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#119115 - 01/08/04 03:01 AM The Final Purchase  
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Father Steve Offline
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Father Steve  Offline
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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.



#119116 - 01/08/04 05:00 AM Re: The Final Purchase  
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Bingley Offline
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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


Bingley
#119117 - 01/08/04 05:07 AM Re: The Final Purchase  
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Father Steve Offline
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Father Steve  Offline
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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.


#119118 - 01/08/04 11:29 AM Re: The Final Purchase  
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Faldage Offline
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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


#119119 - 01/08/04 01:09 PM Re: The Final Purchase  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

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Father Steve, I'm sorry, but get ready to turn red:
http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=12050


#119120 - 01/08/04 01:13 PM Re: The Final Purchase  
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Father Steve Offline
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Father Steve  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2000
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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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