1 : a gambling establishment that formerly used market fluctuations (as in commodities) as a basis for gaming
2 : a dishonest brokerage firm
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.
"Today … the SEC is able to intervene more quickly to shut down frauds, like boiler rooms or bucket shops pushing bogus stocks…." - The Orange County Register, October 15, 2001
"As a result, dozens of operations have sprouted up on the Caymans to supply directors, from one-man bucket shops to powerhouse law firms." - Azam Ahmed, The New York Times, July 2, 2012
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What word begins with "r" and is the name for an inn or tavern outside city limits providing liquor and food, dancing, and often gambling? The answer is …
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