What are some euphemism examples that you know?

Euphemism examples abound in everyday speak. You may hear them and not even realize that they are euphemisms. There are numerous common euphemisms that you should consider for use in your writing.

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The euphemism definition is "an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh." For example, instead of saying that someone died, you may say that they "passed away." This way of speaking -- the euphemism, if you will -- is the more tolerated form, as it does not sound as awful to the 'naked ear'.

The euphemism examples in the following list of euphemisms can be pondered in both figurative and literal ways to provide countless opportunities for creative writing.

Death Euphemisms
Kicked the bucket
Pushing up daisies
Bought the farm
Gone to a better place
No longer with us

Work Euphemisms
Sanitation engineer vs. garbageman
Cemetery Worker vs. gravedigger
Custodian vs. janitor

Aesthetic Euphemisms
Vertically challenged vs. short
Big-boned, full-figured, heavy set vs. fat

School/Intellectual Euphemisms
Held back vs. flunked/failed
Comparing answers vs. cheating
Not the sharpest tool in the shed vs. dumb
Uniquely smart vs. stupid

Other Euphemisms
Persuaded vs. forced
Pre-owned vs. used
Inebriated vs. drunk
Handicapped vs. crippled
Paint oneself into a corner vs. have difficulties
Dig oneself a hole vs. create one's own problems


Remember that euphemism examples have a basis in metaphor. Also, a euphemism does not necessarily have to be one that has been used before or that you hear on a regular basis. You may have your own way of saying something that would be perfectly understandable to other people. An inside joke is a form of a euphemism. It is something that you can comprehend and apply meaning to, while others may not be able to. You are saying something in such a way that someone can begin to note the interplay of words and gauge their meaning using the underlying metaphors that may be involved.

Euphemism Examples

So, think of any inside jokes you know. What makes them fun to hear, easy to understand, and creatively stimulating? Once you feel you have the answers to these questions, then write about the euphemism examples you have contemplated. However, do not just write about their figurative meanings. Take them literally.

Maybe you'll write a story about someone who actually buys a farm, but doesn't really die to do so. Or, maybe you'll discuss how the axe in your back shed is not really sharp enough to cut through anything. You can discuss a full-figured entity that is not a person, possibly in the form of a figure skater performing a perfect figure eight. Write about someone who is uniquely smart because they have unique ideas, or someone who literally kicked a bucket because they were sick of it being in the way. You can write about someone who was held back by another person just to discuss something, rather than to have to repeat a grade.

Take the terms literally. Write down what each term would mean in the literal sense, based on your opinions. See where their meanings take you on the road to writing euphemism examples and stories all your own. You may find that through literal interpretation, figurative meaning can be discerned much more easily. The way you see and comprehend words and their meanings is completely up to you. Just stay open to all the possibilities that exist.


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