bit bucket

Jargon for the fictitious place in cyberspace where missing documents or files are said to end up. If someone says you were sent an e-mail message and you find that you never got it-and no error message was generated-it's safe to say that the message must have gone to the bit bucket, never to be found again.

Historical persepective: There really was a bit bucket in fact. Back in the 1980s, one junior tech's responsibility was to empty the bit bucket inside a card punch machine. When a hole was bunched in a punch card the paper chaff or 'bit' was sent to the bit bucket. 

See also : bitnik  bitslag  bucket brigade  
NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon