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Re: DEATH idioms

Posted by TheFallen on October 18, 2002

In Reply to: DEATH idioms posted by Anastasia on October 18, 2002

:
: Hello!
: I am interested very much in any idioms concerning death, especially the origination of such idioms as:
: to dance the Paddington frisk/Tyburn jig/, to go west, to take a back number, to ride the mare, etc.
: Thanks.

The Tyburn jig's an easy one. Tyburn was a renowned site for public hangings in England. When hanged, the body's legs no doubt twitched, far moreso if the hangman had got it somewhat wrong, and the criminal got throttled to death, instead of having his neck broken - hence the blackly comical term, dancing the Tyburn jig.

The link below will take you to a previous discussion on death euphemisms from the archives here - you'll find plenty in there.