Posted by Psi on March 01, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Dead, dead, dead posted by R. Berg on March 01, 2002
: : : : : : : : When my great grandfather was a cowboy. On his death bed, he held my grandfather's hand and said "I'm going over the Big Ridge. Look after your mama." I doubt the euphamism was his invention, I think it was probably just what they called it at the time - at least on the high plains in the United States. It's an apt metaphor for that part of the country.
: : : : : : : : Anyway, I got to wondering if there were other regional euphamisms for death or dying. Somthing along the lines of "I'll be sleeping with the 'gators" for Florida maybe?
: : : : : : : : And while I'm packing them in, another euphamism I like is "pushing up daisies". I think it's British but I'd be interested in its origin if anyone knows it.
: : : : : : : There is the vicious euphemism "improved the gene pool" favoured by The Darwin Awards.
: : : : : : : Monty Python's the Parrot Sketch is really
just a list of such:
: : : : : : : He's NOT pining - he's passed on!
: : : : : : : This parrot is no more.
: : : : : : : He has ceased to be.
: : : : : : : He's expired and gone to meet his maker.
: : : : : : : It's a stiff.
: : : : : : : Bereft of life, he rests in peace.
: : : : : : : If you hadn't nailed him to the perch, he'd be pushing up the daisies.
: : : : : : : He's off the twig.
: : : : : : : He's shuffled off this mortal coil.
: : : : : : : He's run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible
: : : : : : : ... ...
: : : : : : : Vis-a-vis the metabolic processes, he's had his lot.
: : : : : : : All statements to the effect that this parrot is still a going concern are henceforth inoperative. This is an EX-parrot.
: : : : : : : TheUnlurker
: : : : : : Ooh-ooh! Simulpostings! They're like busses, no-one posts for days and then fourteen come along all at once.
: : : : : : It's enough
to make one think to do oneself in.
: : : : : : (Was that English?)
: : : : : : TheUnlurker
: : : : : The fact that two of you instantly referred to the Parrot Sketch is both frightening and inspiring.
: : : : One that I heard in southern West Virginia isn't really a euphemism. It refers to the time period between death and burial. (The body isn't buried immediately -- a "wake" or "visitation" is held in the home or, more commonly now, the funeral home.) "Snow hasn't drifted that deep since John lay a corpse." Others: "No longer with us." "Gone to a better world." "Gone to be with the angels." Asleep in the arms of God." "Crossed over."
: : : : I heard someone in WV refer to a death by gunshot: "He got his popcorn." Another violent death reference: "He got his killin' done."
: : : : I believe the Salvation Army says their dearly departed are "promoted to glory."
: : : I found two more in my grandfather's book. "laying down and curling up my toes", "pushing up sod".
: : And a few more...
: : From the "Wordsworth Book of
Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire,
: : a one-way ticket (or ride) (gangster expression)
: : a pale horse (death) (Revelation 6:8)
: : at peace
: : be under the daisies
: : become a landowner (be buried)
: : bow out (theatrical)
: : cash in one's checks
: : cashed in his chips (poker)
: : crossing over the River Jordan (black spiritual)
: : curtains (theatrical)
: : doing a dance in mid-air (cowboy - hung)
: : free
: : gone across or over the creek (violent death)
: : gone out
: : gone to a better place (or to sleep)
: : gone under
: : grounded for good (die as a soldier)
: : hang up one's harness (or hat or tackle) (cowboy)
: : home
: : in the Hereafter
: : it's taps (military)
: : jumped the last hurdle (steeple-chasing or fox-hunting)
: : laid to rest
: : lose a decision (boxing)
: : making the ultimate sacrifice (die as a soldier)
: : necktie party (cowboy - hung)
: : negative patient outcome (modern medicine)
: : no longer with us
: : old Floorer (death personified, 15th century poem)
: : pass out of the picture (maybe early cinematography)
: : pay day (1600s)
: : pay Saint Peter a visit (20th century American)
: : pop off
: : promoted to glory (Salvation Army)
: : Requiescat in pace (RIP)
: : rest in peace (RIP)
: : ring off
: : settle one's accounts
: : snuffed out (adapted from Shakespeare)
: : switch out the lights (theatrical)
: : take a count or take a long count or the last count (boxing)
: : take a long walk off a short pier (gangster)
: : take the last bow (theatrical)
: : Texas cakewalk (hung)
: : the big jump (cowboy's expression)
: : the call of God
: : the final call
: : the final curtain (theatrical)
: : the final summons (from imagery in Revelations)
: : the Great Leveller (Death personified)
: : the Great Whipper (Death personified, British term of the 1860s from fox-hunting)
: : the Grim Reaper (Death personified. First use may be Longfellow's "The Reaper and the Flowers," 1839)
: : the last getaway (gangster)
: : the last muster (die as a soldier)
: : to be at rest
: : to be blown over the creek (violent death)
: : to be cut off
: : to be gone to a better place
: : to be human fruit; strange fruit (Black expression for lynching)
: : to be in (or rest in) Abraham's bosom
: : to be in Heaven
: : to be present at the last roll call (die as a soldier)
: : to be trumped (cards)
: : to be with God
: : to be with our Father
: : to be with the angels
: : to check out
: : to count the daisies
: : to croak
: : to cross over
: : to cut one's stick (refers to carving a new walking stick)
: : to dangle in the sheriff's frame (British, late 1800s)
: : to decorate a cottonwood tree (cowboy)
: : to do one's bit (die as a soldier)
: : to drop hooks or pop off the hooks (may be irreverent allusion to the nailing of Christ on the cross)
: : to fire one's last shot (die as a soldier)
: : to go home in a box (military)
: : to go the way of all flesh (Douay Bible's translation of III Kings 2:3)
: : to go to one's last (or just) reward
: : to go to one's long home (Ecclesiastes, 12:5)
: : to go to the hereafter
: : to go to the last roundup (cowboy)
: : to go up Salt River (political)
: : to go West (early use: Scots poet Gray, 1515. Probably to the setting sun.)
: : to have a funeral in one's family (gangster)
: : to have found rest
: : to have one's name inscribed in the Book of Life (Jewish)
: : to hop the last rattler (1915 term for fast freight train)
: : to join the Immortals or be among the Immortals
: : to jump the last hurdle (cowboy's expression)
: : to lay down your shovel (or hoe)
: : to lay down's one's life (to die for country or cause)
: : to lose or to have lost someone
: : to pay the debt of nature
: : to quit it or to quit the scene (Black English)
: : to slip off (nautical)
: : to strike out (baseball)
: : tossed in his alley (marbles)
: : wearing cement shoes (or overshoes or overcoat) (gangster)
: : weighted down with his boots (cowboy's expression)
: : From my own collection:
: : death by HMO (health maintenance organization)
: : make the O-sign (open mouth) or the Q-sign (open mouth + tongue) (modern medicine)
: : From "This Dog'll Hunt:
An Entertaining Texas Dictionary" by Wallace O. Chariton (Wordware Publishing,
Piano, Texas, 1989, 1990):
: : answered the last roll call
: : don't have the pulse of a pitchfork
: : just coyote bait
: : morgue-aged
: : on a stoney lonesome
: : pushing up bluebonnets
: : ready for a cold slab
: : shook hands with eternity
: : turned belly up (refers to animals turning belly up when dead)
: : turned up his toes
: : The state of being really, really dead:
: : From "Facts on File Dictionary
of American Regionalisms" by
Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000):
: : "deader than a pelcher (pilchard) - Indisputably dead. Variations are 'deader than a mackerel' and 'deader than a duck." (Yankee Talk)
: : "dead as a beef - Completely dead. With no life.dead as a hammer - Without any life at all." (Whistlin' Dixie. Southern terms)
: : "dead as four o'clock - Quite dead, refers to either the 'dead' end of the afternoon, or the quiet of four o'clock in the morning." (Mountain Range)
: From "This Dog'll Hunt: An Entertaining Texas Dictionary" by Wallace O. Chariton
(Wordware Publishing, Piano, Texas, 1989, 1990):
: : dead as hell in a preacher's backyard or a parson's parlor
: : as a 6-card poker hand
: : as Santa Anna
: : as a lightning bug in the cream pitcher
: : as a drowned cat in a goldfish bowl
: : as a rotten stump
: : Now I'm REALLY REALLY depressed.
: And . . . sleeping with the fishes.
I don't think I noticed "kick the bucket" in these lists.