Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

A little word fun: What are your favorite euphemisms?

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Euphemisms are those words or phrases we use when we want to dress up a word or phrase in something more pleasant. A euphemism often hides a more direct or even blunt term. I’m sure you know what I mean. I ran onto a website that listed dozens of euphemisms, several of which I use often, some of which just irritate me.

Most of us are familiar with euphemisms related to death: “passing,” “passed away,” “asleep with Jesus,” and “fallen asleep” are just a few. Concepts we are uncomfortable writing about directly often come easier when surrounded by euphemisms, such as: “hankie pankie,” and “fooling around,” when talking about sexual intercourse.

Here are some of my favorite euphemisms, for no special reason, they just make me smile when I hear or read them: “give up the ghost,” “kick the bucket,” “big boned,” “big, handsome woman,” “economical with the truth,” and “between jobs.” I’m sure you can figure out what the more direct words are hiding behind the euphemisms there, can’t you? If not, ask.

What are some of your favorite euphemisms? What are some that make you cringe, perhaps, or at least earn your ire? Let us know — or “clue us in,” or “enlighten us,” or “spill the beans,” or …
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2 Responses to “A little word fun: What are your favorite euphemisms?”

  1. Harold says:

    I don’t have any for you at the moment, but I’m seeking a euphemism to indicate the act of writing. Got any?

  2. Gary says:

    Hmm. Yeah, that’s an interesting idea, a euphemism for writing. How about “wrestling with the muses”? Nah. Too corny. But then, maybe a good euphemism needs a touch of corn? What can you come up with?

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