Around this time of year, people seem to delight in posting their “Summer Bucket List” – a list of things they want to do over the summer months, perhaps during the school holidays. The lists typically include places people want to visit, activities they want to take part in an so on. It’s a nice idea and good for organising one’s thoughts on the subject. I do love a good list post!
Here’s the thing though: the term “bucket list” comes from the 2007 movie The Bucket List where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are in hospital together. Both have lung cancer, and make a bucket list – a list of things to do before they kick the bucket.
For those that don’t know, “kick the bucket” is a slang term for dying. They’re making a list of things to do before they die.
When I see people’s “Summer Bucket Lists” my first reaction is “oh, you’re going to die at the end of Summer?”
It’s not that I have anything at all against people making a list of things to do over the holidays; I love reading those posts, as they give me ideas and inspiration for things to do with S… but I don’t want to read a list that suggests you’re going to kick that there bucket at the end of the Summer!
I understand that the whole idea of a “bucket list” brings up thoughts of buckets and playing in the sand – as the graphic for this post does too. But it’s incorrect. Look, here’s a Wikipedia page about the slang term, “to kick the bucket.” And you know what they say: if it’s on Wikipedia, it must be true.
This is another example of a phrase being picked up and ascribed a new meaning to suit the user, without any thought for the original meaning. Yes, I know it’s only a small thing and it probably shouldn’t irritate me as much as it does – but hey, it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to. Incorrect word usage is a big bugbear of mine. When people refer to “this thing pacifically” I want to stab them in the arm with a fork. When you say you’re making a summer bucket list… I won’t finish that thought but you get the idea!
Let’s think up a new term for it, shall we? A Summer Shenanigans List. A Summer Fun List. A Summer To-Do List. Basically, anything but a bucket list. Pretty please?