a fate worse than death


a fate worse than death
Meaning
Rape or loss of virginity.
Origin
Probably originated in Victorian England and attested to the belief that a dishonoured woman was better off dead. Still used but ironically of late. Edgar Rice Burroughs used it in his Tarzan of the Apes, 1914. 'The ape ... bearing Jane Porter away toward a fate a thousand times worse than death'.

Meaning and origin of phrases. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fate worse than death — Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • fate worse than death —    Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • fate worse than death —    unsought extramarital copulation by a woman    A pre Second World War use, acknowledging the convention that women should be virgins when they married:     So being rattled stupid by Solomon would be no fate worse than death for her. (Fraser,… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • Fate worse than death —   Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • (a) fate worse than death — a fate worse than death often humorous phrase something very bad that could happen to you He saved me from a fate worse than death. Thesaurus: difficult situations and experiencessynonym Main entry: fate * * * a fate worse than ˈdeath …   Useful english dictionary

  • (a) fate worse than death — a very bad or unpleasant experience. She felt that having to move to a small town was a fate worse than death. Usage notes: often used in a humorous way to describe something that is not too serious: Spending a day with my aunt would be a fate… …   New idioms dictionary

  • a fate worse than death — 1. Orig an ordeal more horrible or degrading than simple death, esp rape 2. (now chiefly facetious) any terrible ordeal • • • Main Entry: ↑fate * * * I a terrible experience, esp. that of seduction or rape II see death …   Useful english dictionary

  • a fate worse than death — often humorous something very bad that could happen to you He saved me from a fate worse than death …   English dictionary

  • be a fate worse than death — humorous to be the worst thing that can happen to you. When you re 16, an evening at home with your parents is a fate worse than death …   New idioms dictionary

  • A Fate Totally Worse than Death — Infobox Book | name = A Fate Totally Worse than Death image caption = First edition 1995 author = Paul Fleischman cover artist = Jeff Wack country = U.S.A. language = English genre = Parody publisher = Candlewick pub date = October 2 1995 media… …   Wikipedia