Graves


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roll (over) in (one's) grave

To (hypothetically) show enormous anger, disfavor, or regret for something that happens after one has died. (That is, if someone were still alive, they would be greatly upset, angered, or disgusted by what has happened.) I can't believe you're using our employees' pension payments to prop up a Ponzi scheme. The founder of this once-great company would be rolling in his grave to see its directors stoop so low. Your poor mother would roll over in her grave if she heard the horrible things you were saying about your sister. I can't believe you wrecked your grandfather's prized vintage Ford Mustang. That's enough to make him roll over in his grave!
See also: grave, roll

swear on (one's) mother's grave

To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. Janet has sworn on her mother's grave that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her. I swear on my mother's grave that if I have a chance to help your campaign, I will.
See also: grave, on, swear

dig (one's) own grave

To do something that has or will have negative consequences that are easily able to be foreseen. If you don't turn in your project, you're digging your own grave. There's no way you'll get a decent grade without it! I'm afraid I'm digging my own grave by turning down the promotion.
See also: dig, grave, own

go to (one's) grave

To die. I'm just worried that you'll go to your grave angry at your sister.
See also: grave

make (one) turn over in (one's) grave

Figuratively, to upset someone who is dead and buried. The way you dress would make your grandmother turn over in her grave.
See also: grave, make, over, turn

carry a secret to (one's)/the grave

To keep (not reveal) a secret for the duration of one's life. I can't believe that Grandma carried such a huge family secret to her grave! If Uncle Joe hadn't blurted it out, we'd never have known about it! Oh, Emily is a loyal friend—she would definitely carry a secret to the grave.
See also: carry, grave, secret

turn (over) in (one's) grave

To (hypothetically) show enormous anger, disfavor, or regret for someone's actions or something that happens after one has died. That is, if someone were still alive, they would be greatly upset, angered, or disgusted by what has happened. I can't believe you're using our employees' pension payments to prop up a Ponzi scheme. The founder of this once-great company would be turning in his grave to see its directors stoop so low. Your poor mother would turn over in her grave if she heard the horrible things you were saying about your sister. I can't believe you wrecked your grandfather's prized truck. That's enough to make him turn over in his grave!
See also: grave, turn

take a/the secret to (one's)/the grave

To not reveal a secret for the duration of one's life. I can't believe that grandma took such a huge family secret to her grave! If Uncle Joe hadn't blurted it out, we'd never have known about it! Oh, Emily is a loyal friend—she would definitely take the secret to the grave.
See also: grave, secret, take
References in classic literature ?
The grave, Sir; making the grave," stammered the sexton.
Slowly and peacefully, the father sank into the grave, and, soon after, the sharer of all his cares and troubles followed him to a place of rest.
The stone on which he had first seen the goblin seated, stood bolt upright before him, and the grave at which he had worked, the night before, was not far off.
He ended the anthem, as he had commenced it, in the midst of a grave and solemn stillness.
Then came a procession like the other, and the whole nation was collected about the temporary grave of the chief-- temporary, because it was proper that, at some future day, his bones should rest among those of this own people.
The same grave expression of grief, the same rigid silence, and the same deference to the principal mourner, were observed around the place of interment as have been already described.
The balance of the loose earth was thrown far and wide, and a mass of dead undergrowth spread in as natural a manner as possible over the new-made grave to obliterate all signs of the ground having been disturbed.
Soon he discovered a spade hidden by the underbrush which they had laid upon the grave.
This he dragged from the grave and laid to one side.
Where their house would have stood, there was his grave.
Johnson so much," continued Grandfather, "that it was the last request of many of them, when they died, that they might be buried as near as possible to this good man's grave.
For it was you," added this pitiless friend of the dead, - "it was you who sped these two men to the grave.
God forbid, madame, that I should offend a woman, or that I should make her weep in vain; but I must say that the place of the murderer is not upon the grave of her victims.
Throughout the whole of a ceremony, which is ever solemn and admonitory, the squatter had maintained a grave and serious deportment.
We raised the boy, and made him such as few others were like, on the frontiers of America; and we have given him a grave.