Definition of dinner pail in US English:

dinner pail


  • A pail in which a laborer's or schoolchild's dinner is carried and kept warm.

    • ‘My back would be hurting by dinner time at school, so I'd find some reason to carry my dinner pail home then and to stay through the afternoon to help Daddy with something.’
    • ‘Mr. Leonard picked up Dad's dinner pail and threw it into the sand pit where the bailer was dumped.’
    • ‘Then they got their dinner pails and trudged to school, singing to wake up the fortunate people that got to sleep past dawn and the unfortunate people who had slept late.’


  • hand in one's dinner pail

    • informal Die.

      ‘old Syd handed in his dinner pail over twenty-five years ago’
      • ‘So when the only other occupant of his hotel (future film producer Chuck Mulvell) hands in his dinner pail, Locke decides to switch places with the dead man and take over his life.’
      • ‘I am now very confused about whether, when the time comes to hand in my dinner pail, my estate's tax bill is going to be greater or smaller than if I were run over by the proverbial bus tomorrow.’
      • ‘He remarked that it would probably be the last car he buys until he gives up driving or, in his words, ‘hands in his dinner pail’.’
      • ‘I have six aunts - my father has six sisters - and none of them have handed in their dinner pails, but that is incidental.’
      pass away, pass on, lose one's life, depart this life, expire, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, be no more, perish, be lost, go the way of the flesh, go the way of all flesh, go to glory, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, cross the styx
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