Die of vs. by and die from

Would any one describe how the following perpositions differ from one another:

die of
die by
die from

All three prepositions are used. Yet their usage seems to vary or be more popular according to the cause of death.

Here are only a few examples of popularity by number of results in Google (if it’s anything to go by) – I mean frequency of preposition usage not of death causes!

To die of Aids, of bird flu, of hunger, of overeating, of a heart attack, of cancer, of pneumonia, of childbirth, of stress, of a broken heart, of sorrow, of love, of curiosity (figurative language only, I hope)…

To die from car/road accidents, from desease, from illness, from stroke, from a wound, from smoking, from drinking, from sudden death, from a weapon, from injury, from war, from religion…

To die by (through the means of) the sword, by suicide, by overdose, by a bullet…

There doesn’t seem to be a rule, but to die by is only seldom used, apparently.

I thought these Thesaurus synonyms of the verb to die might be of interest:

Be taken, bump off, buy it, cash in, chalk out, check out, conk, cool, croak, dance, decease, demise, depart, drop, drop dead, drop off, drown, eat it, expire, finish, go west, hang, kick off, one-way ticket, perish, pop off, relinquish life, snuff, sprout wings, succumb, suffocate

More synonyms: bite the dust, buy the farm, cash in one’s chips, cease living, kick the bucket, meet one’s maker, pass on, push up daisies

My favourite is to be pushing up the daisies, which can be translated as:

French: ‘manger les pissenlits par les racines (to eat the dandelions by the roots – at least their dead get to eat something!)

German: ‘die Radieschen von unten anschauen/betrachten’ (see/view the radishes from below)

Spanish: ‘criar malvas’ (to grow mallows).

The Polish say ‘to smell the flowers from the bottom’.

Aren’t the expressions to sprout wings and to meet one’s Maker original, too?

These people are dying of illnesses and emotions that they can’t help.

These are mostly sudden, unforeseen tragedies.

These people are dying by objects or substances used to inflict injury. In the US some murderers in prison (not in my state) die by lethal injection after decades of court appeals.

You can also die OF or FROM an overdose, and die OF or FROM a bullet wound (but I think you have to die BY the bullet itself).

Speaking of dying, the Czech language has separate words for it, depending on whether it’s a person or an animal dying. The Albanians tell me they have almost the same configuration in their language, except that one word applies to animals, and the other word applies to people and bees.

Thank you for your interesting explication.

Other languages, like the following, make the same distinction in this and other verbs:

French: to die – mourir/crever; to bear/to give birth – accoucher/mettre bas (v?ler – to calve)
German: to eat – essen/fressen
Spanish: to give birth – dar a luz/parir