Pushing up daisies

Pushing up daisies is an idiom with roots in nineteenth century flower lore. We will examine the meaning of the idiom pushing up daisies, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Pushing up daisies is an idiom and a euphemism that describes something that is dead. A euphemism a word or phrase that is a substitute for a more blunt, harsh, offensive, or unpleasant word or phrase. A euphemism is a way of saying unpleasant facts or ideas in a more pleasant, vague, or gentle manner, often using colloquial phrases or modern slang. The idiom pushing up daisies has its roots in poetic imagery that appeared in the 1800s in phrases such as “under the daisies” and “turning one’s toes up to the daisies.” Daisies were considered a sign of purity. They grew easily and were often planted on graves. The expression pushing up daisies gained popularity because of its use by British troops during World War I as a euphemism for death.

Examples

“If Hampton Roads waited for state dollars to widen I-64, I would be pushing up daisies in Cedar Grove Cemetery.” (The Daily Press)

The rear-wheel-drive Regal will be put to rest at the end of 1987, and its turbocharged and intercooled 3.8-liter V-6 will start pushing up daisies as well. (Car and Driver Magazine)

But bear in mind that the mix of materials means they cannot be recycled, so they will be taking up room in landfill long after we’re all pushing up daisies. (The Financial Times)