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Re: Dead, dead, dead

Posted by TheUnlurker on March 01, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Dead, dead, dead posted by ESC 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, 1995):
: : : : 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.

: : psi

: Right you are.

: KICK THE BUCKET - "A suicide who stands on a pail, slips at noose around his neck and kicks the pail, or bucket out from under him would be the logical choice for the origin of this old slang term meaning to die. However, some etymologists say the phrase comes from an entirely different source. Slaughtered hogs, their throats slit, used to be hung by their heels, which were tied to a wooden block and the rope then thrown over a pulley that hoisted the animals up. Because hoisting the block was similar to raising a bucket from a well, the wooden block came to be called a 'bucket,' and the dying struggles of the hogs kicking against this 'bucket' supposedly gave birth to the phrase. There are other theories, however, and this old expression - it may date back to the 16th century - must be marked of unknown origin." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

Also conspicuous (absenteeism-wise):
Bite the dust
and
Buy the farm (more usually in past-tense "bought the farm")
and there's not a dodo in sight!

I am sure that in my youth (1970s Northern England) that "jossed it" ("jost it"?) was a received euphemism BUT I've just found NO hits whatsoever for either spelling -- maybe it was the smog affecting my brain.

Forgive me if I take an abrupt left turn here: does anyone know the name for those spacelesswordstrings such as: "whatsoever", "inasmuchas", "heretofore", "notwithstanding", &c?

Where did THAT idea come from? Lazy typography? Economy? (er, we've run out of space characters, just run the words together, it'll makeussoundsmart.)

TheUnlurker