One purpose of slang is to keep illegal doings off the radar of any noisy bystanders, especially cops. So even though slang and euphemisms tend to be on opposite ends of the honesty scale, they can both be used as cloaking devices.  Continue reading...

Do you have a transfusion specialist? Transfusion specialist is a euphemism for blood boy: a young, healthy fella who the wealthy pay for their invigorating blood. This term comes from the land of fiction, but treating youthful blood as a fountain of youth is all-too-real. Whether you're young enough to sell your blood for a pretty penny or old enough to prey on the young like Nosferatu, I hope you can appreciate a heaping helping of hokum.  Continue reading...

By now, you've likely heard about an awful incident in which a man was viciously dragged off an overbooked United flight. You've likely also heard about the euphemism United CEO Oscar Munoz used in the immediate aftermath: "I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers." Deep down, we're all clueless airline executives. When we're ashamed or just want to dodge blame, we use or concoct terms that create a bubble of balderdash around the truth. Here are some of the latest and lamest.  Continue reading...

Just as enhanced is a term that attracts euphemisms like catnip attracts cats and cats attract YouTube views, alternative is no newcomer to the euphemism game.  Continue reading...

Though I made a case for alt-right as 2016's Euphemism of the Year, the American Dialect Society went in another direction, those rascals! They selected locker-room talk, which is a pretty solid euphemism, though I'm not sure it made the top ten twaddlesome terms of 2016. This year is young, but there's already a candidate I suspect everyone and their uncle is going to support or at least suggest for 2017's euphemism of the year: alternative facts.  Continue reading...

The American Dialect Society will be meeting in early January to present papers and share research about our ever-evolving language. They'll also pick the Word of the Year, along with many other categories—including Euphemism of the Year. Here's a list of suggested contenders.  Continue reading...

Development need. This is my new favorite/least favorite euphemism, and I spied it in some online discussions about writing. One student after another mentioned having "some strengths and development needs." Not strengths and weaknesses, nosireebob: strengths and development needs, by the green thumb of Yoda.  Continue reading...

1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 104 Articles