Euphemisms for Death

alex atkins bookshelf wordsThere is so much death in Shakespeare’s plays. Perhaps the Bard could have softened the blow of death by using something a bit lighter. What if Hamlet had said, “For in that sleep when thou hast been permanently out of print what dreams may come/ When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, \ Must give us pause.” Or “For in that sleep when thou art basting the formaldehyde turkey what dreams may come…” There are so many euphemisms for “death’ — surely the Bard could have used any of these colorful expressions:

Angels carried him/her away
Assume room temperature

Ate it
At peace

At rest
Baste the formaldehyde turkey
Become living-challenged
Beyond the grave

Beyond the veil
Bite the dust
Bite the big one
Blow someone’s brains out
Born asleep
Bought the farm

Breathe one’s last
Brown bread
Buy the farm
Cash in one’s chips
Checking out the grass from underneath

Come to a sticky end
Counting worms
Crossed over

Crossed the Jordan
Crossing the river Styx

Curtains/final curtain
Dead as a dodo
Dead as a doornail
Death by Misadventure

Depart this life
Destroyed/to be destroyed
Die with one’s boots on
Didn’t make it
Done for
Drop dead
Drop like flies

Fading away
Fall off one’s perch

Food for worms
Free one’s horses
Gave/give up the ghost
Go to a better place
Go over the Big Ridge
Go bung
Go for a Burton
Go to Davy Jones’s locker
Go to the big gig in the sky
Go home in a box
Go out with one’s boots on/with a bang/in style
Go to, or head for, the last roundup
Go to one’s reward
Go to one’s watery grave
Go to a Texas cakewalk
Go to the happy hunting ground

Go the way of all flesh
Go west
The Grim Reaper
Hand in one’s dinner pail
Have bought it
Have one foot in the grave
Hitching a ride in the hearse

Hop on the last rattler
Hop the twig
In Abraham’s bosom
Join the choir invisible
Join the great majority
Juggling halos

Justifiable Homicide
Kick/kicked the bucket
Kick the calendar
Killed In Action (KIA)
King of Terrors
Kiss that arse goodbye
Live on a farm (upstate)
Living impaired

Lose one’s life
Make the ultimate sacrifice
Meet one’s maker
Murder Death Kill (MDK)
Not long for this world
Not with us anymore
Off on a boat
Off the hooks
On one’s deathbed
On one’s last legs
One’s hour has come
One’s number is up
On the heavenly shores

Pass away
Pass in one’s alley
Pay the ultimate price
Paying a debt to nature

Peg out
Permanently out of print

Pop one’s clogs
Promoted to Glory
Push up daisies
Put down/put to sleep
Put one to the sword
Rainbow Bridge
Ride the pale horse
Riding the hearse

Send one to Eternity or to the Promised Land
Sent/go to the farm
Shuffle off this mortal coil
Six feet under
Sleeps/sleeping with the fishes
Snuff it
Struck down
Swimming with concrete shoes
Take/taking a dirt nap
Take a last bow
Take the last train to glory.
Take one’s life
Top yourself
Traded to the angels
Turn up one’s toes

Until one’s dying day
Up and die
Wearing cement boots

Wearing a pine overcoat (i.e. a wooden coffin)
Wearing a toe tag

Winning one for the reaper
Wiped out…way up..
With one’s last breath
Worm food
Yield up the ghost

Read related posts: Synonyms for Said
Synonyms for Bullshit

Best Books for Writers
Most Common Writing Errors
Best English Dictionary

For further reading:

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.