Euphemisms


    Euphemisms


  • The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive:

    Euphemism is an expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling to the listener than the word or phrase it replaces, or in the case of doublespeak to make it less troublesome for the speaker.

    When a phrase is used as a euphemism, it often becomes a metaphor whose literal meaning is dropped. Euphemisms are often 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 public relations and politics, where it is sometimes disparagingly called doublespeak. There are also superstitious euphemisms, based (consciously or subconsciously) on the idea that words have the power to bring bad fortune (for example, not speaking the word cancer; see Etymology and Common examples below) and religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are sacred, or that some words are spiritually imperiling (taboo; see Etymology and Religious euphemisms below).


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