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Encyclopedia > Euphemism

A euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener;[1] or in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker.[citation needed] It also may be a substitution of a description of something or someone rather than the name, to avoid revealing secret, holy, or sacred names to the uninitiated, or to obscure the identity of the subject of a conversation from potential eavesdroppers. Some euphemisms are intended to be funny.

Contents

Usage

When a phrase is used as a euphemism, it often becomes a metaphor whose literal meaning is dropped. Euphemisms may be used to hide unpleasant or disturbing ideas, even when the literal term for them is not necessarily offensive. This type of euphemism is used in public relations and politics, where it is sometimes called doublespeak. Sometimes, using euphemisms is equated to politeness. There are also superstitious euphemisms, based (consciously or subconsciously) on the idea that words have the power to bring bad fortune (for example, not speaking the word "cancer"; see Etymology and Common examples below) and religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are sacred, or that some words are spiritually imperiling (taboo; see Etymology and Religious euphemisms below). // Dictionary. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Doublespeak (sometimes double talk) is language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. ... True Politeness. ... This article is about cultural prohibitions in general, for other uses, see Taboo (disambiguation). ...


Etymology

The word euphemism comes from the Greek word euphemo, meaning "auspicious/good/fortunate speech/kind" which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eu (ευ), "good/well" + pheme (φήμη) "speech/speaking". The eupheme was originally a word or phrase used in place of a religious word or phrase that should not be spoken aloud; etymologically, the eupheme is the opposite of the blaspheme (evil-speaking). The primary example of taboo words requiring the use of a euphemism are the unspeakable names for a deity, such as Persephone, Hecate, or Nemesis. For the black metal band, see Blasphemy (band). ... This article is about the Greek goddess. ... For other uses, see Hecate (disambiguation). ... Note: This article contains special characters. ...


Historical linguistics has revealed traces of taboo deformations in many languages. Several are known to have occurred in Indo-European languages, including the original Proto-Indo-European words for bear (*rtkos), wolf (*wlkwos), and deer (originally, hart; the deformation likely occurred to avoid confusion with heart). In different Indo-European languages, each of these words has a difficult etymology because of taboo deformations—a euphemism was substituted for the original, which no longer occurs in the language. An example is the Slavic root for bear*medu-ed-, which means "honey eater". One example in English is "donkey" replacing the old Indo-European-derived word "ass". The word "dandelion" (lit., tooth of lion, referring to the shape of the leaves) is another example, being a substitute for pissenlit, meaning "the color of urine." Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... For other uses, see Bear (disambiguation). ... Wolf Wolf Man Mount Wolf Wolf Prizes Wolf Spider Wolf 424 Wolf 359 Wolf Point Wolf-herring Frank Wolf Friedrich Wolf Friedrich August Wolf Hugo Wolf Johannes Wolf Julius Wolf Max Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf Maximilian Wolf Rudolf Wolf Thomas Wolf As Name Wolf Breidenbach Wolf Hirshorn Other The call... This article is about the ruminent animal. ... Etymologies redirects here. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 For other uses, see Donkey (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Dandelion (disambiguation). ...


In some languages of the Pacific, using the name of a deceased chief is taboo. Amongst indigenous Australians, it is forbidden to use the name, image or audio-visual recording of the deceased, so that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation now publishes a warning to indigenous Australians when using names, images or audio-visual recordings of people who have died[2]. The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia. ... The Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC is Australias national non-profit public broadcaster. ...


Since people are often named after everyday things, this leads to the swift development of euphemisms. These languages have a very high rate of vocabulary change. (Dyen, Isidore, A. T. James & J. W. L. Cole. 1967. Language divergence and estimated word retention rate. Language 43/1: 150-171.)


In a similar manner, classical Chinese texts were expected to avoid using characters contained within the name of the currently ruling emperor as a sign of respect. In these instances, the relevant ideographs were replaced by homophones. While this practice creates an additional wrinkle for anyone attempting to read or translate texts from the classical period, it does provide a fairly accurate means of dating the documents under consideration.


The common names of illicit drugs, and the plants used to obtain them, often undergo a process similar to taboo deformation, because new terms are devised in order to discuss them secretly in the presence of others. This process often occurs in English (e.g. speed or crank for meth). It occurs even more in Spanish, e.g. the deformation of names for cannabis: mota (lit., "something which moves" on the black market), replacing grifa (lit., "something coarse to the touch"), replacing marihuana (a female personal name, María Juana), replacing cañamo (the original Spanish name for the plant, derived from the Latin genus name Cannabis). All four of these names are still used in various parts of the Hispanophone world, although cañamo ironically has the least underworld connotation, and is often used to describe industrial hemp, or legitimate medically-prescribed cannabis.


The "Euphemism Treadmill"

Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine, and more recently dubbed the "euphemism treadmill" by Steven Pinker. (cf. Gresham's Law in economics). This is the well-known linguistic process known as pejoration. Profanity is a word choice or usage which its audience considers to be offensive. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... Greshams law is commonly stated as: When there is a legal tender currency, bad money drives good money out of circulation. or more accurately Money overvalued by the State will drive money undervalued by the State out of circulation. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... A word or phrase is pejorative if it expresses contempt or disapproval. ...


Words originally intended as euphemisms may lose their euphemistic value, acquiring the negative connotations of their referents. In some cases, they may be used mockingly and become dysphemisms. In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ...


For example, the term "concentration camp," to describe camps used to house civilian prisoners in close (concentrated) quarters, was used by the British during the Second Boer War, primarily because it sounded bland and inoffensive. However, after the Third Reich used the expression to describe its death camps, the term gained enormous negative connotation. It has been suggested that Internment be merged into this article or section. ... Combatants British Empire Orange Free State South African Republic Commanders Sir Redvers Buller Lord Kitchener Lord Roberts Paul Kruger Louis Botha Koos de la Rey Martinus Steyn Christiaan de Wet Casualties 6,000 - 7,000 (A further ~14,000 from disease) 6,000 - 8,000 (Unknown number from disease) Civilians... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... A death camp is either a concentration camp, the important (though not necessarily single) function of which is to facilitate mass murder of the people deported into such a camp (such as the Nazis Auschwitz and Majdanek, which acquired their murderous functions only some time after they had been...


Also, in some versions of English, "toilet room," itself a euphemism, was replaced with "bathroom" and "water closet", which were replaced with "restroom" and "W.C." These are also examples of euphemisms which are geographically concentrated: the term "restroom" is rarely used outside of the U.S.A. and "W.C.," where before it was quite popular in Britain is passing out of favour and becoming more popular in France. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... “UK” redirects here. ...


Connotations easily change over time. "Idiot," "imbecile," and "moron" were once neutral terms for an adult of toddler, preschool, and primary school mental ages.[3] As with Gresham's law, negative connotations tend to crowd out neutral ones, so the phrase mentally retarded was pressed into service to replace them.[4] Now that too is considered rude, used commonly as an insult of a person, thing, or idea. As a result, new terms like "developmentally disabled", "mentally challenged," "with an intellectual disability" and "special needs" have replaced "retarded." A similar progression occurred with For other uses, see Idiot (disambiguation). ... Mental retardation (abbreviated as MR), is a term for a pattern of persistently slow learning of basic motor and language skills (milestones) during childhood, and a significantly below-normal intellectual capacity as an adult. ... Moron was originally an English scientific term, coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Greek word moros, which meant dull (as opposed to sharp), and used to describe a person with a mental age located between eight and 12 on the Binet scale. ... Boy toddler Toddler is a common term for a a young child who is learning to walk or toddle,[1] generally considered to be the second stage of development after infancy and occurring predominantly during the ages of 12 to 36 months old. ... A nursery school is a school for the education of very young children (generally five years of age and younger). ... A primary school in Český Těšín, Czech Republic. ... Mental age is a controversial concept in psychometrics. ... Greshams law is commonly stated as: When there is a legal tender currency, bad money drives good money out of circulation. or more accurately Money overvalued by the State will drive money undervalued by the State out of circulation. ... Mental retardation is a term for a pattern of persistently slow learning of basic motor and language skills (milestones) during childhood, and a significantly below-normal global intellectual capacity as an adult. ...

lamecrippledhandicappeddisabledphysically challengeddifferently abled

although in the case of "crippled" the meaning has also broadened (and hence has been narrowed with adjectives, which themselves have been euphemised); a dyslexic or colorblind person would not be termed "crippled." Even more recent is the use of person-centric phrases, such as "person(s) with disability, dyslexia, colorblindness, etc.," which ascribe a particular condition to those previously qualified with the aforementioned adjectives. The term disability, as it is applied to humans, refers to any condition that impedes the completion of daily tasks using traditional methods. ... The term disability, as it is applied to humans, refers to any condition that impedes the completion of daily tasks using traditional methods. ... The term disability, as it is applied to humans, refers to any condition that impedes the completion of daily tasks using traditional methods. ...


Euphemisms can also serve to recirculate words that have passed out of use because of negative connotation. The word "lame" from above, having faded from the vernacular, was revitalized as a slang word generally meaning "not living up to expectations". Connotation of a euphemism can also be subject-specific. The term "handicap" was in common use to describe a physical disability; it gained common use in sports and games to describe a scoring advantage given to a player who has a disadvantageous standing in ability, and this definition has remained common even though the term as describing physical disability has faded from common use.


In the early 1960s, Major League Baseball franchise owner and promoter Bill Veeck, who was missing part of a leg, argued against the then-favored euphemism "handicapped," saying he preferred "crippled" because it was merely descriptive and did not carry connotations of limiting one's capability the way "handicapped" (and all of its subsequent euphemisms) seemed to do (Veeck as in Wreck, chapter "I'm Not Handicapped, I'm Crippled"). Later, comedian George Carlin gave a famous monologue of how he thought euphemisms can undermine appropriate attitudes towards serious issues such as the evolving terms describing the medical problem of the cumulative mental trauma of soldiers in high stress situations:[5] William Louis Veeck Jr. ... George Denis Patrick Carlin[15] (born May 12, 1937) is a Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. ...

Shell shock (World War I) → battle fatigue (World War II)→ Operational exhaustion (Korean War) → Post-traumatic stress disorder (Vietnam War)

He contended that, as the name of the condition became more complicated and seemingly arcane, sufferers of this condition have been taken less seriously as people with a serious illness, and were given poorer treatment as a result. He also contended that Vietnam veterans would have received the proper care and attention they needed were the condition still called "shell shock." In the same routine, he echoed Bill Veeck's opinion that "crippled" was a perfectly valid term (and noted that early English translations of the Bible seemed to have no qualms about saying that Jesus "healed the cripples"). The military term combat stress reaction (CSR) comprises the range of adverse behaviours in reaction to the stress of combat and combat related activities. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... The military term combat stress reaction (CSR) comprises the range of adverse behaviours in reaction to the stress of combat and combat related activities. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Belligerents United Nations: Republic of Korea Australia Belgium Canada Colombia Ethiopia France Greece Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Philippines South Africa Thailand Turkey United Kingdom United States Naval Support and Military Servicing/Repairs: Japan Medical staff: Denmark Italy Norway India Sweden DPR Korea PR China Soviet Union Commanders Syngman Rhee Chung... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... The Bible (From Greek βιβλια—biblia, meaning books, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos meaning papyrus, from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported papyrus) is the sacred scripture of Christianity. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...


A complementary "dysphemism treadmill" exists, but is more rarely observed. One modern example is the word "sucks". "That sucks" began as American slang for "that is very unpleasant," and is shorthand for "that sucks cock," referring to fellatio;[citation needed] along with the exactly synonymous phrase "that blows", it developed over the late-20th century from being an extremely vulgar phrase to near-acceptability. Likewise, scumbag, which was originally a reference to a used condom, now is a fairly mild epithet.[6] This is in stark contrast to the related term douchebag, which is still semi-common but has a much more negative connotation. In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ... Fellatio is oral sex performed upon the male human penis. ... This article is about the male contraceptive device. ... Look up epithet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In his remarks on the ever-changing London slang, made in Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell mentioned both the "euphemism treadmill" and the "dysphemism treadmill." He did not use the now-established terms, but observed and commented on the respective processes as early as in 1933. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Slang (disambiguation). ... Down and Out in Paris and London is George Orwells semi-autobiographical account of living in poverty in both cities. ... George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903[1][2] – 21 January 1950) who was an English writer and journalist well-noted as a novelist, critic, and commentator on politics and culture. ...


Classification of euphemisms

Many euphemisms fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Terms of foreign and/or technical origin (derrière, copulation, perspire, urinate, security breach, mierda de toro, prophylactic, feces occur, sheist)
  • Abbreviations (SOB for son of a bitch, BS for bullshit, TS for tough shit, SOL for shit out of luck or PDQ for prety damn(ed) quick,[7] BFD for big fucking deal, STFU or STHU for shut the fuck/hell up)
    • Abbreviations using a spelling alphabet, especially in military contexts (Charlie Foxtrot for "Cluster fuck", Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Oscar for "What the fuck, over?", Bravo Sierra for "bullshit"—See Military slang)
    • Plays on abbreviations (H-e-double hockey sticks for "hell", "a-double snakes" for "ass", Sugar Honey Iced Tea for "shit", bee with an itch or witch with a capital B, catch (or see) you next Tuesday (or Thursday) for "cunt")
    • Use in mostly clinical settings (PITA for "pain in the ass" patient)
  • Abstractions and ambiguities (it for excrement, the situation for pregnancy, going to the other side for death, do it or come together in reference a sexual act)
  • Indirections (behind, unmentionables, privates, live together, go to the bathroom, sleep together)
  • Mispronunciation (goldarnit, dadgummit, freakin, shoot, shiteSee minced oath)
  • Litotes or reserved understatement (not exactly thin for "fat", not completely truthful for "lied", not unlike cheating for "an instance of cheating")
  • Changing nouns to modifiers (makes her look slutty for "is a slut", right-wing element for "Right Wing")

There is some disagreement over whether certain terms are or are not euphemisms. For example, sometimes the phrase visually impaired is labeled as a politically correct euphemism for blind. However, visual impairment can be a broader term, including, for example, people who have partial sight in one eye, or even those with uncorrected poor vision, a group that would be excluded by the word blind. A foreign language is a language not spoken by the indigenous people of a certain place: for example, English is a foreign language in Japan. ... For the glossary of hacker slang, see Jargon File. ... An abbreviation (from Latin brevis short) is a shortened form of a word or phrase. ... A spelling alphabet, radio alphabet, or telephone alphabet is a set of words which are used to stand for the letters of an alphabet. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary using the Transwiki process. ... This article is about the concept of abstraction in general. ... In computer programming, indirection is the ability to reference something using a name, reference, or container instead of the value itself. ... Mispronunciation is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as bad pronunciation. The matter of what is or is not mispronunciation is a contentious one, and indeed there is some disagreement about the extent to which the term is even meaningful. ... A minced oath, also known as a pseudo-profanity, is an expression based on a profanity which has been altered to reduce or remove the disagreeable or objectionable characteristics of the original expression; for example, gosh used instead of God, darn instead of damn,heck instead of hell and freaking... In rhetoric, litotes is a figure of speech in which a speaker, rather than making a certain claim, denies its opposite; for example, rather than call a person attractive, one might say shes not too bad to look at. Litotes can be used to weaken a statement — Its... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... This article is about the visual condition. ...


There are three antonyms of euphemism: dysphemism, cacophemism, and power word. The first can be either offensive or merely humorously deprecating with the second one generally used more often in the sense of something deliberately offensive. The last is used mainly in arguments to make a point seem more correct. Look up Antonym in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ... In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek dys δυς= non and pheme φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek caco κακό = bad) are rough opposites of euphemism, meaning the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one. ... A power word (or power phrase) is a word (or a phrase) that is used to make ones statement stronger. ...


The evolution of euphemisms

Euphemisms may be formed in a number of ways. Periphrasis or circumlocution is one of the most common—to "speak around" a given word, implying it without saying it. Over time, circumlocutions become recognized as established euphemisms for particular words or ideas. Periphrasis, like its Latin counterpart circumlocution, is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words. ... Periphrasis is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is expressed by many or several words. ... Look up implication in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


To alter the pronunciation or spelling of a taboo word (such as a swear word) to form a euphemism is known as taboo deformation. There is an astonishing number of taboo deformations in English, of which many refer to the infamous four-letter words. In American English, words which are unacceptable on television, such as fuck, may be represented by deformations such as freak—even in children's cartoons. The word shit, meaning feces, can be mildly euphemized by deforming it into shite. Some examples of Cockney rhyming slang may serve the same purpose—to call a person a berk sounds less offensive than to call him a cunt, though berk is short for Berkeley Hunt which rhymes with cunt. This article is about cultural prohibitions in general, for other uses, see Taboo (disambiguation). ... Profanity is a word choice or usage which many consider to be offensive. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Cockney rhyming slang is a form of English slang which originated in the East End of London. ... Cunt is an English language vulgarism most commonly used in reference to vulva or vagina and, more generally, the pubis, from the mons veneris to the perineum. ... Hunt Country The county lies in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, between Gloucester and Bristol. ...


Bureaucracies such as the military and large corporations frequently spawn euphemisms of a more deliberate (and to some, more sinister) nature. Organizations coin doublespeak expressions to describe objectionable actions in terms that seem neutral or inoffensive. For example, a term used in the past for contamination by radioactive isotopes is Sunshine units.[8] This article is about the sociological concept. ... For other uses, see Corporation (disambiguation). ... Doublespeak (sometimes double talk) is language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. ...


Military organizations kill people, sometimes deliberately and sometimes by mistake; in doublespeak, the first may be called neutralizing the target and the second collateral damage. Violent destruction of non-state enemies may be referred to as pacification. Two common terms when a soldier is accidentally killed (buys the farm) by their own side are friendly fire or blue on blue (BOBbing)—"buy the farm" has its own interesting history.[9] Collateral damage is a U.S. Military term for unintended or incidental damage during a military operation. ... The word pacification is most often used as a euphemism for counter-insurgency operations by a dominant military force. ... This article is about a military rank. ... For other uses, see Friendly Fire (disambiguation). ...


Execution is an established euphemism referring to the act of putting a person to death, with or without judicial process. It originally referred to the execution, i.e., the carrying out, of a death warrant, which is an authorization to a sheriff, prison warden, or other official to put a named person to death. In legal usage, execution can still refer to the carrying out of other types of orders; for example, in U.S. legal usage, a writ of execution is a direction to enforce a civil money judgment by seizing property. Likewise, lethal injection itself may be considered a euphemism for putting the convict to death by poisoning. Death Penalty World Map Color Key: Blue: Abolished for all crimes Green: Abolished for crimes not committed in exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in time of war) Orange: Abolished in Practice Red: Legal Form of Punishment Execution of a soldier of the 8th Infantry at Prescott, Arizona, 1877 Execution... An execution warrant is a warrant which authorizes the execution or capital punishment of an individual. ... Death penalty, death sentence, and execution redirect here. ... A writ of execution is a common court order granted by a court in an attempt to satisfy a judgment obtained by a plaintiff. ... This article is about civil law within the common law legal system. ... A judgment or judgement (see spelling note below), in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. ... This article is about the execution and euthanasia method. ... For other uses, see Poison (disambiguation). ...


Abortion or terminating a pregnancy can also be considered euphemisms for killing a fetus while still inside the uterus.


Industrial unpleasantness such as pollution may be toned down to outgassing or runoff—descriptions of physical processes rather than their damaging consequences. Some of this may simply be the application of precise technical terminology in the place of popular usage, but beyond precision, the advantage of technical terminology may be its lack of emotional undertones and the likelihood the general public (at least initially) will not recognize it for what it really is; the disadvantage being the lack of real-life context. Terms like "waste" and "wastewater" are also avoided in favor of terms such as byproduct, recycling, reclaimed water and effluent. In the oil industry, oil-based drilling muds were simply renamed organic phase drilling muds, where organic phase is a euphemism for "oil". Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Outgassing (sometimes called Offgassing, particularly when in reference to indoor air quality) is the slow release of a gas that was trapped, frozen, absorbed or adsorbed in some material. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... For other meanings of this phrase (book and album titles etc. ...


Euphemisms for the profane

Profane words and expressions in the English language are often taken from three areas: religion, excretion, and sex. While profanities themselves have been around for centuries, their limited use in public and by the media has only slowly become socially acceptable, and there are still many expressions which cannot be used in polite conversation. One vantage point into the current societal tolerance of profane language is found in the frequency of such language on prime-time television. The word damn (and most other religious profanity in the English language) has lost its shock value, and as a consequence, euphemisms for it (e.g., dang, darn-it) have taken on a very stodgy feeling. Excretory profanity such as piss and shit in some cases may be acceptable among informal (and usually younger) friends (while they almost are never acceptable in formal relationships or public use); euphemisms such as Number One and Number Two may be preferred for use with children. Most sexual terms and expressions, even technical ones, either remain unacceptable for general use or have undergone radical rehabilitation. The kidneys are important excretory organs in vertebrates. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In cartoons, profanity is often depicted by substituting symbols for words, as a form of non-specific censorship. ... Further information: Primetime (TV series) Prime time is the block of programming on television during the middle of the evening. ... Look up piss, pissed, take the piss in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Religious euphemisms

Main article: Minced oaths

Euphemisms for deities as well as for religious practices and artifacts date to the earliest of written records. Protection of sacred names, rituals, and concepts from the uninitiated has always given rise to euphemisms, whether it be for exclusion of outsiders or the retention of power among select practitioners. Examples from the Egyptians and every other western religion abound. Minced oaths are corrupted forms of (usually religion-related) swear words that originally arose in English culture sometime before the Victorian Age, as part of the cultural impact of Puritanism after the Protestant Reformation. ...


Euphemisms for God and Jesus, such as gosh and gee are used by Christians to avoid taking the name of God in a vain oath, which would violate one of the Ten Commandments.(Exodus 20) This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Gosh can be: a minced oath of God Great Ormond Street Hospital Village in Armenia famous for its Goshavank monastery Mkhitar Gosh - armenian scholar and priest. ... // As a surname, Gee may refer to: Andrew Gee (b. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ten Commandments (disambiguation). ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ...


When praying, Jews will typically use the word "Adonai" ('the Lord'). However, when in a colloquial setting, this is deemed inappropriate, and so typically one replaces the word "Adonai" with the word "HaShem", which literally means, "The Name". It is notable that "Adonai" is itself a word that refers to the Jewish God's name, the pronunciation of which is unknown and often mistakenly thought to be Jehovah, but is not the name itself. Traditionally, Jews have seen the name of God as ineffable and thus one that must not be spoken. According to the Torah, when Moses saw the burning bush, he asked God, "who are you?" The answer he heard was, "I am that I am." Thus, the Jews have for centuries recognized the name of the Almighty as ineffable, because pronouncing it is equivalent to calling oneself God.[citation needed] This article is about reading of the name of God in Hebrew scripture. ... To say that something is ineffable means that it cannot or should not be spoken. ... Template:Jews and Jewdaism Template:The Holy Book Named TorRah The Torah () is the most valuable Holy Doctrine within Judaism,(and for muslims) revered as the first relenting Word of Ulllah, traditionally thought to have been revealed to Blessed Moosah, An Apostle of Ulllah. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Burning bush at St. ...


Euphemisms for hell, damnation, and the devil, on the other hand, are often used to avoid invoking the power of the adversary. For example, in the Harry Potter books, the evil wizard Lord Voldemort is usually referred to as "He Who Must Not Be Named" or "You-Know-Who". However, the character Professor Dumbledore is quoted as saying in the first book of the series, "fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself". This article is about the theological or philosophical afterlife. ... “Dammit” redirects here. ... This is an overview of the Devil. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... Lord Voldemort (pronounced )[1][2] is a fictional character and the primary antagonist in the Harry Potter novel series written by British author J. K. Rowling. ... Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (born ca. ...


Excretory euphemisms

While urinate and defecate are not euphemisms, they are used almost exclusively in a clinical sense. The basic Anglo-Saxon words for these functions, piss and shit, are considered vulgarities and unacceptable in general use, despite the use of piss in the King James Bible (in Isaiah 36:12 and elsewhere). Urination, also called micturition, is the process of disposing urine from the urinary bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body. ... Defecation or feceation (known colloquially as pooping or shitting) is the act of eliminating solid or semisolid waste material from the digestive tract. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... This article is about the Book of Isaiah. ...


The word manure, referring to animal feces used as fertilizer for plants, literally means "worked with the hands" (manu meaning hand), alluding to the mixing of manure with earth. Several zoos market the byproduct of elephants and other large herbivores as Zoo Doo or Zoopoop, and there is a brand of chicken manure available in garden stores under the name Cock-a-Doodle Doo. Also, a brand of sheep manure is called "Baa Baa Doo." Similarly, the abbreviation BS, or the word bull, often replaces the word bullshit in polite society. (The term bullshit itself generally means lies or nonsense, and not the literal "shit of a bull", making it a dysphemism.) Animal manure is often a mixture of animals feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. ... Spreading manure, an organic fertilizer Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either through the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. ... For other uses, see Zoo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Elephant (disambiguation). ... In zoology, an herbivore is an animal that is adapted to eat primarily plants (rather than meat). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Horseshit redirects here. ... Horseshit redirects here. ... In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ...


There are any number of lengthier periphrases for excretion used to excuse oneself from company, such as to powder one’s nose, to see a man about a horse (or dog) or to drop the kids off at the pool (this latter expression could actually be regarded as a dysphemism). Slang expressions which are neither particularly euphemistic nor dysphemistic, such as take a leak, form a separate category. Periphrasis, like its Latin counterpart circumlocution, is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words. ... To see a man, to see a man about a dog, or to see a man about a horse is usually a smiling apology for ones departure or absence, used as a bland euphemism to conceal ones true purpose. ... In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek dys δυς= non and pheme φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek caco κακό = bad) are rough opposites of euphemism, meaning the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one. ...


In some languages, various other sensitive subjects give rise to euphemisms and dysphemisms. In Spanish, one such subject is class and status. The word señorito is an example, although the euphemism treadmill has turned it to a disparagement, at least in Mexico.


Sexual euphemisms

The Latin term pudendum and the Greek term αιδοίον (aidoion) for the genitals literally mean "shameful thing". Groin, crotch, and loins refer to a larger region of the body, but are euphemistic when used to refer to the genitals. In pornographic stories, the words rosebud and starfish are often used as euphemisms for anus, generally in the context of anal sex. The shock jocks Opie and Anthony once promoted the euphemism "balloon knot" for the anus, referring to the external appearance of the skin surrounding the sphincter muscle. The term was later picked up and used on "The Howard Stern Show." Pornography (from Greek πορνογραφια pornographia — literally writing about or drawings of harlots) is the representation of the human body or human sexual behaviour with the goal of sexual arousal, similar to, but (according to some) distinct from, erotica. ... Roman men having anal sex. ... A shock jock is a slang term used to describe a type of radio broadcaster (sometimes a disk jockey) who attracts attention using humor that a significant portion of the listening audience may find offensive. ... Opie (Gregg Hughes, b. ... Look up Sphincter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is a biography of Howard Stern as an individual; for information regarding his radio show see The Howard Stern Show. ...


Sexual intercourse was once a euphemism derived from the more general term intercourse by itself, which simply meant "meeting" but now is normally used as a synonym for the longer phrase, thus making the town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania a subject of jokes in modern usage. Many Amish and Mennonite communities reside in this area Intercourse, Pennsylvania is an unincorporated village in Leacock Township, Lancaster County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. ...


The "baseball metaphors for sex" are perhaps the most famous and widely-used set of polite euphemisms for sex and relationship behavior in the U.S. The metaphors encompass terms like "hitting it off" for a good start to relationship, "Striking out" for being unlucky with a love interest, and "running the bases" for progressing sexually in a relationship. The "bases" themselves, from first to third, stand for various levels of sexual activity from French kissing to "petting", itself a euphemism for manual genital stimulation, all of which is short of "scoring" or "coming home", sexual intercourse. "Hitting a home run" describes sex during the first date, "batting both ways" or "batting for the other team" describes bisexuality or homosexuality respectively, and "stealing bases" refers to initiating new levels of sexual contact without invitation. Baseball-related euphemisms also abound for the "equipment"; "Bat and balls" are a common reference to the male genitalia, while "glove" or "mitt" can refer to the female anatomy. The game of baseball is often used as a metaphor for physical intimacy in the United States and other places the game is played, especially to describe the level of sexual intimacy achieved in intimate encounters or relationships. ... Bisexual redirects here. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ...


There are many euphemisms for birth control devices, sometimes even propagated by the manufacturers: Condoms are known as "rubbers", "sheaths", "love gloves", "diving suits", "raincoats" etc. The birth control pill is known simply as "The Pill", and other methods of birth control are also given generalized euphemisms like "The Patch", "The Sponge", "Shots", etc. There are also many euphemisms for menstruation, such as "having the painters in", being "on the rag", "flying the flag" (originally a euphemism for hanging out the bedsheet after a wedding night as a testament to the woman's virginity), or it simply being "that time of the month".


Euphemisms are also common in reference to sexual orientations and lifestyles. For example in the movie "Closer" the character played by Jude Law uses the euphemism "He valued his privacy" for homosexual and "He enjoyed his privacy" for a flamboyant homosexual. Among common euphemisms for homosexuals, "gay" (in reference to the stereotypical flamboyant personality of homosexual men) and "lesbian" (in reference to the poet Sappho of Lesbos) are the only two that are generally acceptable in society. Other euphemisms for a homosexual, such as homo, queer, fag (originally simply U.S. slang for "wimp", and in the U.K. "fag" is slang for a cigarette), bulldyke or simply dyke, butch (referring to a lesbian assuming the "male" role of a relationship) etc. have relatively quickly acquired a vulgar connotation, and even "gay" and "lesbian" have negative connotations in mainstream society depending on the tone of the conversation. The expression "that's so gay" has come into frequent pejorative usage in the U.S. Anna and Dan. ... For other uses, see Sappho (disambiguation). ... Since its coinage, the word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... A Dyke on a Bike Dyke is a slang term for a lesbian with certain qualities. ...


As an aside, the use of euphemisms for sexual activity has grown under the pressure of recent rulings by the Federal Communications Commission regarding what constitutes "decent" on-air broadcast speech. The FCC included many well known euphemisms in its lists of banned terms but indicated that even new and unknown coinages might be considered indecent once it became clear what they referenced. George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say On TV" evolved into the "Incomplete List of Impolite Words", available in text and audio form, and contains hundreds of euphemisms and dysphemisms to genitalia, the act of having sex, various forms of sex, sexual orientations, etc. that have all become to pejorative for polite conversation, including such notables as "getting your pole varnished" and "eating the tuna taco". Carlin also does a bit on the uses of the word "fuck", originally only a dysphemism for the sex act but becoming an adverb, adjective, noun, etc. This "diversity" is also mentioned on in the movie The Boondock Saints after the main characters commit a mass murder of Russian mob bosses followed by a violent joke on a friend who is in the Mafia. FCC redirects here. ... The word broadcast can refer to: Broadcasting, the transmission of audio and video signals. ... The abbreviation FCC can refer to: Face-centered cubic (usually fcc), a crystallographic structure Federal Communications Commission, a US government organization Farm Credit Corporation/Farm Credit Canada, a Canadian government organization Families with Children from China, an adoption support organization Florida Christian College, a college in central Florida Fresno City... The Boondock Saints is a 1999 action crime drama film written and directed by Troy Duffy. ...


Euphemisms referring to profanity itself

In the Spanish language, words that mean "swear word" are used as exclamations in lieu of an actual swear word. The Spanish word maldición, literally meaning "curse" or "bad word", is occasionally used as an interjection of lament or anger, to replace any of several Spanish profanities that would otherwise be used in that same context. The same is true in Italian with the word maledizione, and in Canadian French with sacre. This article is about the international language known as Spanish. ...


In Greek, the word κατάρα "curse" is found, and in English (especially British usage), an exclamation that is used in a similar style is curses. The stereotyped "Perils of Pauline" silent film might have the villain tying his victim to a railroad track. When the hero rescues the heroine, the card might say, "Curses! Foiled again!" in place of whatever cursing the character presumably uttered. The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA // – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. ...


Euphemisms for death

The English language contains numerous euphemisms related to dying, death, burial, and the people and places which deal with death. The practice of using euphemisms for death is likely to have originated with the magical belief that to speak the word "death" was to invite death; where to "draw Death's attention" is the ultimate bad fortune—a common theory holds that death is a taboo subject in most English-speaking cultures for precisely this reason. It may be said that one is not dying, but fading quickly because the end is near. People who have died are referred to as having passed away or passed or departed. Deceased is a euphemism for "dead", and sometimes the deceased is said to have gone to a better place, but this is used primarily among the religious with a concept of Heaven. For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... In psychology and cognitive science, magical thinking is non-scientific causal reasoning (e. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ...


Some Christians often use phrases such as gone to be with the Lord or called to higher service (this latter expression being particularly prevalent in the Salvation Army) to express their belief that physical death is not the end. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Shield of The Salvation Army The Salvation Army is a non-military evangelical Christian organisation. ...


There are many euphemisms for the dead body, some polite and some profane, as well as dysphemisms such as worm food, or dead meat. Modern rhyming slang contains the expression brown bread. The corpse was once referred to as the shroud (or house or tenement) of clay, and modern funerary workers use terms such as the loved one (title of a novel about Hollywood undertakers by Evelyn Waugh) or the dear departed. (They themselves have given up the euphemism funeral director for grief therapist, and hold arrangement conferences with relatives.) Among themselves, mortuary technicians often refer to the corpse as the client. A recently dead person may be referred to as "the late John Doe". The terms cemetery for "graveyard" and undertaking for "burial" are so well-established that most people do not even recognize them as euphemisms. In fact, undertaking has taken on a negative connotation, as undertakers have a devious reputation. In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ... Cockney rhyming slang is a form of English slang which originated in the East End of London. ... For other uses, see Novel (disambiguation). ... ... This article is about the vocation of a mortician and the death metal band; for the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar, see The Undertaker. ... Evelyn Waugh, as photographed in 1940 by Carl Van Vechten Arthur Evelyn St. ... The name John Doe is generally used in the United States as a placeholder name for a male party in a legal action or legal discussion whose true identity is unknown. ... Undertaker and Mortician redirect here. ...


Contemporary euphemisms and dysphemisms for death tend to be quite colorful, and someone who has died is said to have passed away, passed on, checked out, bit the big one, kicked the bucket, bitten the dust, popped their clogs, pegged it, carked it, turned their toes up, bought the farm (comes from the G.I. Insurance Policy as the amount of money the next of kin would receive was enough to buy a farm)., cashed in their chips, croaked, given up the ghost (originally a more respectful term, cf. the death of Jesus as translated in the King James Version of the Bible Mark 15:37), gone south, shuffled off this mortal coil (from William Shakespeare's Hamlet), Run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible, or assumed room temperature (actually a dysphemism in use among mortuary technicians). When buried, they may be said to be pushing up daisies, sleeping the big sleep, taking a dirt nap, checking out the grass from underneath or six feet under. There are hundreds of such expressions in use. (Old Burma-Shave jingle: "If daisies are your favorite flower, keep pushin’ up those miles per hour!") In Edwin Muir's 'The Horses' a euphemism is used to show the elimination of the human race 'The seven days war that put the world to sleep.' This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Gospel of Mark is the second in the most usual sequence of printing of the New Testament Gospels. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ... Burma-Shave was a United States brand of brushless shaving cream that was sold from 1925 to 1966. ...


"Euthanasia" also attracts euphemisms. One may put one out of one’s misery, put one to sleep, or have one put down, the latter two phrases being used primarily with dogs and cats who have made their final visit to the veterinarian. (These terms are not usually applied to humans, because both medical ethics and civil law deprecate euthanasia.) In fact, Dr. Bernard Nathanson has pointed out that the word "euthanasia" itself is a euphemism, being Greek for "good death". For mercy killings not performed on humans, see Animal euthanasia. ... Look up veterinarian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Bernard Nathanson (born 31 July 1926 in New York) is a medical doctor and pro-life activist from New York. ...


There are a few euphemisms for killing which are neither respectful nor playful, but rather clinical and detached. Some examples of this type are terminate, wet work, to take care of one or to take them for a ride, to do them in, to off, to take them out, to snuff them out, frag, smoke, lace, whack or waste someone. To cut loose or open up on someone or something means "to shoot at with every available weapon".


There are also many dysphemisms, especially for death, which are euphemisms or dysphemisms for other unpleasant events and thus are unpleasant in their literal meaning, used to generalize a bad event. "Having your ass handed to you", "left for the rats", "toasted", "roasted", "burned", "pounded", "bent over the barrel", "screwed over" or other terms commonly describe death or the state of imminent death, but also are common in describing defeat of any kind such as a humiliating loss in a sport or video game, being unfairly treated or cast aside in business affairs, being badly beaten in a fight, and similar.


To terminate with prejudice generally means to end one's employment without possibility of rehire (as opposed to lay off, where the person can expect rehire if business picks up), but the related term to terminate with extreme prejudice now usually means to kill. The adjective extreme may occasionally be omitted. In a famous line from the movie Apocalypse Now, Captain Willard is told to terminate Colonel Kurtz’s commission "with extreme prejudice". An acronym, TWEP has been coined from this phrase, which can be used as a verb: "He was TWEPed/TWEPped." Apocalypse Now is a 1979 Academy Award and Golden Globe winning American film set during the Vietnam War. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ...


The Dead Parrot Sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus contains an extensive list of euphemisms for death, referring to the deceased parrot that the character played by John Cleese purchases. The popularity of the sketch has itself increased the popularity of some of these euphemisms — an example of back-formation; indeed, it has introduced another euphemism for death — "pining for the fjords" — although in the sketch that phrase was used by the shop owner to assert that the parrot was not dead, but was merely quiet and contemplative. Palin, Cleese and the dead parrot, from And Now For Something Completely Different. ... This article is about the television series. ... Cleese redirects here. ... In etymology, the process of back-formation is the creation of a neologism by reinterpreting an earlier word as a compound and removing the spuriously supposed affixes. ...


A similar passage occurs near the beginning of The Twelve Chairs, where Bezenchuk, the undertaker, astonishes Vorobyaninov with his classification of people by the euphemisms used to speak of their deaths. The game Dungeon Siege contains many euphemisms for death as well. The Twelve Chairs The Twelve Chairs (Russian: ) (1928) is a famous satirical novel by the Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov. ... Dungeon Siege is a computer role-playing game developed by Gas Powered Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. ...


Also, a scene in the film Patch Adams features Patch (Robin Williams) dressed in an angel costume, reading out various synonyms and euphemisms for the phrase "to die" to a man dying of cancer. This evolves into a contest between the two men to see who can come up with more, and better, euphemisms, ending when Patch comes up with "and if we bury you ass up, we'll have a place to park my bike." Patch Adams is a 1998 film directed by Tom Shadyac and based on the true life story of Hunter Patch Adams and the book Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter by Adams and Maureen Mylander. ... This article is about the American actor and comedian; for other people named Robin Williams, see Robin Williams (disambiguation). ...


The name of the village of Ban Grong Greng in Thailand is a euphemism for Death Village. It literally means the Village of the Dreaded Gong. It is so named because it is the home to Wat Grong Greng (temple of the dreaded gong) at which the burning of bodies at funerals is proceeded by the beating of a gong. Ban Grong Greng (Thai: ) is a rural village in the northwest portion of the Nakhon Pa Mak subdistrict of Bang Krathum District of Phitsanulok Province, Thailand. ...


Euphemisms in job titles

Euphemisms are common in job titles; some jobs have complicated titles that make them sound more impressive than the common names would imply. Many of these euphemisms may include words such as engineer, though in fact the people who do the job are not accredited in engineering. Extreme cases, such as sanitation engineer for janitor, or 'transparent-wall maintenance officer' for window cleaner, are cited humorously more often than they are used seriously. Another example is Henny Youngman's joke that his brother-in-law claimed to be a "diamond cutter" - his job was to mow the lawn at Yankee Stadium. Less extreme cases, such as custodian for janitor or administrative assistant for secretary, are considered more terms of respect than euphemisms. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... A person whose job consists of extracting rubbish from outside dustbins and taking said refuse to a landfill or incinerator. ... Henny Youngman performing at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Henny Youngman (Henry Youngman, March 16, 1906 - February 24, 1998) was a comedian and violinist famous for one-liners, short simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. ... This page is about the stadium the New York Yankees currently play in. ...


Doublespeak

Main article: Doublespeak

Doublespeak is language deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. What distinguishes doublespeak from other euphemisms is its deliberate usage. Doublespeak may be in the form of bald euphemisms such as "downsizing" or "rightsizing" for "firing of many employees"; or deliberately ambiguous phrases such as "wet work" for "assassination" and "take out" for "destroy". Doublespeak (sometimes double talk) is language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. ... In linguistics, meaning is the content carried by the words or signs exchanged by people when communicating through language. ... In communications and linguistics, bypassing is misunderstanding that develops when the recipient of a message infers a different meaning from that intended by the source. ...


Common examples

Other common euphemisms include:

  • wellness for benefits and treatments that tend to only be used in times of sickness
  • restroom for toilet room (the word toilet was itself originally a euphemism). This is an Americanism.
  • acting like rabbits, making love to, getting it on, cheeky time, doing it, or sleeping with for having sex with
  • sanitary landfill for garbage dump (and a temporary garbage dump is a transfer station), also often called a Civic Amenity in the UK
  • ill-advised for very poor or bad
  • pre-owned vehicles for used cars
  • A student being held back a grade level for having failed the grade level
  • correctional facility for prison
  • the north of Ireland for Northern Ireland, which is seen by many Irish people as a term imposed by the British and therefore a profanity; however, saying the north of Ireland may be primarily a way of identifying oneself with the Irish Nationalist cause, rather than a euphemism
  • the big C for cancer (in addition, some people whisper the word when they say it in public, and doctors euphemistically use technical terminology when discussing cancer in front of patients, e.g., "c.a." or "neoplasia"/"neoplastic process", "carcinoma" for "tumor"); euphemisms for cancer are used even more so in the Netherlands, because the Dutch word for cancer can be used as a curse word
  • bathroom tissue, t.p., or bath tissue for toilet paper (Usually used by toilet paper manufacturers)
  • custodian or caretaker for janitor (Also originally a euphemism—in Latin, it means doorman. In the British Secret Service, it may still carry the ancient meaning. It does in the novels of John Le Carré.)
  • sanitation worker (or, sarcastically, sanitation officer or sanitation engineer), or garbologist, for "bin man" or garbage man
  • digital scatologist for a bug fixer who studies memory dumps. The job title Digital Scatologist has been printed on business cards by some Silicon Valley companies.
  • force, police action, or conflict for war
  • mature for old or elderly
  • haem or heme (Americanism) for blood, often used in medical settings ("Severe heme loss").

These lists might suggest that most euphemisms are well-known expressions. Often euphemisms can be somewhat situational; what might be used as a euphemism in a conversation between two friends might make no sense to a third person. In this case, the euphemism is being used as a type of innuendo. For other uses, see Toilet (disambiguation). ... Northern Ireland (Irish: , Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a constituent country of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ... An Irish nationalist is generally one who seeks (greater) independence of Ireland from Great Britain, including since 1921 the goal of a United Ireland. ... Neoplasia (new growth in Greek) is abnormal proliferation of cells in a tissue or organ. ... In medicine, carcinoma is any cancer that arises from epithelial cells. ... For the South Park episode, see Toilet Paper (South Park episode). ... A custodian is a person that cleans and maintains large buildings. ... A janitor is a person who takes care of a building, such as a school, office building, or apartment block. ... John le Carré is the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born October 19, 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), an English writer of espionage novels. ... A core dump is the recorded state of the working memory of a computer program at a specific time, generally when the program has terminated abnormally (crashed). ... Attorney business card 1895 Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. ... For the Nintendo 64 game, see Space Station Silicon Valley. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The media translations of the Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's controversial speech that triggered the 2006 anti-government protests use euphemisms like "screwed up", "did not bother" instead of the more vulgar phrases.   (pronounced []; born in Pápa, June 4, 1961) is the Prime Minister of Hungary. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... György Ekrem-Kemál speaking at a rally near the Parliament Building The 2006 protests in Hungary are a series of anti-government protests triggered by the release of Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsánys private speech in which he confessed that his Hungarian Socialist Party had lied... In cartoons, profanity is often depicted by substituting symbols for words, as a form of non-specific censorship. ...


The word euphemism itself can be used as a euphemism. In the animated short It's Grinch Night (See Dr. Seuss), a child asks to go to the euphemism, where euphemism is being used as a euphemism for outhouse. This euphemistic use of "euphemism" also occurred in the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? where a character requests, "Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?" It is analogous to the 19th-century use of unmentionables for underpants. Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American writer and cartoonist, better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss (pronounced ). He published over 40 childrens books, which were often characterized by his imaginative characters and frequent use of rhymed prose; his most notable books include... Outhouse near Crabapple Lake, Washington, United States, with wafer board walls, and a fiberglass ceiling An outhouse, (also known as a privy, kybo, jakes or earth-closet) usually refers to a type of toilet in a small structure separate from the main building which does not have a flush or... For the 1966 film adaptation, see Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (film) Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee that opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962. ...


See also

For a list of words relating to that are used as euphemisms, see the Euphemisms category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Look up euphemism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... In language, both dysphemism (from the Greek “dys” δυς = non and “pheme” φήμη = speech) and cacophemism (in Greek “cacos” κακός = bad) refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism. ... A code word is a word or a phrase designed to evoke a predetermined meaning to certain listeners while disguising the speakers true meaning by allowing them to use a word that sounds much more acceptable to an average listener. ... A double entendre is a figure of speech similar to the pun, in which a spoken phrase can be understood in either of two ways. ... In media studies, sociology and psychology, framing is a process of selective control over the individuals perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases. ... In rhetoric, litotes is a figure of speech in which a speaker, rather than making a certain claim, denies its opposite; for example, rather than call a person attractive, one might say shes not too bad to look at. Litotes can be used to weaken a statement — Its... A minced oath, also known as a pseudo-profanity, is an expression based on a profanity which has been altered to reduce or remove the disagreeable or objectionable characteristics of the original expression; for example, gosh used instead of God, darn instead of damn,heck instead of hell and freaking... Newspeak is a fictional language in George Orwells novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. ... For other uses, see Pun (disambiguation). ... Sexual slang is any slang term which makes reference to sex, the sexual organs, or matters closely related to them. ... “Libel” redirects here. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Thomas Bowdler (July 11, 1754 – February 24, 1825), an English physician, who published The Family Shakespeare, is best known as the source of the eponym bowdlerize (or bowdlerise[1]), the process of expurgation, censorship by removal, of material thought to be unacceptable to the intended audience, especially children or religious... Word play is a literary technique in which the nature of the words used themselves become part of the subject of the work. ...

References

  1. ^ Euphemism Webster's Online Dictionary
  2. ^ Cultural Protocol - Death in a community Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  3. ^ Gould, S.J., The Mismeasure of Man, W.W. Norton & Co, New York, 1996, pp. 188--189
  4. ^ American Heritage Dictionary definition of "retarded" via answers.com
  5. ^ George Carlin, They're Only Words, Track 14 on Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics, Atlantic/Wea audio CD, 1990.
  6. ^ Random House.com
  7. ^ The Age.com
  8. ^ McCool, W.C. (1957-02-06), Return of Rongelapese to their Home Island - Note by the Secretary, United States Atomic Energy Commission, <http://worf.eh.doe.gov/ihp/chron/A43.PDF>. Retrieved on 7 November 2007 
  9. ^ Snopes.com, "Buy the Farm"
  • Benveniste, Émile, "Euphémismes anciens and modernes", in: Problèmes de linguistique générale, vol. 1, pp. 308-314. [originally published in: Die Sprache, I (1949), pp. 116-122].
  • Rawson, Hugh, A Dictionary of Euphemism & Other Doublespeak, second edition, 1995. ISBN
  • R.W.Holder: How Not to Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms, Oxford University Press, 501 pages, 2003. ISBN
  • Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression (ISSN US)
  • McGlone, M.S., Beck, G., & Pfiester, R.A. (2006). Contamination and camouflage in euphemisms. Communication Monographs, 73, 261-282.
  • Smyth, Herbert Weir (1920). Greek Grammar. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, p. 678. ISBN 0-674-36250-0. 

Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. ... Emile Benveniste (1902 - 1976) was a French linguist best known for his work on Indo-European languages and his work expanding the linguistic paradigm established by Ferdinand de Saussure. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... Maledicta (ISSN US 0363-3659) is a scholarly journal dedicated to the study of offensive and negatively-valued words and expressions. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
What is a euphemism? (89 words)
A euphemism is a metaphorical or metonymic use of an expression in place of another expression that is disagreeable or offensive.
In Acts 2:39 and Ephesians 2:13, 17 of the Bible, the expression those that are afar off is used in place of a term of direct reference to the Gentiles.
This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003.
otherwordsforstuff.com - Euphemism history (519 words)
A euphemism is a word or phrase that is used in place of a disagreeable or offensive term.
Euphemisms can eventually become taboo words themselves through a process for which the linguist Steven Pinker has coined the term euphemism treadmill, which is comparable to Gresham's Law in economics.
Euphemisms are also used to hide unpleasant ideas, even when the term for them is not necessarily offensive.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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