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Figure of Speech

Euphemism Examples

To make an unpleasant word or expression sound politically and morally right and look less offensive, euphemism was invented. This figure of speech can be best defined as coded words or phrases, which we use to express ourselves when caught in an awkward situation, without sounding uncivil or being downright vague. Euphemism is one figure of speech that camouflages direct, unfriendly or disagreeable expressions with more pleasant and ethically correct words or phrases. The word euphemism originated from the Greek word “euphemia” meaning “the use of words of good omen.” They are deemed as secret means or spies on a delicate task, which easily go in the tense environment without making the situation worse. Euphemisms have become a significant part of our everyday conversation as it helps us tackle any offensive situation diplomatically. Scan the list of examples of euphemism given below in the article that will help you master the art of landing an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ without appearing uncouth.

Examples Of Euphemism

Examples Of Euphemism Used To Amplify Or Exaggerate

  • Secretary – executive assistant, personal assistant
  • School – academy, conservatory
  • Boss – manager, supervisor, director
  • Garbage Collector – sanitation worker, waste disposal worker
  • Janitor – caretaker, custodian, warden

Euphemisms To Speak Politely And Courteously

  • Fat – chubby, full-figured, plump, voluptuous, overweight, big boned
  • Remedial – special needs, developmental
  • Poor – underprivileged, unable to make ends meet, modest, financially embarrassed
  • Handicapped – physically challenged, disables, differently abled, crippled
  • Homeless – displaced, dispossessed, adrift
  • Military Attack – armed intervention, collateral damage
  • Bathroom – be excused, restroom, public conveniences
  • Unemployed – between the jobs
  • Vomit – blow chunks, lose your lunch
  • Pregnant – bun in oven, in the club, in the family way
  • Bankrupt – in reduced circumstances
  • Blush – color up
  • Lying – economical with the truth
  • Lover – gentleman friend
  • Illegitimate – the wrong side of the blanket
  • Drunk – tired and over-emotional
  • Short-sighted – visually challenged
  • Arguments – full and frank discussion, have words with someone
  • Junk mail – direct mail
  • Wiretapping and bugging – electronic surveillance
  • Eliminating people from racial or national backgrounds – ethnic cleansing
  • Penalty – disincentive
  • Defecate – do your business
  • Intercourse – hankie pankie
  • Sick – indisposed
  • Theft – inventory leakage
  • Trailer park – mobile community
  • Salesperson – personal representative
  • Prostitute oneself – turn a trick
  • Making sex – making whoopee
  • Stolen – fallen off the back of a lorry
  • Prostitute – lady of the night, escort service
  • Be sterile – shoot blanks
  • Genital – private organs
  • Taxes – revenue enhancement
  • Used or second hand – pre-owned
  • Abortion – pregnancy termination
  • Prison – correction facility
  • With large sexual organs – well-endowed, well-hung
  • Rebels – freedom fighters
  • Bad stinking breath – halitosis
  • Masturbation – one off the wrist, spanking the monkey
  • Wrinkles – character lines
  • Brothel – house of ill repute
  • Adult entertainment – pornography
  • Homosexual – batting for the other side
  • Sexual reproduction – the birds and the bees
  • Urinate – spend a penny
  • Feces – night soil
  • Have sex for money – turn a trick
  • The urge to urinate – the call of nature
  • Fire employees – furlough employees
  • A couple engaged in sex – The beast with two backs
  • Gambling – gaming
  • Cannabis – pot
  • Offer sex – your place or mine?
  • Lame, crippled, disabled, handicapped, physically challenged – differently abled
  • Refusal of offer of sex -not tonight Josephine
  • Taking something apart to see how it works and then copying it – reverse engineering
  • Small people – restricted growth
  • Sue – take legal action
  • Prison Camp – relocation centre
  • Ban – downsize
  • Lodger – paying guest
  • Be promiscuous – sleep around
  • Brief sex – wham bam and thank you ma’am
  • Slaughterhouse – abattoir
  • Maid – domestic engineer
  • Homeless – on the streets
  • Slow Internet Speed – shaped
  • Sick – under the weather
  • Lazy – unmotivated
  • For a retirement home – assisted living facility
  • Drink – imbibe
  • Stolen merchandise – it fell off the back of a truck

Euphemisms For Death

Asleep with Jesus, bite the dust, cement shoes, bills of mortality, called home, deceased, feeling no pain, cross over to the other side, go to one’s last home, go to the last roundup, on the heavenly shores, run down the curtain, peg out, breathe one’s last, give up the ghost, sprouted wings and taking a dirt nap.

Funny Euphemisms For Death

Meet your marker, six feet under, popped his clogs, snuff it, kick the bucket and pushing up daisies.

Euphemisms For Modern Communication

  • Trying something new and different from your fashion comfort zone – donning the fedora.
  • To quietly search out the reason for a disturbance – peering over the cube.
  • Looking to someone else to immediately and mysteriously solve a problem – hiring a Russian.
  • Pulling on shirt buttons to test for solid construction – tugging the buttons.
  • Laying any kind of exotic groundwork – wetting the sugar.

Other Examples Of Euphemism

  • Politicians don’t commit crimes, they ‘make mistakes.’
  • People don’t fart, they ‘pass wind.’
  • Married men don’t commit adultery, they ‘cheat.’

Conclusion

Euphemisms are usually employed to avoid saying anything controversial or indiscreet and can be really witty and out-and-out comical at times. From classic literature to movies and from boardrooms to drawing rooms, euphemisms are extensively used everywhere when talking about sex, violence, or any other topics that is deemed as taboo or inappropriate in the civil society. What’s more, euphemisms can make your dialogues more poetic, add certain amount of sophistication to them and make them sound more proper and right. Euphemisms are an easy way to express oneself in a nice way without hurting or shocking anyone. Hope this extensive list of examples on euphemism will help you master the skill of polite conversation better and make you appear more couth.

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