Historic, Poetic Ways to Say “Died”

"Submiting Her Self to ye Will of God" from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

“Submiting Her Self to ye Will of God” from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

The Doktor recommended to me a fascinating post titled “101 Ways to Say ‘Died’” on Vast Public Indifference, a nifty website devoted to “History, grad school, and gravestones!”

Pompe Stevens, from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

Pompe Stevens, from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

I checked out the website and the impressive collection of photos of gravestones from before 1825. The list of 101 sayings for “death” include phrases like “Fell Aslep in Jesus”, “Exchanged Worlds”, “Departed this stage of existence”, and “Went rejoycing out of this world”. Also mentioned are less happy endings: “expired”, “hung”, or “Was barbarously murdered in his own home by Gage’s bloody troops.”

Rev Wigglesworth, from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

Rev Wigglesworth, from http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/

The site recalled for me of a favorite euphemism from now-deceased minister at my childhood church, which was “Graduated to the Larger Life.” I always thought that had a grand ring to it, and now I see how it fits in a long line of pleasant (or sometimes not so pleasant) ways to say “died”.

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