you shouldn't speak ill of the dead

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you shouldn't speak ill of the dead

It is immoral or objectionable to say malicious or defamatory things about someone who has passed away. A: "Ah, Tom was just a selfish old bigot." B: "Mary! You shouldn't speak ill of the dead!" You say we shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but we shouldn't forget the misdeeds of those who were once in power, either, lest history repeats itself.
See also: dead, ill, of, speak
References in periodicals archive ?
He told the Sunday Times magazine: "It is said you shouldn't speak ill of the dead but it seems to me an ideal opportunity.
"They say you shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but they can't sue," he observes with a little glee.
But before you all jump up and down in disgust, proclaiming I shouldn't speak ill of the dead, I'm not.
Evidently Crusher's letter was rude about Arena Leisure and now Arena are going to take all of us to the Old Bailey unless we say sorry, even though Arena had said rude things about the Future Funding Plan, which is dead, and you shouldn't speak ill of the dead.
I KNOW one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but it's tempting to make an exception in Princess Margaret's case, given all the stories about her.
You shouldn't speak ill of the dead, they say, but I blame that grizzled old vicar for a lot of this nonsense, sitting in his little cottage in Llyn, quivering with a mindless hatred for all things English.
You shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but we're making an exception in the case of Danny.