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‘Kicked the bucket’ or ‘popped their clogs’ are best avoided when discussing death says Marie Curie

‘Kicked the bucket’, ‘popped their clogs’ or ‘pushing up daises’ are best avoided when telling children about death, says terminal illness charity Marie Curie

  • More than 50 different phrases are now used by Britons to describe death
  • Marie Curie commissioned poll to encourage us to talk more openly about death 
  • More unusual terms used are ‘pulled his last pint’ and ‘wearing a wooden onesie’ 

Marie Curie is urging Britons to avoid euphemisms when talking about death, especially around children.

Instead, the charity says using direct language is the best approach when talking about death with expressions like ‘popped their clogs’ and ‘kicked the bucket,’ considered unhelpful.    

It comes as Marie Curie commissioned a poll of almost 8,000 people revealing that more than 50 different phrases are used by Britons to describe death. ‘Kicking the bucket,’ ‘popped their clogs’ and ‘pushing up daisies,’ are among the most popular. 

Marie Curie commissioned a poll of almost 8,000 people revealing that more than 50 different phrases are used by Britons to describe death. ‘Kicking the bucket,’ ‘popped their clogs’ and ‘pushing up daisies,’ are among the most popular

The research, to encourage us to talk more openly about dying, also uncovered a string of more unusual phrases, including: ‘pulled his last pint’, ‘wearing a wooden onesie’ and ‘walking over the rainbow bridge’. 

It revealed ‘passed away’ is the most popular term, with 49 per cent of people using it, followed by ‘kick the bucket’ (24%).

The reason we use expressions – which also include ‘no longer with us,’ ‘snuffed it’ and ‘turning turtle’- is because we want to be seen as ‘less harsh’ or ‘blunt’ the charity said.

The research, to encourage us to talk more openly about dying, also uncovered a string of more unusual phrases, including: 'pulled his last pint', 'wearing a wooden onesie' and 'walking over the rainbow bridge'

The research, to encourage us to talk more openly about dying, also uncovered a string of more unusual phrases, including: ‘pulled his last pint’, ‘wearing a wooden onesie’ and ‘walking over the rainbow bridge’

Among the more unusual expressions we use were ‘tripping the light fantastic’, ‘doing the final moonwalk’ and ‘become one with the force.’

Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed said: ‘The results show the nation has at least 50 completely different ways of talking about death which suggests society still has some way to go to feel comfortable about talking about dying, death and bereavement.

Marie Curie is urging Britons to avoid euphemisms when talking about death, especially around children

Marie Curie is urging Britons to avoid euphemisms when talking about death, especially around children

‘While most of us say we are comfortable talking about dying and death, the reality is that many of us are not making any preparations as it feels a long way off or something that will cause unnecessary upset both for us and the people around us.

‘But we need to plan more for the end of life, while there is still time to do so. Having these conversations early can be easier than having them when we, or someone we love, is dying.’

Marie Curie has launched its first nationwide television advert to encourage people to talk about dying and make an end of life plan.

What are the top 15 phrases used by Britons to describe death? 

Passing/passed away/over/on

Kick the bucket

Popped their clogs

Left us/no longer with us/gone

Pushing up daisies

Snuffed it

Gone to heaven/ in heaven

Leaving this mortal coil

Meet/met your/their/his/her make

Gone to a better place

Fell asleep/gone to sleep/the big sleep/eternal sleep

Moved/ Moving on/moved over

Croak/croaked/croaked it

Brown bread/tatty bread

6 feet under

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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