go the way of all flesh

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Equivalent to Danish gå al kødets gang, German den Weg allen Fleisches gehen.

Verb[edit]

go the way of all flesh (third-person singular simple present goes the way of all flesh, present participle going the way of all flesh, simple past went the way of all flesh, past participle gone the way of all flesh)

  1. (euphemistic) To die; to follow a course leading to death or extinction.
    • 1624, John Donne, "Devotions upon Emergent Occasions," Meditation XVII:
      ...That though the body be going the way of all flesh, yet that soul is going the way of all saints.
    • 1888, Thomas Hardy, "The Three Strangers," in Wessex Tales,
      The first stranger handed his neighbor the family mug—a huge vessel of brown ware, having its upper edge worn away like a threshold by the rub of whole generations of thirsty lips that had gone the way of all flesh.
    • 1922, John Galsworthy, chapter 11, in The Forsyte Saga:
      What could one do? Buy them and stick them in a lumber-room? No; they had to go the way of all flesh and furniture, and be worn out.
    • 1967, "Tops & Bottoms," Time, 18 Aug.,
      On the U.S. West Coast, the clubs and restaurants that feature topless female entertainers and waitresses also seemed to be going the way of all flesh. In Los Angeles, 20% of the joints have closed.
    • 2006, Laura Wertheimer, "Clerical Dissent, Popular Piety, and Sanctity in 14th-Century Peterborough," Journal of British Studies, vol. 45, no. 1, p. 3,
      Laurence of Oxford went the way of all flesh on the gallows.

Synonyms[edit]