Admirers of vivid vernacular will want to speed forthwith to Dead & Buried, an alphabetized list of 213 euphemisms for death and dying. I'd known that many such euphemisms come to us via the hangman (kick the bucket, kick the can, dance on air, etc.), but who'd have guessed that restaurant chefs were such connoisseurs of the macabre? A sampling:
Basting the formaldehyde turkey
Donating the liver paté
Fettucine al dead-o
Has reservations at the Chateau Eternity
Just Add Maggots
Marinating in soil and worms
Promoted to Subterranean Truffle Inspector
Put in the crisper
Sleeping with the quiches
From non-culinary sources, I also rather like "retroactive abortion" and--ascribed to technical writers--"moved into upper management."
I discovered this trove via You Don't Say, the blog of Baltimore Sun assistant managing editor John McIntyre. McIntyre writes that he's puzzled about the origin of buying the farm; here's the story I remember hearing about that venerable euphemism:
A country boy, the son of tenant farmers, is drafted into the army. (Remember the draft? But I digress.) Slogging through basic training, he tells his bunkmates, "When I get home, I'm gonna buy me a farm." He gets orders to ship overseas; aboard the aircraft carrier, he says at every opportunity, "When I get home, I'm gonna buy me a farm." He's immediately sent into combat. Running through enemy fire, he shouts to his buddies, "Man, if I get through this, I'm gonna buy me farm." Suddenly he trips on a land mine and--boom! He's killed instantly. That evening, the members of his platoon pause to remember their fallen comrade. "Well," one of them says, "I guess he finally bought the farm."
More on buy the farm from WorldWide Words.