(a) wake

(a) wake
   From the verbal form, which meant to stay awake to watch over a corpse, to prevent anyone trying to take it for sale:
    'There's a wake in the family,' an euphemistic expression for death. (EDD) For nobody cared to wake Sir Robert Redgauntlet like another corpse. (W. Scott, 1824)
   To wake the churchyard was not to sound the last trump but to keep an eye out for graverobbers:
    Wauk the kirkyard... to prevent the inroads of resurrection-men. (EDD)

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

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