Green’s Dictionary of Slang

buy the farm v.

also buy the mall, ...motherfucker, …ranch, …six-by-three farm, buy a plot
[orig. US Air Force use: ‘Jet pilots say that when a jet crashes on a farm the farmer usually sues the government for damage done to his farm by the crash, and the amount demanded is always more than enough to pay off the mortgage and then buy the farm outright. Since this type of crash (i.e. in a jet fighter) is nearly always fatal to the pilot, the pilot pays for the farm with his life’ from 1955 Leo F. Engler ‘A Glossary of Air Force Sl.’ in American Speech Vol XXX No 2 116. Note RAF sl. bought it, ult. f. WWI bought a packet]

to die.

[US]L.F. Engler ‘Gloss. Air Force Sl.’ in AS XXX:2 116: BUY THE FARM; BUY A PLOT, v. phr. Crash fatally.
[US]E. Shepard Doom Pussy 168: Whoever he is, he bought the farm at the Green Apples today.
[US]Army Times ‘Army Talk in Vietnam’ 10 Apr. n.p.: buy the farm: to be killed. Sometimes ‘buy the six-by-three farm.’.
[US]New Yorker 15 Mar. 95: The only thing I can tell you is that two of my people have bought the farm, and if I don’t get it two more will.
[US]G.V. Higgins Patriot Game (1985) 61: Harrington bought the ranch.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 23: The whole company, except for this one cat, caught some mean kind of shit and every swinging dick but him bought the motherfucker.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 97: The dogs aren’t living as long as they used to. Nothing is. It’s weird. I mean, one expects snow-leopards and cockatoos and tsessebes to buy the farm eventually. But dogs?
[US]G. Indiana Rent Boy 50: A lot of Bruce’s friends have like bought the farm from AIDS.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 82: Al got shot, Cloud bought the farm, I got busted.
[US]J. Stahl Plainclothes Naked (2002) 4: Till he bought the mall at ninety, Pop Lee snored like an idling diesel.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 87: What a waste of Angie Dickinson, by the way! Never would’ve thought she’d buy the farm by scene three and that.
[US]T. Piccirilli Last Kind Words 270: ‘[A] family of thieves. One’s on death row and due for the needle, and another just bought the farm’.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 209: Bird bought the farm and bid us bye-bye.