wouldn't be caught dead

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wouldn't be caught/seen dead

if someone wouldn't be seen dead in a particular place or doing a particular thing, they would never do it, usually because it would be too embarrassing (often + adv/prep ) John's dad won't go to the christening, he wouldn't be seen dead in a church. (often + doing sth) Chris wouldn't be seen dead driving a Lada.
See cut dead, Drop dead!, knock them/'em dead
See also: caught, dead