It's been bucketing water the whole day.

What does this sentence mean? Is it formal use of language?

  • The only way I'd understand "bucketing" would be in the same sense as "bailing" -- to move water with the repeated use of a bucket. – Hot Licks Aug 2 '15 at 11:59
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    I've only heard the variant: "It's [been] bucketing" meaning it's raining hard. – Mari-Lou A Aug 2 '15 at 16:15

It's informal, and it means it is raining so hard, it's as though someone were pouring buckets of water down around you.

(intransitive) often followed by down (of rain) to fall very heavily ⇒ "it bucketed all day"


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  • Do the native speaker of English use it regularly in their everyday language? What are the specific contexts to use it? – subas Aug 2 '15 at 4:09
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    @subas: I don't know about 'regularly', but then I live in a climate where the sort of rain that I'd describe as "bucketing down" occurs only rarely. It is used, though: I've heard it, seen it in writing, and have used it myself when circumstances warrant. Though usually you'd say "bucketing down" when speaking of rain, so the water would be implicit. – jamesqf Aug 2 '15 at 4:19
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    My personal experience in the U.S. is that it is somewhat more common to say "It's raining cats and dogs." You can also say "It's coming down in sheets." If I were going to use the word "bucket" I would say "It's coming down in buckets." But I wouldn't have any trouble understanding your sentence. – aparente001 Aug 2 '15 at 4:24
  • We use it at at times when it is raining hard. It is entirely polite but we use it in informal situations and not in formal conversation. – Anton Aug 2 '15 at 5:57

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