an airman lost in action
   Second World War usage, as an abbreviation of not yet returned from a mission over enemy territory:
    'We've got a lot of NYRs, Lester.' 'Not yet returned doesn't mean dead.' (Deighton, 1982 — but it meant shot down or crashed, with death a probability)

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

Look at other dictionaries:

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