In a small snippet of mid-day radio, in my car between the post office and the bank, I heard a caller make mention that his mom knew Billly The Kid's mom; "when she was very old, and she died late in her life."
She died late in her life.
Now, seeing as how death is the end of life, I'd figure that right before you die, that's late in your life. "Late in the day" seems alright because the day always ends at the same time and we all know that at a quarter 'til midnight, we've got fifteen minutes 'til tomorrow is here; but death can get ya at any time. Whether you're fifteen or fifty-something or ninety-nine, the day before you die is guaranteeably late in your life, whether you see it coming or not, isn't it??
I was so proud to hear the in-studio guest (historian) shoot the whole mess down without even going into my little language rant there.
The Historian's Response: "Well, I doubt that that's the case because his mother died quite young, she was forty-seven." The historian also asked the caller what year his mother was born; but I didn't get to hear because I had to roll the window down at the drive-thru teller.
What I really wanted to know was did he shoot the Chihuahua or did they just use that line 'cause it fit in the song?