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Euphemism (Noun)

委婉语
'Pass away' is a euphemism for 'die'.
'去世'是'死'的委婉语。 (来源:英语麦当劳-英语快餐EnglishCN.com)


Pronunciation: ['yu-f?mi-zm]

Definition 1: A less offensive word substituted for an offensive one. Words referring to the semantic extremes of the holy and the profane are often taboo. To circumvent the impediment this raises, we replace the prohibited words with more acceptable ones, called "euphemisms."

Usage 1: "God," as an interjection, for example, is replaced by "golly," and "heck" replaces "hell." One is too holy to be uttered, the other, too profane. In Britain, "bloody" is considered vulgar, so "ruddy" has replaced it: "He's a right ruddy blighter, he is." A person given to using euphemisms (euphemizing) is a "euphemist" or "euphemizer." Euphemisms are "euphemistic" terms and we use them "euphemistically."

Suggested usage: Today, euphemisms are widely used to replace any unpleasant or potentially offensive word. Not only are there a plethora of euphemisms for "drunk" (high, pickled, tipsy, snockered) and kill (eliminate, rub out, off, remove), but also for words that refer to jobs and conditions with negative connotations, e.g. "janitor" (custodian), "crippled" (impaired), "to fire" (to lay off), "insane" (mentally ill). In fact, "pork," "beef," and "mutton" are all euphemisms for "pig meat," "cow meat," and "sheep meat" borrowed from French porc "pig", boeuf "ox", and mouton "sheep."

Etymology【词源】: Today's word was borrowed from Greek "euphemismos "euphemism" from euphemizein "to use auspicious words" based on euphemia "auspicious words," a compound comprising eu- "good, true" + pheme "saying, speech." Greek "blasphemos," from which our "blasphemous" derives, was originally a similar compound based on blas- "bad" + phem- + os. English "blame" comes from Old French "blasmer," a reduction of Vulgar Latin *blastemere, itself a corruption of Late Latin blasphemare "to reproach."

 
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