Definition of bucket shop
1 : a saloon in which liquor was formerly sold from or dispensed in open containers (such as buckets or pitchers)
2a : a gambling establishment that formerly used market fluctuations (as in securities or commodities) as a basis for gamingb : a dishonest brokerage firm; especially : one that formerly failed to execute customers' margin orders in expectation of making a profit from market fluctuations adverse to the customers' interests
bucket shop was our Word of the Day on 10/16/2014. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
In the 1870s, a bucket shop was a lowly saloon that sold beer and other cheap hooch in buckets. How did the term make the jump from watering hole to Wall Street? No one is really sure. Some speculate that it may have been because of the small-time gambling that took place at the original bucket shops, while others claim it derives from the bucket elevator used to transport things between the Chicago Board of Trade and a market for small investors housed directly below it. By the 1880s, bucket shop was being used for pseudo "investment houses" where gamblers bid on the rise and fall of stock prices. These days the term is used for any business that sells cut-price goods, especially airline tickets.
First Known Use of bucket shop
BUCKET SHOP Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bucket shop for English Language Learners
: a company that sells cheap airplane tickets
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