Death Warmed Over


What does Death Warmed Over mean?

“Death warmed over” is a popular idiomatic expression, used to comment on someone’s sickly looks.

It is usually seen as “You look like death warmed over” commenting on the fact that one appears to be stalked by the angel of death.


What's the origin of Death Warmed Over?

Although the exact origin of the phrase “Death walked over” is not known, one of the earliest citations of the phrase can be found in the 1939 slang dictionary of the New Zealand authoress, Ngaio Marsh, published under the title “The Soldier’s War Slang Dictionary”.

It was also featured by her in her 1942 novel “Death and the Dancing Footman”.

Spread & Usage

How did Death Warmed Over spread?

In the decades following World War 2, the expression “Death warmed over” started gaining traction in the entire Anglosphere, thanks to spreading among English speaking comrades during the clashes on the Pacific.

During the second half of the 20th century, the phrase was featured in countless films, movies, as well as novels and magazines.

“Death warmed over” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on December 7th, 2006.

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