Some believe this phrase may have originated in the trenches of the World Wars. The common dream of returning home to purchase a plot of land, become a farmer, and live a simple life was often cut short in battle. The phrase may have been an ironic reference to the end of that dream.

To "buy the farm", is to die, usually in combat. Used since WWII, the term is commonly taken to refer to the death benefit provided a soldier's family. Another interpretation is that it is a term meaning retirement, in this case permanently. Yet a third is that soldiers buy land with blood and fire, and dying meant you bought your share.

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