I told my friend about a person that died and he corrected me and told me that using the word 'died' about person isn't frequent although it isn't a mistake, instead, he added, it's more natural to say 'passed away'.

This friend isn't a native English speaker and he told me that someone else told him the same, so I am not sure whether it's correct info or not.

  • 1
    I wouldn't say it 'isn't frequent' or is 'less natural'. Some people have no problem with using the simple, direct word died, others prefer the euphemism passed away - it's entirely a matter of personal taste. Apr 1, 2020 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


It can also be from a position of respect as everyone has a different belief/paradigm of what death actually signifies for them. It does take time for everyone to process the manner in which they conceive of the physical and/or spiritual context in which they can allow themselves to process through the stages of grief and loss. It is wrong to assume that all parts of the grieving process take place in linear fashion. They do not, as memories of someone departed from this early life do reappear from time to time, when tears of happiness and loss can be experienced in veneerer to the same event. This is a reference regarding the meaning behind the term 'passed away'. Read it and think about your own impressions and thoughts. 'Pass away' - the meaning and origin of this phrase: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/278400.html

Here are some other euphemisms for 'death':

they bought the farm.

they kicked the bucket.

they passed on.

they passed over.

they departed this life.

Even they passed is also used.

This link might be helpful.


  • 3
    You forgot "Pulled down the curtain and joined the choir invisible" (!)
    – James K
    Apr 1, 2020 at 6:40
  • However I question whether it comes from "Judaism". The source you give has a 15th century use, which comes from a time when the Jewish population of England was very low (following the expulsion at the end of the 13th century)
    – James K
    Apr 1, 2020 at 6:43
  • @James K, Hello. I didn't have to give all the list of euphemisms. :D
    – Void
    Apr 1, 2020 at 6:47
  • Oops... I quoted it from somewhere... I forgot to put it in quotation marks...
    – Void
    Apr 1, 2020 at 6:48
  • 1
    When I was 15, a school friend told me his father had said to him, "Grandpa's pegged out". Apr 1, 2020 at 12:23

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