Euphemism: A milder term for something too harsh

A part of series on English grammar...

Euphemism: A milder term for something too harsh


Euphemism is a term given to an expression that is a milder, more pleasant, less direct way of saying something that might be thought to be too harsh or direct.

English has a great many euphemisms, many of these referring to certain areas of life.

Euphemisms range from the high-flown, to the coy, to slang. Some examples of euphemisms and of the area in which they tend to occur are listed below:

Euphemism: A milder term for something too harsh

Euphemisms for ‘old’ –

getting on a bit, in the sunset years, of advanced years, in the twilight years

Euphemisms for ‘suicide’ –

do away with oneself, end it all, take one’s own life

Euphemisms for ‘to dismiss’ –

declare redundant, deselect, dispense with services, let go

Euphemisms for ‘drunk’ –

tipsy, legless, well-oiled, half-cut, feeling no pain

Euphemisms for ‘naked’ –

in a state of nature, in one’s birthday suit, starkers, without a stitch

Euphemism for ‘pregnant’ –

expecting, in the family way, awaiting the platter of tiny feet

Euphemisms for ‘to have sexual intercourse’ –

do it, go to bed with, make love, make out

Euphemisms for ‘sexual intercourse’ –

intimacy, roll in the hay, rumpy pumpy

Euphemisms for ‘to go to the toilet’ –

answer the call of the nature, freshen up, go somewhere,

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