Bought the farm

Posted by Dr. Ward Fredericks on September 19, 2003

In Reply to: Bought the farm posted by loislane17 on September 10, 2003

: Well, while I believe this is a WW2 expression; I thought that it referred to the loss of an only farmer's son in the war receiving full benefits when killed overseas. Therefore, when he died his death benefits paid off the farm for his parents, or he "bought the farm."

This expression is also part of aviation history. When an early airplane (and pilot) went down, normally it was in a rural area, and did some not insignificant damage to the crop. The pilot, his employers or family was expected to reimburse the farmer for the value of the crop destroyed....therefore "to buy the farm"!