Latin by the bucket

chong lee

Senior Member
The quote is from " Treasure Island".
I did not find anything about "Latin by the bucket" . What does it mean?

It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me—out of college and all—Latin by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog, and sun-dried like the rest, at Corso Castle
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    By the bucket means a great deal.

    The speaker is using very loose colloquial English; he's also rather deferential in manner.

    All he means by Latin by the bucket is that the person seems very educated.


    Senior Member
    American English
    I've never heard the expression, and appreciate Thomas Tompion's reply.

    Since that makes sense to me, I'll add this: The term "Latin" is apparently a reference for "educated" probably because most terms of anatomy are actual Latin terms: "oculus dexter" means "the right eye", scapula is the "shoulder blade", etc. So "Latin by the bucket" infers that educated people -- and doctors in particular -- are known for knowing lots of Latin...

    ... alas, as educated as he was, he was hung with the rest of them!