Where does the phrase "went to the bridge" come from?
August 21, 2007 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Where does the phrase "went to the bridge" come from and what exactly does it mean?

I have seen this phrase used to mean that a person's pet has died. I have only just seen it recently, and only online, never heard someone say it in person about a pet, or about another human. (More specifically, about pets with shorter lifespans than cats or dogs, but sometimes cats & dogs.)

Is it supposed to be a non-religious way of saying they've "gone to a better place"? Or does it have a religious meaning, like it's a bridge to the afterlife?

Why do people use this for pets instead of 'passed on' or 'died', as one would say about a human?

I googled it but just got many sad stories about pets, or stories about actual bridges. Thanks.
posted by jesirose to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think it comes from this.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:55 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think you're pretty darn right! How did you find that? Thank you!
posted by jesirose at 3:57 PM on August 21, 2007

Maybe it's Rainbow Bridge.

This piece of schmaltz has been circulating since before the Internet, and I'm embarrassed to admit it always makes me mist up a little bit.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:58 PM on August 21, 2007

In which case, you may be interested in the original Rainbow Bridge.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:17 PM on August 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think it has earlier roots. James Brown always sang, "take me to the bridge" in his early soul recordings and I believe it goes much further back than that to early blues music.
posted by JJ86 at 7:42 PM on August 21, 2007

My first thought was "take me to the bridge," but that is clearly a reference to the musical bridge.

If the bridge typically came at the end of the song, I could see using it as a metaphor for death, but in this case it seems like a coincidence.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:10 PM on August 21, 2007

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