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Difference between Buy the farm and Sell the farm

buy the farm —(coll.) die, especially suddenly or violently (also: buy it):

  • Well, I almost bought the farm last weekend. A friend was driving too aggressively and she put us into a dangerous situation.

sell the farmsell all one’s assetts to invest in a new venture; act rashly or overreact:

  • The economy has been tough on everyone these days, but don’t sell the farm just yet.

Cf.: who wouldn’t sell a farm and go to sea—(Nautical catch phrase)

1. used to express one’s genuine delight at being at sea:

  • Kettle looked round at the elaborate fittings of the cabin. Lord! Who wouldn’t sell a farm and go to sea?

2. used ironically when smth. difficult has to be done:

  • ’Tis when that order comes on cold, blustering nights that “Jack” grimly mutters: “Who would not sell a farm and go to sea?”

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase give away the farm—negotiate poorly or make a deal that puts one at a serious disadvantage:

  • He signed a law that gave away the farm to big drug companies while leaving seniors with hardly any benefits.