Language lessons across the USA and Canada

Call us! 1-877-566-9299 / 1-416-800-9242

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Obituary Euphemisms

People often say, “You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.” It’s disrespectful to criticize someone who can no longer defend themselves. However, when it comes to obituaries, there is a delicate balance between honesty and respect. Obituary writers often use euphemisms for death and other obituary code words to convey the truth in a more gentle manner. These obituary euphemisms allow us to maintain decorum while hinting at a person’s true nature. For instance, terms like “passed away” or “resting” soften the impact of death.

→Sign Up Now: Free Trial English Lesson With a Native Teacher!←

For English learners, understanding these euphemisms is crucial. At Listen & Learn, we help you grasp the subtleties of English through our tailor-made in-person English lessons, including the many euphemisms for death found in obituaries.

So, how soon is it acceptable to speak truthfully about the deceased? And how can we decode these obituary euphemisms to understand what they really mean? Join us as we explore the tradition of obituary euphemisms and learn how to talk about those who are no longer with us!

Euphemisms for Death: Basic Vocabulary

What Is the Slang Word for Die?

A common slang word for “die” is “kick the bucket.” Other slang terms include “bite the dust,” “meet one’s maker,” and “give up the ghost.” These phrases are informal and amusing.

What Does Obit Mean?

“Obit” is a shorthand term for “obituary,” which is a notice of a person’s death. It typically appears in newspapers or online articles. It often includes a brief biography of the deceased, detailing significant life events and surviving family members.

What Are the Most Common Euphemisms for Death?

The most common euphemisms for death include phrases like “passed away,” “departed,” “gone to a better place,” “resting in peace,” and “no longer with us.” These terms soften the impact of the news and provide comfort.

Common Obituary Euphemisms

Didn’t Suffer Fools Gladly

This phrase indicates that the person didn’t have much patience for those they deemed foolish. In an obituary, it could imply that the person was straightforward and no-nonsense. However, it might also suggest that they were generally unpleasant.

He Never Married/He Was a Bachelor

These euphemisms, while somewhat old-fashioned, hint at the person being gay, particularly in certain social circles or older generations.

A Tireless Raconteur

While this ostensibly means that the person loved to tell stories, the qualifier “tireless” suggests someone who never stopped talking, often boring those around them with endless anecdotes.

A Colorful Character

This phrase hints at a person who could be described using many more “colorful” words that might be inappropriate for an obituary. It often implies that the person was eccentric or had a difficult personality.

Vivacious; A Character; Fun Loving

These terms suggest that someone was a heavy drinker, often enjoying alcohol more than occasionally, and was rarely sober.

Larger Than Life

This euphemism for death suggests that the person had a big personality and left a significant impact on those around them. However, it can also imply that they were overbearing or domineering, with their presence felt in both positive and negative ways.

Lived Life to the Fullest

This phrase indicates that the person embraced every moment and took advantage of every opportunity. In an obituary, it might also subtly suggest that they were reckless or made poor decisions that affected those around them.

Understanding obituary euphemisms and other obituary code words can greatly enhance your grasp of English nuances, especially when dealing with sensitive topics like death. These euphemisms for death, such as “passed away” or “no longer with us,” reflect the language’s ability to convey difficult emotions with subtlety and grace. By learning these phrases, English learners can better navigate and comprehend the cultural contexts in which they are used.

→Sign Up Now: Free Trial English Lesson With a Native Teacher!←

At Listen & Learn, we offer personalized English lessons with native teachers who can help you master these subtle language skills. Our in-person English lessons and online English courses ensure that you receive the focused attention you need to improve quickly and effectively. Whether you are looking to understand what “obit” means or explore the rich tapestry of English euphemisms, our experienced instructors are here to guide you every step of the way. So, why wait? Contact Listen & Learn now and start your English-learning journey.