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Never speak ill of the dead

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 11, 2008 at 16:24

In Reply to: Never speak ill of the dead posted by Bekka on September 11, 2008 at 15:49:

: Where did the phrase, "Never speak ill of the dead", come from?

It's a very ancient prohibition. In classical Latin it took the form "De mortuis nil nisi bonum", literally "[speak] nothing but good of the dead"; this in turn derived from a 6th-century Greek saying. The earliest English version I know of is a translation from Erasmus: "Rayle not vpon him that is deade". (VSD)