dismal trade

dismal trade
   the arranging of funerals for payment
   Literally, dismal means dreary:
    There was no reason to believe the bigvolume concerns will demonstrate a more tender regard for the pocket-books of their customers than has traditionally been the case in the Dismal Trade. (J. Mitford, 1963)
   A dismal trader is not necessarily gloomy about business, and dismals were once mourning clothes.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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