I recently read an article referring to workers who used a lunch pail to carry their noonday meals to the job. The term sounded odd to my ear; I'd call it a lunchbucket.
But on reflection neither really makes much sense. That container is typicially capable of being tightly shut -- while a pail or a bucket is by definition wide open at the top. Though the word lunchbox would seem to make more sense, it is to my ear reserved for what schoolchildren carry.
How do you use the words? Does anyone know how these "pail" and "bucket" words arose?
Kalleh, how right you are! I always packed a lunch bag for my kids. And even now, my husband takes his lunch to work in a brown, paper lunch bag.
But as far as lunch pail and lunch bucket go, I have always heard these terms and accepted them, never really thought about them. I can picture in my mind, that large silver colored box with a domed lid that the thermos of coffee was held in carried by construction workers. But these days, it seems they have switched the metal box for a small cooler, the size that a 6-pack fits in!
Where did we get the pail and bucket terms from though? I sure don't know!
It has been rumoured that J.S. Bach's first wife invented the take-it-with-you lunch. Since old Johann was always busy either getting her pragnant or writing music, he seldom stopped at home to have his mid day meal, so she packed it for him. Now, we're all familiar with what's called the "Bach's Lunch," aren't we?