Death, X of

[common] A construction used to imbue the subject with campy menace, usually with intent to ridicule. The ancestor of this term is a famous Far Side cartoon from the 1980s in which a balloon with a fierce face painted on it is passed off as the “Floating Head of Death”. Hackers and SF fans have been using the suffix “of Death” ever since to label things which appear to be vastly threatening but will actually pop like a balloon if you prick them. Such constructions are properly spoken in a tone of over-exagerrated portentiousness: “Behold! The Spinning - Pizza - of - Death!” See Blue Screen of Death, Ping O' Death, Spinning Pizza of Death, click of death. Compare Doom, X of.