The origin of ‘a drop in the bucket’
Feb 3, 2014


Drop in the bucket, A

Means: A small, and thereby relatively insignificant, part of a whole

Biblical Text: Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing (Isaiah 40:15).

Example of Use: Given everything John Studley has been through in his life, executing a two-minute drill to defeat Cambridge is a mere drop in the bucket. (“Studley Performance; Peabody QB Beats Odds,” Dan Ventura, Oct. 30, 2004, The Boston Herald)

This excerpt is from Wayne Harvey’s Raising Cain: How the Bible Shapes the Things You Say Used with permission by LifeWay. Order at  

Wayne Harvey, director of missions for the Sante Fe River Baptist Association in Gainesville, has pastored churches in Connecticut and Florida. He is a graduate of Yale Divinity School, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Florida State University, Harvey provides a broad definition for each expression he lists in alphabetic order and cites in a 506-page paperback resource. 

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