Euphemisms for Death
Posted by R. Berg on February 28, 2002
In Reply to: Regional Euphamisms for Death posted by Word Camel on February 28, 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.
These are slang synonyms for "death" (Esther
Lewin and Albert E. Lewin, "The Thesaurus of Slang," Facts on File, 1994): curtains,
curtains for one, celestial discharge, dirt nap, grim reaper, kiss-off, the end,
fini, finish, lead poison (by shooting), holy ghost (gunshot wounds), floater,
bobber (drowned), jumper, flyer, fried, crispy critters (burned), jam, strawberry
jam, red blanket (massive injuries), lights out, lumps, crossing the bar, big
jump, final thrill, last debt, last roundup, last out, ol' man Mose, -30-, taps,
tap city, one's number is up, when the lights go out, buy the farm, a daisy, parole,
cold storage, sweet by-and-by, the hard way; back-gate parlor, back door, back
gate, back parole, pine-box release, pine-box parole (prison).
Lewin & Lewin have an even longer list of synonyms for "die," including some that must be regional or occupational: meet Mr. Jordan, get one's ticket punched, head for the last roundup, make the last muster, go west, go north, go home in a box, cash in one's chips, gone across the creek, slip one's cable, go to Davy Jones' locker (drown), kayoed for keeps.