Euphemism is the use of a word (or phrase) that replaces another one that one thinks to be too offensive or vulgar.
It also may be a replacement of a name or a word, that could reveal a secret or holy and sacred names to the uninitiated. It may also be used to obscure the identity of the subject of a conversation from potential . A well known example for many is the replacement of Lord Voldemort's name by "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" in Harry Potter. Some euphemisms are intended to be humorous.
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 politics.
Common examples [change]
Examples for euphemisms are:
- restroom for toilet room (the word toilet was itself originally a euphemism). This is an Americanism.
- making love to, doing it, or sleeping with for having sex with
- bathroom tissue, t.p., or bath tissue for toilet paper (Usually used by toilet paper manufacturers)
- mature for old or elderly
Other pages [change]
- 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. p. 678. ISBN 978-0-674-36250-5.