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In the Bucket

We've all heard the English idiom "to kick the bucket," which means "to die." There are various theories about where the phrase originated from, the Oxford English Dictionary mentioning that the Old French word buquet was a beam on which animals were hung by the feet after being slaughtered, hence "kicking the bucket." The closest to this idiom in German is probably ins Gras beißen, or literally "to bite into the grass," which itself is a close parallel to the English idiom "to bite the dust," again meaning "to die." 

 

There is, however, a German idiom relating to the word "bucket" with negative connotations:

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Dann ist das ganze Lied im Eimer.

Then the whole song is in the bucket [idiom, ruined].

Caption 29, Monsters of Liedermaching - Kleiner Zeh mit Ansage

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Wenn Thorsten beim HSV [Hamburger Sport-Verein] nicht genommen wird, ist seine Karriere im Eimer.

If Thorsten is not accepted at the HSV [Hamburg Sport Association], his career will be in the bucket [idiom, ruined].

Captions 18-19, Die Pfefferkörner - Eigentor - Part 3

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If someone or a situation is im Eimer, it means he or she or the situation is completely ruined. According to the Duden Dictionary, Eimer in this case is alluding to der Abfalleimer, or trash can. Der Eimer is also German slang for an old ship or an old car. This has English parallels in the slang expression "rust bucket" for an old boat or an old car.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Look for further examples of Eimer on Yabla German and see more examples of how this word is used in a real world context. 

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