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Lexicographer Hugh Rawson died recently. Among other accomplishments, he wrote Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, a monumental, essential look at euphemisms that every language-lover should own. I can't recommend it enough.  Continue reading...

I believe in equality: in society and in columns. Last month, I looked at the prolific use of gentleman in euphemisms. This month, I turn to lady. Lady euphs prove something I always suspected: the English language is seldom a well-behaved lady, but it always shows you a good time.  Continue reading...

Do gentlemen exist anymore? The word feels old-fashioned and paleolithic in the era of dudes, bros, and creeps. However, the word gentleman has a long, vibrant history as a euphemism. That history is worth celebrating. In the spirit of a recent column on angels, here's a look at the critters and crimes gentleman has coddled and concealed.  Continue reading...

Over the past couple of years, I've done several columns on massive dictionaries that have been recently completed or published, like the Dictionary of American Regional English and Green's Dictionary of Slang. Unfortunately, not all lexicographical projects have such a happy ending.  Continue reading...

I've gone theme-happy with this column in recent months, looking at euphemisms for death, pregnancy, 30 Rock, and angels. Enough cohesion! It's time for a random roundup of terms that have crossed my eye, brightened my day, and befuddled my brain.  Continue reading...

In honor of the Dictionary of American Regional English winning the American Library Association's 2013 award for excellence in reference books, Mark Peters is going back to the beginning of the alphabet to uncover a trove of regional euphemisms.  Continue reading...

2012, the year of the Mayan non-pocalypse, has passed away, joined the heavenly choir, bit the big one, bought the farm, joined the heavenly choir, taken a dirt nap, joined the majority, and croaked. Let's bury it with terms of an appropriate nature: euphemisms for death.  Continue reading...

1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 72 Articles