The Most Distinctive Obituary Expressions for ‘died’ in Each State
If you’re an American alive today, chances are you’ve heard or used one of over 100 different euphemisms for death. Mental Floss partnered with Legacy.com to dig through hundreds of thousands of obituaries from every state in the USA to find out what euphemisms are used most for the word ‘died’.
From the study Mental Floss says:
In 2015, Legacy.com hosted 2,408,142 obituaries across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 1,341,870 included one of their 10 most common euphemisms, or the word died.
The top term is unsurprising. “Passed away” was used in 32.5 percent of all obituaries and topped the national list. In every single state, it was either “passed away” or “died” (20.6 percent nationwide at #2) that was used most often. The relative prevalence of each of these terms paints a much more diverse picture, however.
In the map above you can see what expression was used most in each state for the word ‘died’. The highest value gives the phrase that is most “characteristic” to that state.
Graphic by Chloe Effron
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