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Euphemism – Definition and Examples

June 4th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

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This week’s Lesson – Euphemisms

What is Euphemisms?

Euphemisms are agreeable or inoffensive substitutes for expressions that might offend someone or suggest something unpleasant. Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.

For example, ‘death penalty’ can be considered as an offensive expression by some. Its euphemism will be ‘capital punishment’. For more commonly used euphemisms see below.

Opposite of Euphemism

Dysphemism is usage of a nasty term for something not-nasty

Common Usage of Euphemisms

Offensive Expressions Euphemisms
Death Demise
Pornography Erotica
Bad breath Halitosis
Poor Indigent, destitute
Customer of a prostitute John
Death rate Morality rate
Customer Patron, Guest
Boarder Paying Guest
Secondhand car, used car Pre-owned car
Public toilet Restroom, Amenity center, Comfort station
Lie Stretch the truth
Destitute, poor Underprivileged
Kill Marginalize
Handicapped Physically challenged

I am sure you will have many more such substitutes which you use in formal environment. Share them with all by commenting below.

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