Are you inclined toward verbal slicing and dicing, without bloodshed? Or, do you prefer to couch what you say in clever or unique phrasing? Then euphemisms could be your go-to mode of communication.
Saying what you mean can get you in trouble especially if the words are spot-on blunt. Far too many folks are faux-squeamish when it comes to what hits their eardrums, but only in public. In private, their vocabulary and cruelty would make a drill sergeant blush.
There are ways of skirting awkward or crass language. You simply get creative and rely on euphemisms. Be warned. Euphemisms can be offensive in a backhanded sort of way, and addictive.
You could say euphemisms were the predecessors of today’s political correctness, but more fun. In fact, given the highly uneducated graduates of far too many overpriced colleges and universities, euphemisms can be used as an intelligence test.
Please note, not all intelligent people have a college degree. They manage to improve their minds without professorial guidance. What a concept! The process is similar to reading the Bible without the filter of your particular religion.
There are too many overpaid and allegedly educated folks who have what irreverent college students refer to as the FUD degree, also known as a Ph.D. The Doctorate of Philosophy degree is meant to embody advanced studies in the academic and scientific fields. When you pit self-important FUDs against self-educated folks, who take excursions into deeper thoughts about more than their next social media posts, who do you think is the ultimate winner?
Dancing around the actual meaning of a word is akin to mental gymnastics and quite satisfying. As you become adept at phrasing the meaning of your thoughts in amusing or creative ways, your mind will expand with untold possibilities.
Let’s look at a few examples.
After a while, it gets boring to complain about men’s attachment to the television remote control. While doing a bit of mental rummaging, the perfect descriptive euphemism came to mind. “George clutches his non-sexual male appendage and does not share.”
To avoid hurting someone’s feelings, we couch our comments or criticisms in descriptive yet inoffensive words. The problem is some folks have pachyderm minds, and nothing subtle penetrates those tough mental hides. We could stoop to calling them dense or smile and say “Do you sense an impenetrable fog smothering this conversation?” The true rhinoceros hide will either smile and nod in confusion or say “Huh?”
Or, instead of describing folks with their heads up their a**, we can simply state that they are suffering a cranial rectal inversion.
For the sake of propriety, older folks fall back on euphemisms to avoid using rusty scalpel descriptions. So, instead of referring to a female as uncouth, they may say “Betty Jean is rough as a cobb.” Or, describing their trip to Amsterdam, a couple said they saw several “pavement princesses” on the street near their hotel.
Referring to a well-endowed woman in her church, one lady curled the fingers of her hands cupped toward her chest explaining that “Sally has problems finding clothes that fit because of her Arthur-itis.”
In America, when speaking of fired employees, the terms “layoffs” or “downsizing” are used. In the United Kingdom, they are blunt. “He’s been made redundant.” Do you prefer to be superfluous or laid off?
As is often the case with humans, even off-the-wall euphemism can hit the mark. “That couple walking in the mall reminds me of plastic storage bags, hefty.”
When a person dies, some folks say “she passed.” Since confusion is not the sole domain of rhino-brains, one might reply “What? Did she die from a serious gas problem?”
It was common to see Used Car Dealerships, but now not-so-new vehicles are Pre-Owned. In either case, they were used by someone.
The efforts of folks to be faux-polite even affects animal poop. The more acceptable terms are “fertilizer contributions” or “cow chips” or “cow patties” or “critter droppings.”
Unless you prefer to be boringly nice, go forth and euphemize.