Why do we say "Like death warmed up.

Well-Known Expressions

Like death warmed up

Meaning:

To look totally exhausted or ill.

Background:

Early Use

The earliest use found is in the Soldier's War Slang Dictionary, published in 1939.

Soon after Ngaio Marsh used it in Death and the Dancing Footman (942): "I look like death warmed up and what I feel is nobody's business."

Ngaio Marsh, a contemporary of Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, wrote 32 classic English detective stories over a 50-year-span from 1932-1982. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, her first name is a Maori word, meaning "Reflections on the water."

In US English the norm is to say "death warmed over."

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Seven Days of Us
    by Francesca Hornak

    A warm, wry debut novel about a family forced to spend a week together over the holidays.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.