Monday, August 18, 2008

101 Ways to Say "Died"

Starting today, I'm going to start running a series called "101 Ways to Say Died." In this project, I will be cataloging all the synonyms for "died" that appear in early American epitaphs.

In order to qualify, the word/phrase must appear in the main part of the text, not the verse. That is to say, I'm looking at the part where it says, "Here lies John Doe, died January 1, 1750," rather than the poetic epitaph that sometimes appears after the primary epitaph. If I can't make it to 101 with this criterion, I'll look at the verses. Similarly, I'm going to limit eligibility to pre-1825 stones with the option to extend that to 1850 if I fall short of 101.


Complete list of 101 posts after the break.

Part 1: Died
Part 2: Departed This Life
Part 3: Deceased
Part 4: Entred Apon an Eternal Sabbath of Rest
Part 5: Fell a Victim to an Untimely Disease
Part 6: Departed This Transitory Life
Part 7: Killed by the Fall of a Tree
Part 8: Left Us
Part 9: Obit
Part 10: Slain by the Enemy
Part 11: Departed This Stage of Existence
Part 12: Went Rejoycing Out of This World
Part 13: Submiting Her Self to ye Will of God
Part 14: Fell Asleep
Part 15: Changed a Fleeting World for an Immortal Rest
Part 16: Fell Asleep in the Cradle of Death
Part 17: Fell Aslep in Jesus
Part 18: Was Still Born
Part 19: Innocently Retired
Part 20: Expired
Part 21: Perished in a Storm
Part 22: Departed from This in Hope of a Better Life
Part 23: Summoned to Appear Before His Judge
Part 24: Liv'd About 2 Hours
Part 25: Rose Upon the Horizon of Perfect Endless Day
Part 26: Peracto Hac Vita
Part 27: Bid Farewell to this World
Part 28: Was Barbarously Murdered in his Own Home by Gages Bloody Troops
Part 29: Kill'd by a Cart
Part 30: Killed by a Waggon
Part 31: Passed to the Summer Land
Part 32: Joined the Congregation of the Dead
Part 33: Exchanged Worlds
Part 34: Changed this Mortal Life for that of Immortality
Part 35: Her Longing Spirit Sprung
Part 36: Lost at Sea
Part 37: Hung
Part 38: Finish'd a Life of Examplary Piety
Part 39: Breathed Her Soul Away Into Her Saviour's Arms
Part 40: Second Birth
Part 41: Passed Into the World of Spirits
Part 42: Fell by the Hands of . . . an Infatuated Man
Part 43: Expired in the Faith of Christ
Part 44: Ended All Her Cares in Quiet Death
Part 45: Yielding Up Her Spirit
Part 46: Clos'd This Earthly Scene
Part 47: Her Existence Terminated
Part 48: Rested From ye Pains & Sorrows of This Life
Part 49: Inhumanly Murdered by Cruel Savages
Part 50: Entered the Regions of Immortal Felicity
Part 51: Lost His Life By a Fall From a Tree
Part 52: Fell Bravely Fighting for the Liberties of His Country
Part 53: Finished a Long and Useful Life
Part 54: Was Shot by a Negroe Soldier
Part 55: Drowned
Part 56: Was Found Lashed to the Mast of His Sunken and Ill-Fated Vessel
Part 57: Began to Dissolve
Part 58: Died . . . From Stabs Inflicted With a Knife
Part 59: Basely Assassinated
Part 60: Resigned His Soul to God
Part 61: Fell on Sleep and Was Laid Unto His Fathers
Part 62: Made His Exit
Part 63: Supposed Foundered at Sea
Part 64: Quitted the Stage
Part 65: Earth Life Closed
Part 66: Frozen to Death
Part 67: Was Called to Close His Eyes on Mortal Things
Part 68: Chearfully Resigned Her Spret Into the Hand of Jesus
Part 69: Entred into His Heavenly House
Part 70: . . . For A Never Ending Eternity
Part 71: Yielded Her Spirit to Its Benevolent Author
Part 72: Lost on Look-Out Shoals
Part 73: Exchanged This for a Better Life
Part 74: Rested From the Hurry of Life
Part 75: Received a Mortal Wound on His Head
Part 76: Died Tryumphingly in Hops of a Goyful Resurrection
Part 77: Kill'd By Lightening
Part 78: Left It
Part 79: Whose Deaths . . . Were Occasioned by the Explosion of the Powder Mill
Part 80: Translation to ye Temple Above
Part 81: Resigned His Mortal Life
Part 82: Call'd . . . To His Reward
Part 83: Arrested by Death
Part 84: . . . And Have Never Since Been Heard of
Part 85: Gone Home
Part 86: Resigned This Life in Calm and Humble Hope of Heaven
Part 87: Was Released
Part 88: Left Her Weeping Friends
Part 89: Laid His Hoary Head to Rest Beneath This Mournful Turf
Part 90: Rested From His Labors
Part 91: Quitted the Stage
Part 92: Was Casually Shot
Part 93: Cut Down in the Bloom of Life
Part 94: Unhappily Parish'd in the Flames
Part 95: Unveiled
Part 96: Nobly Fell By the Impious Hand of Treason and Rebellion
Part 97: Fell in Battle at Molino del Rey
Part 98: Remanded
Part 99: Translated to His Masters Joy
Part 100: Bid Adieu to Earthly Scenes
Part 101: I Am Only Going Into Another Room

Even though the series is over, I'll carry on posting these as I find them.

Part 102: Was Taken By Death From His Mother's Breasts
Part 103: Was Suffocated
Part 104: Left to Go and Be With Christ
Part 105: Left This World
Part 106: Passed Onward
Part 107: Passed Away
Part 108: Perished With 41 Other Persons
Part 109: Killed By Falling From Cliffs
Part 110: Vanquished the World and Relinquished It
Part 111: Was Removed By a Dysentery
Part 112: Died in His Country[']s Service
Part 113: Commenced Her Inseparable Union with Her Much Beloved Husband and Her God
Part 114: Was Drouned in a Tan Pit
Part 115: Was Instantly Kill'd by a Stock of Boards
Part 116: Submitted to the Stroke of All Conquering Death
Part 117: Died of the 108 Convulsion Fit
Part 118: Hurried From This Life

34 comments:

klkatz said...

what a fantastic idea. I wish I had the time to do that. when it's all said and done.. you should write a book.

zbizri1 said...

I just noticed - #64 and #91 are the same epitaph. in #91 you note it's a replica of the gravestone, which is famous. Is #64 the original gravestone?

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

You're right!

It looks like I read about the stone first and wrote about it for #64, then forgot, and reposted it when I visited the stone myself.

It's a good thing I have 102!

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

Both posts refer to the replica — I think that the original no longer exists.

Sisters of the Blog said...

When i lived in the MidAtlantic, we attended a church with and old churchyard. It doesn't qualify as i saw this on footstones rather than headstones, and they were mid 19th century, too.

The footstones read, "Called Home."

megan

Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan said...

Caitlin, I am fascinated by your blog & 101 Ways project. I have one from Memento Mori Cemetery, Farmington CT - it does say he died, but in a few lines under neath is: 'Death is a debt to nature due, which I have paid and so must you.' Paying our debt to nature is a lovely way to say we must die I think. I have a photo of Captain Hart's gravestone, 1757, which is interesting in itself, the day of the month and the year of his age were left out, as if the carver intended to finish later and forgot! I read most of your ways, if I missed this one in your list, I apologize! Leslie

Faith Damon Davison said...

"Gone"...as in "Not gone, just on vacation."

Mack Mill Cemetery, off Scott Rd., Flanders section of East Lyme.

Faith Damon Davison

Anonymous said...

My great-grandmother in her birthday record book also recorded several deaths for which she would always write as example "Mr. Joseph Smith crossed the great divide." I remember hearing my gr aunt & grandmother reading through their granny's book, when I was a young girl and I would wonder how my gr.gr. granny knew what date someone crossed the Rocky Mountains. I figured they must have wrote her a letter about it. It wasn't until years later I realized what "Ma" meant when she wrote that someone had crossed the great divide. *:)

Anonymous said...

"Undoubted in a beter world to which he was Rescu'd"

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=28650204&PIpi=19495194

-Peter Fisk

Loren said...

An epitaph in the Old City Cemetery in Sacramento, California says "Gone to the Summerland." I think that means they were Spiritualists.

baltazaro said...

"Jesus needed me for a sunbeam" on an infants grave in Gore Hill Cemetary NSW Australia. This one has always been special to me.

Thankyou for compiling this list. Love your blog.

GothicGourdGirl said...

LOVE this! I may use you as a reference come realistic-looking tombstone-making time (aka summer)...:)

Paul Hensby said...

I love the various ways people get round using the word 'died'. The website My Last Song has an article using some more recent euphemisms. It's here. http://www.mylastsong.com/advice/99/148/107/funerals/funeral-planning/just-dont-say-hes-died

Anonymous said...

From Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch:
'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e
rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the
bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

Anonymous said...

From Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch:
'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e
rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the
bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan said...

In the Preface of "The Wedgwood Circle",
Sacred to the Memory of
Captain Anthony Wedgwood
Accidentally shot by his gamekeeper
Whilst out shooting
"Well done thou good and faithful servant"
from my friend in Scotland, Anthony Pulford.

Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan said...

from a NH headstone of 1862 and 1867, Inanimated

Julie said...

Like this a lot.

cribs for twins said...

what a fantastic idea! I love this!

Taht said...

This just changed my mind that blogging is a waste. So, thanks! Part 87 is my favorite.

Diane said...

"Summerland" was used by the Shakers, also known as the United Society of Believers in the First and Second of Christ. Mother Ann Lee brought her celibate followers from England to New York during the American Revolution. Canterbury Shaker Village is now a museum in Canterbury, NH.

Visiting old cemeteries is a favorite pass time with me so I enjoyed your list.

Christopher Thornton said...

"He's bleedin snuffed it!"

gr00z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gr00z said...

She preferred oblivion to pathos

Anna said...

My biological mother came up with a disturbing, odd and dehumanizing way to "take away from the sting of death" by saying, when a person died, "they popped off."

SERIOUSLY. She is a disturbed character, and at a young age I could not convince her that this was *wrong*, irreverant, weird, crazy...

Anonymous said...

shuffle off this mortal coil

Jen said...

Make it a book! Good stuff :)

Anonymous said...

Caitlin, what an amazing list. I have one that you might like to read. I live in New Zealand and my big family in the UK.
My 92 yr old Mum died a year ago and I had written a poem for her birthday a few years before and had said that "Love is not diminished by distance" Whan she died I asked my sibling if we could use my words on the Gravestone and I added an extra word. " Love is not diminished by death or distance"
Cheers Angela Herbert

Anonymous said...


He Karked it.........or slipped his moorings....She lost her
Husband....

Anonymous said...

He gone

Amorettea said...

One of my Rhode Island ancestors "Passed Beyond the Purple Veil." I had no idea what that meant until my father explained "It means he died."

Oliver Schmid said...

Dies ist eine wirklich tolle Idee. Wir haben uns erlaubt, dies - angeleht an diesen Artikel - frei ins deutsche zu √ľbersetzen. Selbstverst√§ndlich haben wir diesen Original-Artikel verlinkt.

http://www.gedenkseiten.de/magazin/101-moeglichkeiten-gestorben-zu-sagen/

With friendly greetings from Germany
Oliver Schmid

chamblee54 said...

This work is being recycled. http://chamblee54.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/101-ways-to-say-death-part-one/

chamblee54 said...

http://chamblee54.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/101-ways-to-say-death-part-one/

Thanks for providing the original source material.