rest in power


rest in power (idiom)
/rɛst ɪn ˈpaʊər/


  • to express extreme respect and honor for a luminary who has passed away,
  • recognize and honor the legacy and impact of a notable individual who has passed away.
  • used as a deep lament over the loss of a beloved person.
  • to convey a sense of continuing the work and mission of the deceased, implying that their influence and efforts persist beyond their lives.

Rest in Power is a variation of Rest in Peace (RIP) that honors a cherished or favorite person who continues to live on in their hearts even after their death.

Obituaries, tributes, social media posts, and speeches frequently use “rest in power” to honor the deceased’s contributions to society, particularly in the context of activism and social change. It contrasts with the more traditional “rest in peace” by emphasizing the ongoing influence and enduring legacy of the individual.

Example Sentence

  1. After his tragic death, many supporters and activists gathered to say, ‘Rest in power, our hero.’
  2. She was a tireless advocate for women’s rights, and the community remembers her with the phrase, ‘Rest in power.’
  3. Though he is no longer with us, his fight for justice continues. Rest in power, brother.
  4. Today, we mourn Meggy’s passing, honoring her impactful life and wishing her to rest in power, her legacy forever cherished.
  5. We say goodbye to John, a champion of justice. May he rest in power, guiding us forward with his courage and kindness.

Origin and History

The phrase “Rest in Power” emerged from African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and has deep roots in the civil rights and Black liberation movements. It embodies the sentiment of honoring the deceased by recognizing their impact and influence, particularly in challenging systemic inequalities and advocating for justice.

Cultural Significance

Black Liberation Movements: During the 1960s and 1970s, activists and leaders such as Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party used variations of the phrase to eulogize fallen comrades. It signified not just a wish for peaceful rest but also a call to continue their work towards empowerment and equality.

Hip-Hop Culture

In the 1980s and 1990s, hip-hop artists began incorporating “Rest in Power” into their lyrics and dedications, further popularizing the phrase. It became a way to pay homage to deceased artists, producers, and community figures while highlighting their lasting impact.

Linguistic Evolution

The evolution of “Rest in Power” reflects broader shifts in language and cultural expression:

From Rest in Peace to Rest in Power

While “Rest in Peace” (RIP) traditionally conveys a wish for a peaceful afterlife, “Rest in Power” expands this sentiment to acknowledge the deceased’s influence and agency during their life.

Social Media and Popular Culture

With the rise of social media platforms and hashtags, “Rest in Power” has transcended its cultural origins and entered mainstream discourse. It is used not only in Black communities but also by individuals and groups honoring influential figures from diverse backgrounds.

Contemporary Usage

Today, “Rest in Power” continues to resonate in contexts beyond its original cultural and activist roots:

Social Justice Movements

Activists use the phrase to commemorate victims of injustice and violence, emphasizing their resilience and impact on advocacy efforts.

Celebrity Tributes

This phrase is frequently used in public tributes to celebrities and public figures known for their activism or advocacy work.

“Rest in Power” is more than just a phrase; it encapsulates a deep-seated respect and admiration for those who have left a lasting mark on society. Its origins in African American Vernacular English and its evolution through cultural movements like hip-hop illustrate how language can evolve to encompass broader meanings of resilience, empowerment, and social justice.

Gangsters shot and killed Sidhu Moosewala, a prominent figure in Punjabi music. He was known for his impactful songs. Interestingly, Sidhu Moosewala incorporated the idiom “rest in power” in his song “Signed to God.” This phrase resonates deeply with his fans and the music community at large. In the track, Moosewala pays homage to influential figures and uses the idiom to honor their memory, reflecting its resonance beyond its original cultural context into global music and popular culture.

Globally, “Rest in Power” continues to honor the legacies of individuals who challenged the status quo, serving as a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of those striving for a better world.

Share your opinions

What's on your mind?