A few years ago I caught up at a funeral with some old school mates I’d last seen half a century back. Naturally the conversation dwelt on what had happened to various people.

In these accounts I heard an expression for the first time in decades that was common in working class Lower Hutt. Evidently various buggers had “passed away”.

God only knows why but over the last couple of years this silly euphemism has re-emerged and is now wide-spread. No-one dies anymore.

This is baby talk and plain silly. Where have they passed to? In raising this, in the current dictatorship I won’t be surprised should a helicopter land and police emerge to smash down my front door to arrest me for not being kind.


Some also just use ‘passed’ as in the deceased has ‘passed’. In Zambia a woman talking about her mother-in-law who had died used late as in ‘my mother-in-law lived with us but now she is late.’ Like you I prefer to say died or dead. Ele Ludemann

Terb Terbsad 7th May 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Your a bloody rebel Bob.!! I’m gonna disagree for a change. I’m 54 , married ,(to wife that there’s no point in arguing with) and supposed to be a tough-arse tradesman. My Mum and Dad died within the last year and I can’t explain it but it feels better to say they “passed away” !! I miss them both and the obvious small consolation is that Dad who was total realist did not have to witness the current madness our country has become. Anyway…your wrong on this one.

Yes people are dying and Kicking the bucket with monotonous regularity-Passing away is a pathetic euphemism.

I agree. Have a bit of fun with it based on the proclivities of the deceased. “He’s gone to the big garden centre/lounge bar/golf course in the sky”. “He’s just pining for the fjords”. Don’t visit any of the cat fancier pages on social media as expired moggies are referred to as “furbabies” that have “gone over the rainbow bridge” with nauseating regularity.

Oh how I agree. ‘Passed away’ is the most puke-inducing euphemism known to man.

Come on Bob, you are not joining in with the wet social warriors and trying to tell us what we should say are you?
I thought that you, of all people, would beleive that we can just say what we want and tough titty (oop’s) if it offends or pisses someone off.

“Passed away” has, for all of my life, been the nice way of saying died.
However, following the American trend, more and more New Zealanders are now saying “passed”. By what were they passed? A bus?

Passing away is the left version of a nice way of someone has reached their expiry date and has now officially expired.

Some from the left have already expired but their hearts are still ticking. God needs to build people in sync.

Brain expires then heart stops. God help us!

I emailed a friend to inform Him a mutual acquaintance had “Karked” it. He knew what I meant

Passed on is probably better. Passed on to a better life after death.
But you stick to die, Bob. That covers those who don’t believe that there is life after death for those who believe in Jesus Christ. I’m looking forward to heaven. You keep the alternative for yourself. Time is short – but the free offer is open until you die.

I much prefer this approach.
The Times which read: “John le Mesurier wishes it to be known that he conked out on November 15th. He sadly misses family and friends.

Lindsay Mitchell May 26, 2020 at 8:54 pm

Prefer ‘passed’ myself, from the state of living to the state of death. You surely wouldn’t want to restrict the richness of our language to describe events?

I once met a man who waxed lyrically about his dog, all in the presence tense. I then mentioned at the end of the day that he would be pleased to get home to the beast.

At which point he said he couldn’t because the dog was late.

By late he meant dead. (but I thought he meant the dog was with someone else and would only be home late)

Interestingly the radio talkback sorts are going nuts over Comrade Cindy’s dictatorship this morning, no doubt spurred on by Winny’s flip flopping. It’s the first true outpouring of discontent that I’ve heard since the dictatorship began. More to follow me thinks…

I like what some Irish people say….’ Paddy got way this morning’…

sorry…’ Paddy got away this morning’

Passed or passed away is rooted in spiritualism and mysticism with the person in question who has died being referred to as moving from one plane of existence to another, they have not ceased to be but merely passed on. The death we experience is referred to in the Bible as a sleep. A deep sleep to be sure but a sleep none the less. You wake up from sleep and so you will be woken up from the death sleep at the resurrection. But there is no consciousness in the death sleep. The mystical idea of never dying and having eternal consciousness has permeated christian churches even though on about page two of the Bible it says we will return to dust. The only thing that makes us live is the breath of God but that is not our consciousness or being, it’s his breath in our body that makes us a living soul. So we don’t pass on, pass away or pass over. We die, sleep and we wait for the resurrection.

So pleased I blundered into this blog by accident. Only yesterday I was saying to my wife, “Why can’t people use the clear, honest and accurate “died” instead of this pathetic euphemism?”

I prefer a spade to be called a spade…. or a shovel. Whatever! Dead is dead. Thanks Bob.

Brilliant commentary and so poignant given the serious issues we are facing.

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