Why do we say "Over My Dead Body"?

Well-Known Expressions

Over My Dead Body

Meaning:

I will not allow that to happen

Background:

This phrase appears to date back to the early nineteenth century. It is almost always used in the first person, even in reported speech. For example:

"The official rhetoric from the business community toward any tax increase continues to be an over-my-dead-body 'no'" - Boston Globe, 1989

"Folks differ on what exactly happened when she confronted the Army Corps of Engineers three decades ago, but they agree the message was clear: You'll take this far over my dead body."


Sample quotes thanks to Gregory Titelman's America's Popular Proverbs and Sayings.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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