Friday, August 26, 2016

Learn English - Euphemisms

Good morning everyone and in this particular post I will talk about Euphemism and it's usage with couple examples.

So what is Euphemism? 

To simply put it is something to replace certain harsh or offensive words with something mild or less unpleasant. So basically it substitutes harsh, offensive, direct words or words that has negative stigma attached to it to something softer in order to avoid offending people or over inflate the importance of some words. It can be a word or two or an expression. Honestly I'm not a big fan Euphemisms, I like to call things whatever it is in most cases but in this day and age it is very easy to offend people, so it is better to learn about an alternate way of expressing your mind. Hopefully this hasn't offended anyone yet. To me personally it is not about showing disrespect or something because I think someone can be disrespectful inside even if they use a milder word but someone can be respectful and yet call spade a spade. Now Let's take a look at couple examples that are very common.



Death, instead of blatantly saying someone has died we can use something different like

Passed away,
Meet someone's maker,
Six feet under,
Didn't make it,
Negative patient outcome etc.


Toilet, many people feels shy using this word so they use something else like

Little boy's room,
Rest room,
Wash room,
Lady's room,
Go and see a man about a dog,
Powder your nose,
Spend a penny etc.


Unemployed, it is a bit harsh to say someone is unemployed so we can use

Laid off,
Between jobs etc.


Handicapped or Disabled, again rude to use such terms and about the word disabled they are really not disabled so it is better to use something like this

Mentally challenged,
Physically challenged,
Differently-able etc.


Fat, again some people consider this word to be rude so the following words can be used instead

Full figured,
A few extra pounds,
Let himself go,
Big boned,
Chubby etc.


Stolen(or cheap product), often times we can buy very cheap products from something like a black market that we know might have been stolen, we don't say stolen we say the following words,

Fell off the back of a truck,
Get off the truck etc.


Used, in car dealership using the term used kind of decreases the value of the good so they instead use

Previously enjoyed.


Getting pregnant, some people feel shy to admit it or say anything about it so they use different terms like

Bun in the oven,
Knocked up(some people actually consider this to be even more negative).


Jail, it is not pleasant to say someone is in the jail rather the following term is used.

Correctional facility.


Genocide, I don't have any problem with this word rather I would say it is better to use this because softening it might undermine the severity of what happened. We know examples of genocide like Armenian Genocide of First World War, Jewish genocide on Second World War, Genocide on Bangladeshi people on 1971 etc. and these were really severe so again I don't see any point of using anything else but people use the term

Ethnic cleansing.


Prostitution might sound taboo and people use

Turn a trick.


Accidental death, which often times happen specially during war time or invasion time like now and lot of time civilian casualty happens and rather than using accidental death media or government  usually uses

Collateral damage.


To fire someone might not sound good so instead of saying that we can use

Letting someone go.


Euthanize is to kill someone(usually animal) to lessen their suffering. In a terminal case where the animal usually a pet is going to die anyway and suffering greatly they are instead euthanized and people don't like to call it this so they say

Put to sleep,
Pull the plug.


Homeless, instead of saying homeless it is polite to use

On the streets.


Abortion might sound harsh or saddening to some people so they use

Pregnancy termination.


Pornography might offend some people so use

Adult entertainment.


Liquor, wine and beer might offend people too so instead use

Adult beverage.


Prostitute, some people use

Comfort woman although I don't agree with this because this word was used during world war 2 and comfort women were the girls that were forced into sex slavery by Japanese people so not really prostitutes.


Late kinda sounds harsh so use

Chronologically challenged.


To have Sex sounds aggressive to some people so use

Sleep together,
Go all the way.


Short, don't say someone is short which might offend that person instead use

Vertically challenged.


Maid, the person who works at home can be called

Domestic engineer.


Ugly can be derogatory so use

Appearance deficit.


A place where chance of getting mugged is high can be referred to as

Vibrant area of town.


Lazy can be harsh too so use a bit more polite

Couch potato.


Stripper is a person who usually dance or performs naked so use

Exotic dancer.


Elderly, rather than saying it better say

Senior citizen.


Poor also might sound rude so use

Economically challenged.


Unwanted call is kind of a call to or from wrong person and can be said

Courtesy call.

These are some common Euphemisms that you might hear on a daily basis.

Read my other posts here.

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