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What are the metaphorical ways to say that someone has died?

For example "He has gone to the far country where he will be happy for ages".

P.S. There is this question, but it focuses on mentioning the person, while this question is more about mentioning the fact.


This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is no longer considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here.

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  • 4
    This should be community wiki.
    – b.roth
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:51
  • @Bruno: not sure. Creativity questions clearly should be, but not all synonyms question need to be. This one is sort of borderline…
    – F'x
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:54
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    I believe the word you're looking for is "euphemism"
    – zzzzBov
    Mar 24, 2011 at 18:05

8 Answers 8

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Courtesy of Monty Python:

It's passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! It's hopped the twig! It's shuffled off this mortal coil! It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This.... is an ex-parrot!

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    You're evil, you know.
    – Marthaª
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:02
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    @Martha @Reg I clicked on this question to post exactly the same :)))
    – mplungjan
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:08
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    Plus one for the Pythons.
    – Yitzchak
    Mar 24, 2011 at 16:11
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    For the full effect: youtu.be/npjOSLCR2hE Mar 24, 2011 at 22:20
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The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus has: pass away, pass on, lose one's life, breathe one's last, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, go the way of all flesh, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, slip away, depart this life.

In addition, it includes informal expressions: give up the ghost, kick the bucket, croak, buy it, turn up one's toes, cash in one's chips, bite the big one, check out, buy the farm.

And then there's the upbeat "gone on ahead" or "gone on to the next life".

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    best answer imho
    – n0nChun
    Mar 24, 2011 at 20:31
  • "snuffed it"...
    – Nobody
    Mar 28, 2011 at 14:25
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From the movie "Patch Adams"

Hunter Patch Adams: Death. To die. To expire. To pass on. To perish. To peg out. To push up daisies. To push up posies. To become extinct. Curtains, deceased, Demised, departed And defunct. Dead as a doornail. Dead as a herring. Dead as a mutton. Dead as nits. The last breath. Paying a debt to nature. The big sleep. God's way of saying, Slow down.

Bill Davis: To check out.

Hunter Patch Adams: To shuffle off this mortal coil.

Bill Davis: To head for the happy hunting ground.

Hunter Patch Adams: To blink for an exceptionally long period of time.

Bill Davis: To find oneself without breath.

Hunter Patch Adams: To be the incredible decaying man.

Bill Davis: Worm buffet.

Hunter Patch Adams: Kick the bucket.

Bill Davis: Buy the farm.

Hunter Patch Adams: Take the cab.

Bill Davis: Cash in your chips.

Hunter Patch Adams: And if we bury you ass up, I have got a place to park my bike.

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There's a fairly exhaustive list at http://www.bored.com/deathslang/.

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    That's a pretty exhaustive list, but it has verbs for 'to die' mixed in with the synonyms for 'death' itself. Mar 25, 2011 at 0:52
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In the novel The Godfather, one of the crime families receives a fish wrapped in a slain character's bulletproof vest. The meaning is explained by another character: "The fish means that Luca Brasi is sleeping on the bottom of the ocean." The meaning is both literal and allegorical. In the film, this line is changed to the more concise (and celebrated) "sleeps with the fishes."

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For some reason, the pastor at our church insists on saying that someone has "graduated" (to heaven).

Made for a heart-stopping moment when he made an announcement about the 7 high-school seniors that had graduated that week :)

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  • Or "was graduated from life," as some odd sticklers insist.
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 12, 2014 at 21:13
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A favorite in some parts of Canada: "Had the Biscuit".

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My favorite is "He is taking a dirt nap".

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