Examples of Euphemism

Topics: Euphemism, Dysphemism, Death Pages: 8 (1906 words) Published: September 28, 2012
Examples of Euphemism
A euphemism is a polite expression used in place of words or phrases that otherwise might be considered harsh or unpleasant to hear. Euphemisms are used regularly, and there are many examples in every day language.  Ads by Google

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To Soften an Expression
Some euphemisms are used in order to make a blunt or unpleasant truth seem less harsh. Examples of euphemisms that fall into this category include: * Passed away instead of died
* Correctional facility instead of jail
* Departed instead of died
* Differently-abled instead of handicapped or disabled
* Fell off the back of a truck instead of stolen
* Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide
* Turn a trick instead of engage in prostitution
* Negative patient outcome instead of dead
* Relocation center instead of prison camp
* Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths
* Letting someone go instead of firing someone
* Put to sleep instead of euthanize
* Pregnancy termination instead of abortion
* On the streets instead of homeless
To Be Polite
Other euphemisms are used to take the place of words or phrases you might not want to say in polite company. Examples of euphemisms that fall into this category include: * Adult entertainment instead of pornography

* Adult beverages instead of beer or liquor 
* Au natural instead of naked
* Big-boned instead of heavy or overweight
* Portly instead of heavy or overweight
* Chronologically-challenged instead of late
* Comfort woman instead of prostitute
* Use the rest room instead of go to the bathroom
* Break wind instead of pass gas
* Economical with the truth instead of liar
* Powder your nose instead of use the rest room
* The birds and the bees instead of sex
* Between jobs instead of unemployed
* Go all the way instead of have sex
* Domestic engineer instead of maid
* Sanitation engineer instead of garbage man
* Vertically-challenged instead of short
* Sleep together instead of have sex
Euphemisms to be Impolite
In some cases, euphemisms are intentionally a grosser or less pleasant way of saying something. These are usually used when people are being sarcastic or trying to make light of a serious subject or make it seem less serious. Examples include:

* Batting for the other side instead of homosexual
* Bit the big one instead of died
* Bit the farm instead of died
* Cement shoes instead of dead
* Bit the dust instead of died
* Croaked instead of dead
* Kick the bucket instead of die
* Blow chunks instead of vomited
* Hide the sausage instead of sex
* Making whoopee instead of sex
* Well-hung instead of having a large penis
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These are just some of the many euphemisms that you may encounter every day. The next time you or someone you are speaking with says something that has a different meaning than the literal words do, consider whether the statement is a euphemism for some other less-polite, less-pleasing word or phrase.  Ads

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The substitution of an inoffensive term (such as "passed away") for one considered offensively explicit ("died"). Contrast with dysphemism. Adjective: euphemistic. See also:
* Visual Euphemism
* Biased Language
* Cacophemism
* Fifty Reasons You'll Never Be Told, "You're Fired"
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