bucket shop

noun

1
: a saloon in which liquor was formerly sold from or dispensed in open containers (such as buckets or pitchers)
2
a
: a gambling establishment that formerly used market fluctuations (as in securities or commodities) as a basis for gaming
b
: 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

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.

Examples of bucket shop in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The broker/bucket shop takes your crypto, puts it at risk for yield and the DeFi/CeFi system churns it on. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 18 July 2022 Written by Edwin Lefèvre, the novel follows a stockbroker named Lawrence Livingston, widely believed to be based on Jesse Livermore, a colorful speculator who rose from the era of street-corner bucket shops. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 10 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bucket shop.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bucket shop was in 1871

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Dictionary Entries Near bucket shop

Cite this Entry

“Bucket shop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bucket%20shop. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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