Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Euphemism

Euphemisms are common place in today's society where we have become over-sensitised to some of life's more cruder or unpleasant aspects.
So what is a euphemism? 
Definition: The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive.

Death - unpleasant, but just about the only thing in life we can rely on. Few people, however, are blunt enough to say "Jack died yesterday". Instead he will have 'passed away', 'departed', be ' no longer with us'. Cue the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot' sketch (approx. 2:20).

Fat, as in overweight. It's not polite to call someone fat (regardless of whether they are or not) so a whole array of words are used in its place: ample, curvy, voluptuous etc. I'm for calling a spade, a spade - but in today's society I would be considered voluptuous, instead of just plain fat.

Sex. Ah, sex. Without it we would cease to exist... as a species; but this natural act has more alternative names for it than I could possibly know or list here. Not to be deterred though, here's a selection: 'bonk', 'dip the wick', 'do the dirty', 'roll in the hay', 'sow wild oats', 'play doctors and nurses' and 'show someone your etchings'.

The BBC have a rather fun article on The 10 Most Scandalous Euphemisms - the funniest of which I think has to be 'watching badgers': just the sort of thing you do in a park notorious for being a homosexual  pick-up place. You've got to admire some of these politicians for their front!

Well, I'm off to walk the dogs - and that is not a euphemism. :)

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