I am looking for expressions roughly synynymous wtih 'to risk death'. The following are some examples. Can you think of others?

to risk one's life

to put one's life on the line

to flirt with death

to dice with death

to mortgage one's life

I'd appreciate your help.

closed as off-topic by Robusto, Tushar Raj, FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, ScotM Jun 29 '15 at 0:19

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  • Is something like death wish what you are looking for? – Bookeater Jun 28 '15 at 15:54
  • 2
    Hi Apollyon. Please telli us where this expression will be used. And why don't the ones you listed work for you. – Tushar Raj Jun 28 '15 at 16:34
  • I've never heard "to dice with death", or "to mortgage one's life" before. I have heard "to dance with death", on the other hand. Generally, it's a tango... – Parthian Shot Jun 28 '15 at 21:30

To tempt death is an alternative expression:

  • To tempt: To provoke or to risk provoking (AHD)
  • Two local men will be competing in a Vermont-based race that bears the slogan, "You may die."

Not a saying or proverb, but you would sound original saying "to play chess with Thanatos".

  • In Greek mythology, Thanatos /ˈθænətɒs/ was the daemon personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to, but rarely appearing in person. enter image description here

Thanatos as a winged and sword-girt youth. Sculptured marble column drum from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos

  • Thanatos - "Death as a personification or as a philosophical notion." TFD

There is always to play Russian roulette

to take big risks, in a way which is very dangerous
Usage notes: Russian roulette is a very dangerous game where players aim a gun containing one bullet at their own heads.
(often + with ) I'm not willing to play Russian roulette with people's lives by drinking and driving.


More info on the origin of the phrase on wikipedia. It claims that

In writing, the term "Russian Roulette" was first used in an eponymous 1937 short story by Georges Surdez:

'Did you ever hear of Russian Roulette?' ... With the Russian army in Romania, around 1917, some officer would suddenly pull out his revolver, remove a cartridge from the cylinder, spin the cylinder, snap it back in place, put it to his head and pull the trigger."

It is claimed that this practice was widely known in Russia in the early 19th century. However, there is only one written source before the 20th century: in Mikhail Lermontov's 1840 "The Fatalist", one of five novellas comprising his A Hero of Our Time, a minor character survives a version of Russian roulette.

  • Interesting. The modern definition has the odds inverted. The 'game' described by Surdez gives the player very low chances of not shooting himself in the head. He says 16.7%- correct for a six-shooter with all the chambers loaded originally. A seven-chamber Nagant M1895 would give even worse odds. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 28 '15 at 18:05

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