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#119115 - 01/07/04 10:01 PM The Final Purchase
Father Steve Offline
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Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I just sent an e-mail message in which I reported that the geranium on the front porch "bought it" during the recent snowstorm in the Pacific Northwest. That got me to wondering: bought what? I have heard the expression "bought the farm" as a euphemism for human demise, but I don't know to what that refers, either.



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#119116 - 01/08/04 12:00 AM Re: The Final Purchase
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I thought I read this on Quinion but I can't find it now. Assuming I didn't imagine the whole thing, the explanation given was that pilots in WWII used this as a euphemism for being shot down. The idea being that the presumably deceased had actually saved up enough from his salary to buy some land and settle down with a wife, which was why no-one ever saw him flying again.

Bingley
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Bingley

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#119117 - 01/08/04 12:07 AM Re: The Final Purchase
Father Steve Offline
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Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
It'll be embarrassing to the Old Padre if you read it here, on AWAD, and I missed it when searching the board.


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#119118 - 01/08/04 06:29 AM Re: The Final Purchase
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
What I got in my Junk Drawer Memory® is that it derives from the notion that a sailor, back in the old days of the Rocks and Shoals, wnated nothing more than to get as far from the sea as possible, buy a farm and settle down. Hence the euphemism, 'he finally bought the farm.' But what with the history of these romantic sounding etymologies these days, I dunno. According to Dave Wilton the phrase 'buying it' predates the phrase 'buy the farm' by over a century:

http://www.wordorigins.org/wordorb.htm#buyfarm


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#119119 - 01/08/04 08:09 AM Re: The Final Purchase
Jackie Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Father Steve, I'm sorry, but get ready to turn red:
http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=12050


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#119120 - 01/08/04 08:13 AM Re: The Final Purchase
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Good Lord! It wuz me what started it last time, too. I guess whole pieces of my memory are deciduating.





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