What does "carry me out with my boots on" mean?

Shaich, 63, has said that he wasn’t looking to sell the company, but changed his mind after being approached by JAB. He will remain on as CEO. “I’m here and and I’m doing this,” he told ABC earlier on Wednesday. “They’ll have to carry me out with my boots on.”

Source: How Ron Shaich made nearly 400 million pretax and beat Buffett along the way

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    It means a soldier died fighting, and use figuratively in other contexts.
    – fifolo
    Apr 6, 2017 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


It’s a variant of the idiom die with one’s boots on. According to TFD:

die with your boots on
to die while you are still actively involved in your work : I never want to retire – I'd rather die with my boots on.

So the CEO is saying that he wants to work at the company a lot longer.

Note: this is typically used as figurative speech; that is, people who say this aren’t necessarily saying that they genuinely hope to one day die in the workplace. Rather, they are using this expression to emphasize there are no plans for retirement in the near future.

  • A chance that 'you'll have to pry the gun from his cold, dead hand' as well.
    – M.Mat
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:46

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