Let Go of the “Bucket List”


Here’s a pet peeve of mine that annoys me to no end:


The phrase “bucket list.”


No, it definitely does not mean what you think it means.


The term “bucket list” is actually only ten years old, and it comes from the 2007 film The Bucket List. A bucket list, definitionally, is a list of important things you want to do before you die.



However, everybody and their mother has started trivializing the phrase “bucket list” and using it as you would “checklist” or “agenda.” As a list of sweet and adorable things you want to do. For instance, the “FALL BUCKET LIST” which might include such life-altering experiences such as “carve a pumpkin!” and “drink a PSL!” before you die in winter.




I know I’m being petty — when am I ever not being petty? — but UNLESS YOU ARE DYING, do not tell me about your fucking BUCKET LIST!


I guess my argument against trivializing the phrase “bucket list” boils down to my argument against pretty much every one of my linguistic pet peeves: stop using a word that doesn’t mean what you think it means when there already are words that mean what you want to say.


Now, fine, I accept that we’re living in a post-Truth dystopia where words no longer have meaning, so I know that I have NO RIGHT to complain about the use and/or misuse of certain words. I mean, words! Do they mean anything anymore? Well, words still have meaning to me! still care about these stupid things, and I know I can’t force you to care…


But if you do, and you believe that we should say what we mean and mean what we say, then why not just kick the “Bucket List” to the curb? Say something — anything! — else. WISH LIST! Itinerary! Dream Date?

You only get one life, so you should only make one bucket list. One should be accurate! If you make a “Birthday Bucket List,” or a “Summer Bucket List,” or a “Vacation Bucket List,” you should at least have the decency to die when you’re done.


The End.


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