buy the farm

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  • (file)


buy the farm (third-person singular simple present buys the farm, present participle buying the farm, simple past and past participle bought the farm)

  1. (idiomatic, US, informal, euphemistic) To die; generally, to die in battle or in a plane crash.
    • 1959, Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers[1], page 131:
      You're just as dead if you buy the farm in an "incident" as if you buy it in a declared war.
    • 1984, G. Harry Stine, Manna[2], page 221:
      Then tracers laced the sky in front of me. Forget the shooting! If I get distracted now, I'll buy the farm anyway!
    • 1995, Steve Allen, “Having a Good Time”, in Ann McDonough & Kent R. Brown, editor, A Grand Entrance[3], published 2000, →ISBN, page 212:
      BETTY. Shoot, if I knew you was gonna buy the farm I coulda asked for everything you got in the world... How were you gonna do it? ¶ROGER (takes revolver out of briefcase). With this.
    • 2002, W. Barry Baird, Vietnam Journey[4], →ISBN, page 171:
      They gambled with as much reckless abandon as they flew their airplanes. They knew they might buy the farm tomorrow.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This idiom is most often found in its past tense and past participle form bought the farm.




  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck