buried alive

< Previous | Next >

easychen

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

The senator was buried alive in the June primaries.

How do you interpret buried alive here?

Thanks
 
  • easychen

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    :D
    It means he lost (the vote) badly (by a huge margin).
    Hi Copyright,

    I've looked in almost every kind of dictionary and couldn't find any explanations similar to what you offered. The English language is sometimes rather arbitrary, isn't it?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Sometimes, but not in this case. "To bury" is to put a body in the ground and cover it with earth. Since the body is usually dead, we say that someone is "buried alive" if they are buried while they are still alive. This is just an extension of that literal phrase into a metaphorical usage: The candidate is buried (in defeat), and of course while he is still alive.

    "Buried alive" sounds much more dramatic than simply "buried," although we use "buried" by itself: "I'd love to come to your party, but I'm buried in work." We use "bury" regularly to mean defeat someone, e.g. "The big game is on Tuesday and we're going to bury them" (the opposing team).
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top