Death comes for us all, but that doesn’t mean we like to talk about it. Languages and cultures around the world are full of metaphors for death, ways to discuss it without having to say the actual words for “death” or “die.” Some of these metaphors are pleasant, euphemisms meant to soften the blow for grieving friends and family. Others are more direct, the verbal equivalent of whistling past the graveyard.
Let’s take a look at some metaphors for death from around the world:
English Metaphors for Death
Looking for an alternative to “dead?” English has plenty!
For example, you could say deceased, demised, passed on, ceased to be, late. . . Hold on, I think we should just let Monty Python take it from here:
And now for something completely different: a collection of metaphors for “death” from 16 other languages. Some are poetic, some are blunt, and some are kind of funny. Which one is your favorite?
Polish Metaphors for Death
Kopnąć w kalendarz—to kick the calendar
Przejechać się na tamten świat- take a ride to the other world
Wykorkować– cork off
Pożegnać się z życiem – say goodbye to one’s life
Spocząć w grobie – rest in the grave
Skończyć swoje dni – finish one’s days
Zgasnąć jak świeca – go out like a candle
Ostatnie pożegnanie – last farewell Read more