We’ve talked about euphemisms before. Do you remember? We use them when dealing with taboo or sensitive subjects.
According to Merriam-Webster, a euphemism is “a mild or pleasant word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive”.
So when someone comes to visit you after a long journey, instead of asking them if they’d like to use the toilet, you can ask if they’d like to wash their hands or if they’d like to freshen up.
Years ago, instead of saying that I wanted to go to the toilet, I might have said that I wanted to spend a penny or that I wanted to powder my nose. But I really can’t remember when I last used face powder. It feels like a hundred years ago! 😉
If you hear someone say that someone is chronically (or punctually) challenged, they are trying to be polite and mean that that person is always late.
Another euphemism you might hear or read about is “vertically challenged”. People use it when they want to be more polite about someone being “short” (as opposed to “tall”). It’s a bit of a mouthful, don’t you think?
We’ve talked about euphemisms before. Remember? They are those milder, vaguer words that are used instead of words that are considered to be offensive or unpleasant.
So, instead of talking about beer and liquor (in America) or beer and spirits in (Britain), you might hear the term “adult beverages” – meaning drinks for adults only!
We’ve spoken about “euphemisms” before. Remember? Here’s another example. Instead of talking about “pornography”, you’ll often hear people use the term “adult entertainment”.