Dance on someone’s grave is an idiom of uncertain origin. An idiom is a word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words, or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, chin up, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom dance on someone’s grave, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.
To dance on someone’s grave means to rejoice in that person’s death, to be happy that person has passed on. Sometimes, a person may tell someone that he will dance on that person’s grave, meaning that he will outlive that person and celebrate when that person dies. The idiom dance on someone’s grave is also used to mean to rejoice in someone’s misfortune or in his downfall. The sentiment behind the idiom is that the speaker will triumph. The origin of dance on someone’s grave is uncertain and may be a translation of an idiom from another language. The phrase has been in use in English since at least the late 1800s. Related phrases are dances on someone’s grave, danced on someone’s grave, dancing on someone’s grave.
Replied the ever sober Jonathan Willis of The Athletic: “I don’t think I’d dance on his grave, but we’re talking more than a year now of sustained sub-.900 SV% play. ” (The Edmonton Journal)
On various platforms, such comments were common and congregants of Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries on social media would perhaps have been taken aback by the attack on their spiritual father by keyboard warriors who seemed to have been waiting for an opportunity to dance on his grave. (The Zimbabwe Mail)
The sister of a young man murdered by the IRA more than 30 years ago has accused dissident republicans of dancing on his grave. (The Belfast Telegraph)