I was about to write in a public game chat that I was "Dead on Arrival" but got second doubts. While the game is combat and duel-oriented, I think the expressions is well suited for the situation I was in, I don't know if the term has very bad association with experiences real life, like miscarriage, and should be avoided for respect, even if used clearly in context of combat-related game.

So question is if the term 'Dead on arrival' causes discomfort and bad associations?

1 Answer 1


I don't think the term is associated with miscarriages so much as it is with ambulance patients. When a patient transported to a hospital in an emergency situated arrives dead, they are pronounced dead on arrival.

As for whether or not such language is necessarily bad, I don't think it is. Oxford even mentions a metaphorical usage, and offers an example sentence from a political context:

dead on arrival (Of an idea, etc.) declared ineffective without ever having been put into effect : why are people pronouncing the plan dead on arrival in the legislature?

Furthermore, a Google news search shows that the expression is often used on that context. I even found one recent movie review that used the expression to pan a film:

This dog [bad movie] is dead on arrival, and except for one weird comic performance by the star, there’s no hope for reviving a pulse.

However, when you're using language that is associated with death, you always run a risk. If I knew my best friend lost a relative in a car crash last week, I'd probably search for different words.

I'm not sure what you meant to convey when using that expression in chat. If you meant that you had arrived mentally tired, as a way of saying:

Sorry, everyone. I'm beat. It feels like Monday. I have a case of the blahs.

then I think

Sorry, folks, consider me DOA today.

would be an acceptable way to say that, particularly to a gaming audience.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .