related topics
{woman, child, man}
{language, word, form}
{god, call, give}
{film, series, show}
{black, white, people}
{disease, patient, cell}
{son, year, death}
{@card@, make, design}
{build, building, house}
{law, state, case}
{game, team, player}
{ship, engine, design}
{specie, animal, plant}
{theory, work, human}
{food, make, wine}
{acid, form, water}
{water, park, boat}
{car, race, vehicle}
{group, member, jewish}
{school, student, university}
{rate, high, increase}
{island, water, area}
{service, military, aircraft}

A euphemism is a substitution for an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver, using instead an agreeable or less offensive expression,[1] or to make it less troublesome for the speaker.

The purpose of the substitution may also be to avoid revealing secret or sacred names to the uninitiated, or to obscure the identity of the subject of a conversation from in certain situations.[citation needed]

Some euphemisms are intended to amuse.



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 public relations and politics, where it is sometimes called doublespeak. Sometimes the use of euphemisms is equated to politeness. 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 "autism"; see etymology and common examples below), and there are religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are holy, or that some words are spiritually perilous (taboo; see etymology).

Full article ▸

related documents
Gender neutrality in English
Attic Greek
Written Chinese
Dari (Eastern Persian)
NATO phonetic alphabet
Malayalam language
Grammatical conjugation
French grammar
Wolof language
Goidelic languages
Grammatical tense
List of French words and phrases used by English speakers
Sign language
Grammatical voice
Indo-European languages
SAMPA chart
Genitive case
Hebrew alphabet
Akkadian language