Glosso’s advent calendar: Baubles of Britishisms – Dec 1


In the run-up to Christmas, Glosso offers its popular evergreen advent calendar, “Baubles of Britishisms”. Each day, leading up to the quintessential British day of rest and relaxation – “Boxing Day” – you’ll open a window to the world of quirky Brit-speak.


On day 1, we’ll kick off with one of our euphemisms for kicking the bucket. What could be more quintessentially English?

To pop your clogs.

“It’s hard to resist the lure of a wrong ’un. Especially one who’s rough and ready on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Well, maybe that’s a rose-tinted way of looking at Emmerdale’s Ross Barton, a car-jacking, drug-dealing thug – but he did save a child from the path of a speeding car (hot). And he’d have jacked it all in for love if the object of his desires hadn’t popped her clogs first. Sigh…” — Daily Mirror, 10 Nov 2014

To croak, or pop off. World Wide Words dates it back to the 1970s, and suggests that it had something to do with pawning goods. (See Glossophilia’s earlier post on the language of death and dying.)

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