What Does the Phrase “He Bought the Farm” Mean and How Did the Expression Originate?

During the Second World War, airmen introduced the term “he bought the farm” after a pilot was shot down.

The expression soon caught on with all the armed services.

It meant that if you gave your life for your country, your impoverished family would receive insurance money for your death, which would help pay off the mortgage on the family farm.

Death for your country meant you were “buying the farm” for your parents.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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