Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (of the movement or transportation of a person or animal) With the feet preceding the rest of the body.
- (idiomatic, euphemistic) In the manner of a deceased person (i.e., dead).
1910, Jack London, chapter 4, in Burning Daylight:
- "If that door opens and any one of you cusses lets on there's anything unusual, right here and then I sure start plugging. They ain't a soul'll get out the room except feet first."
- 1943 Oct. 18, "How to Be a Racketeer," Time:
- "‘Anybody resigns from us resigns feet first, understand?’ he tells me. So I didn't resign."
- 2001 May 23, Robin Finn, "Public Lives," New York Times (retrieved 9 Sep 2009):
- "They'll probably have to take me out of here feet first," says Ms. Steinem, punctuating the prediction with a growl of laughter (mortality has been in the back of her mind since breast cancer treatment a dozen years ago. . .).