Bucket list

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Bucket list is a one of those rare terms in English with a definite etymology. We will examine the definition of the expression bucket list, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A bucket list is a list of things a person wants to do, learn or experience before he dies. Items on a bucket list may be considered life goals. These items vary from person to person, and bucket list ideas may include something to accomplish or an achievement such as obtaining a doctorate or building a log cabin. Items on a bucket list may include learning how to do certain things such as play chess, knit a sweater, run a marathon, surf or sail. Other items that frequently appear on bucket lists are riding in a hot air balloon or helicopter, trying a bungee jump, going on a cruise or a safari, skydiving, going on a scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, engaging in a swim with dolphins or sharks, making a hike in the Alps, and rafting the Grand Canyon. Traveling is usually on the list of things to do on a bucket list, and may include visits to Stonehenge, Oktoberfest in Germany, seeing the northern lights or aurora borealis in Alaska or the Scandinavian countries, visiting Nepal, Mount Everest, Machu Picchu, Thailand, Mt. Etna volcano, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal or other wonders of the world. Some people dream of visiting all the continents on Earth, more ambitious people harbor dreams of visiting every country in the world. When the term bucket list first came into use, it was associated with a list that someone who was terminally ill might make, as a series of last wishes before dying. Today, even young people make a bucket list of things they want to do, learn and accomplish before they die, and spend their lifetime attempting to tick off or check off items on that list. The idea is to live life to the fullest. The term bucket list is surprisingly recent. It may be traced directly to the movie The Bucket List, which was released in 2007. The movie starred Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two terminally ill elderly gentlemen who make a list of things to do before they die–or kick the bucket. The term bucket list was coined by the writer of this movie, Justin Zackham, who had a personal list of things to do he called “Justin’s List of Things to Do Before I Kick the Bucket”, eventually shortened to “Justin’s Bucket List”. The term bucket list has become extremely popular in a short period of time. The plural form of bucket list is bucket lists.


But for those who like their adventures on the rugged side, Wheeler Geologic Area should be high on the bucket list. (The Colorado Springs Gazette)

Over the last couple of years, Joshua has created a bucket list of things he wants to experience, and a visit to Lapland has been on the list for some time. (The Northern Echo)

Over the course of eight weeks, The Bucket List Family will travel the world collecting inspiration for their 80-year-old beachfront Hawaiian bungalow. (Forbes Magazine)