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I looked up the etymology of that phrase, if anyone's interested:
"There are a few suggested derivations for the phrase. One, put forward in a 1955 edition of American Speech, is the idea that when a jet crashes on a farm the farmer may sue the government for compensation. That would generate a large enough amount of money to pay off the farm's mortgage. Hence, the pilot paid for the farm with his life.
The second theory is that military men might dream of returning from the battlefront and settling down with a family to a peaceful life down on the farm. If someone were killed his colleagues might say, 'well, he bought the farm early', or similar. Well, yes they might, and there are numerous sentimental US films where dialogue like that wouldn't be out of place. That's not to say the phrase was coined that way though.
A third suggestion is the idea that, if a serviceman was killed in action, his family would receive a payout from the insurance that service personnel were issued with. This would be sufficient to pay off the family mortgage.
My twopenneth is on the last explanation but, given that we don't have the full evidence, that's just speculation. "
WHAT ABOUT THAT PHRASE?
In 16th century England bucket had an additional meaning (and in some parts it still has), i.e. a beam or yoke used to hang or carry items. The term may have been introduced into English from the French trébuchet - meaning a balance, or buque - meaning a yoke. That meaning of bucket was referred to in Peter Levins' Manipulus vocabulorum. A dictionarie of English and Latine wordes, 1570:
"A Bucket, beame, tollo."
and was used by Shakespeare in Henry IV Part II, 1597:
"Swifter then he that gibbets on the Brewers Bucket." [to gibbet meant to hang]
The wooden frame that was used to hang animals up by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. Not unnaturally they were likely to struggle or to spasm after death and hence 'kick the bucket'.
As we all know, death for a soap actor isn't official until the channel showing their programme has confirmed it, so there's still hope
In grammar, a phrase is a group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence.
For example the house at the end of the street (example 1) is a phrase. It acts like a noun. It contains the phrase at the end of the street (example 2), a prepositional phrase which acts like an adjective. Example 2 could be replaced by white, to make the phrase the white house. Examples 1 and 2 contain the phrase the end of the street (example 3) which acts like a noun. It could be replaced by the cross-roads to give the house at the cross-roads.
Most phrases have a head or central word which defines the type of phrase. In English the head is often the first word of the phrase. Some phrases, however, can be headless. For example, the rich is a noun phrase composed of a determiner and an adjective, but no noun.
Phrases may be classified by the type of head they take
Prepositional phrase (PP) with a preposition as head (e.g. in love, over the rainbow). Languages that use postpositions instead have postpositional phrases. The two types are sometimes commonly referred to as adpositional phrases.
Noun phrase (NP) with a noun as head (e.g. the black cat, a cat on the mat)
Verb phrase (VP) with a verb as head (e.g. eat cheese, jump up and down)
Adjectival phrase with an adjective as head (e.g. full of toys)
Adverbial phrase with adverb as head (e.g. very carefully)