Posted by Keith rennie on November 29, 2004
In Reply to: Origin? posted by Lewis on November 27, 2004
: : : : Princess Di had some on camera interviews where she reported her suspicion that an ex-lover had been 'bumped off'. That term sounds unusual. Is it used widely in the UK?
: : : I don't remember it being used much. I can't remember the exact phrases used(no one I know has ever been bumped or done any bumping). I suspect it is something understated though, along the lines of saying "He's leaving to spend more time with his family", which is code for "he's been forced out" or if the person leaving is saying it, "I disagree with everything going on and I'm leaving before it all goes horribly wrong."
: : Yes, 'bumped off' is widely used in the UK. It means killed.
: I wonder whether 'bumped off' is a contrast with 'shuffled off this mortal coil'. bumped, like nudged, suggests something being given a bit of help.
yes, I agree, I think a nautical analogy works best here, unless there's some documentary evidence around. When you are (accidentally on purpose) bumped off the boat, especially on a dark and stormy night, that's the end, mate. And who did the bumping? nobody can tell.