in like case, and for the most part drowned their troubles in stale beer from the bucket-shop below.

    Prisoners of Poverty Helen Campbell
  • I don't know the difference between this and the bucket-shop.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • The offices of Smathe and Smathe corresponded with alarming closeness to Mr. Prohack's idea of what a bucket-shop might be.

    Mr. Prohack E. Arnold Bennett
  • The bucket-shop business was not what he had imagined it to be.

    Young Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • In New York a bogus commission agency established a system of gambling which beat the bucket-shop hollow.

  • Wickersham discounted the note; but the amount was only a bagatelle to him: a bucket-shop had swallowed it within an hour.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
  • The difference is between a stock-exchange business and a bucket-shop business.

    Commercial Law Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill
  • I sent for Tripcony, to get him to make my will—he used to be a solicitor, you know, before he started the bucket-shop.

    The Whirlpool George Gissing
  • He had lost his position in disgrace and had landed in the bucket-shop, the sub-cellar pit of the big Stock Exchange hell.

    Friday, the Thirteenth Thomas W. Lawson
  • The meaning of bucket-shop and to water, for example, is familiar to every London broker's clerk.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
British Dictionary definitions for bucket-shop

bucket shop

an unregistered firm of stockbrokers that engages in speculation with clients' funds
(mainly Brit) any small business that cannot be relied upon, esp one selling cheap airline tickets
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bucket-shop

bucket shop


: A sleazy bucket-shop operation

noun phrase

A place where very dubious stocks, commodities, real estate, etc, are sold, often by telephone solicitation

[1880+; origin uncertain; bucket, ''cheat, swindle,'' is attested in 1812 and may be the source; another account has illicit traders sending down by elevator for ''another bucketful'' of dupes]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bucket shop

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bucket

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bucket-shop