Questions about harmless rewordings of potentially offensive words or phrases.

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3
votes
2answers
83 views

Is “sh*te” a swear word?

So I was watching The Simpsons just before, the episode being "Fraudcast News". At the end of the episode many Springfield residents follow in Lisa's footsteps and start to print their own newspapers. ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a neutral term for “politically correct”?

Although no one disagrees with making speech impartial and not offensive, some people think that the process of "Political Correctness" has been carried too far, so the phrase is sometimes considered ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

“cathouse,” “call house,” and “sporting house” for “bordello”

All three terms appear to be euphemisms for house of prostitution and are marked as Americanisms by Robert-Collins French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985. cathouse being the most common one (as ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the euphemism “comfort women” so heavily used?

Most reporting on women used for sex by the Japanese armed forces during WWII use the euphemism "comfort women", derived from the Japanese word "ianfu", which means "comfort women". Sometimes the ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

When did “Happy ending” get used as a euphemism?

Once upon a time, happy ending was only used in the context of fiction. But since then, it's been used as a euphemism for sexual release at the end of an erotic massage. When did "Happy ending" get ...
3
votes
5answers
107 views

What's a word for “toughish”?

I am looking for an adjective that can be used to describe a 'thug'. Seeing that toughish isn't in most dictionaries (nor did I expect it to be, but an entry in a thesaurus would have been nice), nor ...
3
votes
4answers
138 views

Euphemism for Poor Performance

I am looking for a euphemism to be used on a student evaluation form that relates to poor/unsatisfactory/unacceptable performance. I do not want to erode the self-esteem of a special needs audience. I ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What is the antonym of euphemisms? [duplicate]

When a fact perceived inpolite, we choose alternatives e.g. passed instead died, WC instead toilet,but i wonder what is it when we like the fact that being occured? For example while hunting ...
2
votes
2answers
337 views

Whatever tickles their fancy in the US?

The delightful-sounding tickle your fancy is, I think, one of those rare idioms where the word order can be reversed and its meaning changes; the request: fancy a tickle? said with a raised eyebrow ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

Are countries either “developed” or “developing”?

The term "developing" feels a little like "deferred success". Are all countries typically categorized as either "developed" or "developing"? Is it normal to describe a country as neither?
1
vote
1answer
136 views

number one and number two as euphemisms for urinate/defecate. rationale for which is which?

After years of never knowing which is which, I finally looked it up and it seems number one is firmly taking a pee, while number two is taking a poo. This seems quite arbitrary so I am wondering the ...
1
vote
2answers
226 views

Euphemisms for rejection (man-women and vice versa)

Example: The more time passed, the more sure I became she’d [...] me. The most common word in this case is reject. I'm wondering, though, what euphemisms I can use aside from turn down?
1
vote
4answers
514 views

What does “play the trumpet” mean?

In a recent Academia SE question, user moonman239 writes: Example: Bathroom breaks, an urgent phone call, or a need to "play the trumpet" (if you know what I mean) As the user does not seem to ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Proper usage of “passed” vs “passed away”

The current popular verb for someone who has died is to say they "passed." It sounds incorrect to me -- isn't the proper terminology "passed-away"? I've noticed that people on TV and people under 30 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

The word for serial maternalists?

Consider the case where a woman goes from giving birth straight into pregnancy again and repeats the cycle. Say five children in 46 months. "She's a serial maternalist"? This doesn't sound right. ...
1
vote
4answers
152 views

“dead brother's grandson” VS “passed-away brother's grandson”

One is dead brother's grandson (and) dead sister's grandson. The other is passed-away brother's grandson (and) passed-away sister's grandson. They come from part of a novel which I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
274 views

Do you ever use the phrase 'good for you' with a completely positive connotation? [duplicate]

I feel the phrase 'good for you' shows a sense of detachment or lack of interest and sounds so rude while the phrase 'I feel happy for you' shows a sense of interest and friendship. I wonder why would ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a politically correct term for illiterate people?

The question says it all. What is the standard, compassionate/politically-correct term for those who lack a literacy education? I'm looking for something a little higher in register and more accurate ...
10
votes
11answers
14k views

Polite name for a prostitute [closed]

I have a character in a fiction I am writing. She's a prostitute but she takes great pride in her work. In the scene where she makes her first appearance, she does try and seduce one of the heroines ...
4
votes
4answers
900 views

American word for commode

I know several words for the toilet, i.e. bathroom. However I want to know the colloquial word for the seat on which one sits while defecating. I have read john somewhere but never heard an American ...
0
votes
2answers
11k views

What does “I want you to do me” mean?

I read a conversation between two people. "I want you to do me on this table." What is the meaning of this sentence?
2
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the antonym for euphemism? [duplicate]

Euphemism would mean putting across something that is possibly very hurtful in a very polite /mild manner. Is there any specific word for its antonym? The closest to this that I can think of is ...
3
votes
3answers
615 views

How do we refer to body odour delicately?

Perhaps one of the most difficult things I ever had to do as a manager of staff was to talk to someone about their 'body odour'. Can anyone think of a term to use and appropriate language in which ...
0
votes
1answer
8k views

What can I replace the word “I” with in my cover letter? [duplicate]

When proofing my résumé’s cover letter, I found that I am writing I way too much. I have read that this is a potential turn-off for employers. Does anyone have suggestions on how to replace I with ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

More friendly word for “enterprise”

This is a toughy, but I'm looking for a word that doesn't have the connotations of "enterprise," "corporate" or "national account." Something that will get the idea of multi-unit businesses across in ...
0
votes
6answers
199 views

Positive euphemism for “harped on”

How can I replace harped on with a more positive expression? The production manager harped on the new quality assurance regulations for nearly an hour.
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a more tactful way to tell someone they are “difficult to work with”?

I want to tell someone they have been “difficult to work with” in writing, but I don’t want to put it quite so directly. Is there another way to write it so that doesn’t sound as if it were some ...
-1
votes
8answers
23k views

A 'polite' way to say that someone is fat [closed]

Can you help in finding an adjective or expression that you can use to tell a persons that they are fat or overweight in a as neutral as possible way. The overweight person in question is very ...
0
votes
4answers
19k views

Polite swearing words? [closed]

I hate to swear, i.e to say "fuck you" or whatsoever of those words. However sometimes I get angry and I wish there are words that could be a polite replacement for those swearing. I wish there's a ...
-1
votes
6answers
657 views

What is a good substitute word for the X-cum-Y construction? [closed]

I wanted to use the word "cum" to avoid repeating "and" in the following phrase: example.com is a teacher-cum-student search and listing site... But on second thoughts, the word "cum" is also a ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

A Less Offensive Word For Crippled Beggar? [closed]

What would be a nice way of saying a crippled beggar? For example I want to say "I gave some money to a crippled beggar who was begging on the road" but the word crippled and beggar doesn't seem nice ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How did “yours truly” become a euphemism for “I” or “me”?

Rarely but occasionally I've seen yours truly appear in text when the author wishes to refer to him- or herself. An example from The Cambridge Dictionary: Some folks, such as yours truly, can't ...
3
votes
7answers
291 views

Software bug formal usage

Is it appropriate to use terms "software bug" and/or just "bug" in formal report? What else could be used instead? Defect?
0
votes
1answer
55k views

What do CI, CIM, CID, CIB mean?

I was talking to a friend about a girl, and he mentioned that “She can pretty much CI anything, CIB, CIM or CID.” I’m wondering what these mean. The context was sexual experience. Sorry if I missed ...
14
votes
2answers
906 views

Did people ever use the word “cock” as a euphemism for “God”?

English has a lot of surprises. When I was checking the etymology of "cocksure", I found this entry in Oxford Dictionaries: 1 British A male bird, especially of a domestic fowl. Below is ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there an idiom or euphemism for when someone has an average/small penis but knows how to use it?

Really, what the question title states. In my language there's a more "flowery" phrase to say "size doesn't matter". It would roughly translate to "even a small clown can work in the big top" – I'm ...
-1
votes
4answers
3k views

What does it mean when someone has 'issues' with something?

This seems another of those fashionable expressions (like awesome) which may not stand the test of generations. But when someone tells you that Suzannah has 'issues with self confidence', what does ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Why aren't there any common words for 'defecating' and 'urinating'?

Besides 'poo(p)ing' and 'peeing/weeing' used by and to children, besides 'shitting/crapping' and 'pissing' which are spoken, not polite, says the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, besides ...
2
votes
1answer
415 views

What was “bathroom” called in 1900's?

What would have been said around 1900 for a woman saying she needed to go to the bathroom in the state of Virginia?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Oh my God, Oh my Lord, Oh my Gosh

What are the differences between them? Is there a cultural and/or social interference? Do young people say "Oh my Gosh" more than others?
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Euphemism for poo

In German, we call the result of one particular dump as well as the doing it itself sein Geschäft machen (to do a deal/business) This is common and fit for print. Is there something similar in ...
0
votes
4answers
493 views

Euphemism for fundamental conflict between two things?

Is there a euphemism for, within a given scenario, the fundamental conflict between two things? Almost akin to 'double-edged sword'. But that would not be right. I can clarify more. Open to any ...
2
votes
4answers
204 views

What is a euphemism for enforcer?

As in a bad guy, thug, hatchet man, etc. who "persuades" people to pay. I'm trying to think of something overly professional and comedic. Any ideas?
1
vote
4answers
1k views

what does “flip the bird” mean?

I mean in this sentence "A buzzer sounds sharply in the distance. without looking up, he lifts his middle finger up on one hand and flips 'the bird' , holds it a moment.drops it." I dont know what he ...
4
votes
4answers
311 views

A term for this type of language

For example, you're in a room with three people. You're talking to one person and the other is getting kind of stupid or is doing something that you find dumb. To insult them without them catching on ...
3
votes
1answer
483 views

Skin as euphemism for money

What is the origination or history of using "skin" to refer to "money?" For example, a golf competition called a "skins game" or, referring to an investor who, "has some skin in the game."
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Euphemism for “a person one really detests / hates”?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Is there a word to mean "a person one really detests / hates"? The word "bastard" may be a good fit, but I'm looking for something though forceful, is not vulgar.
7
votes
4answers
12k views

French Letters and condoms

Repartee (inexact quote) from a TV show: Person A: Now, we're going to be getting some letters from French people. Person B: It could be worse. You might be getting French letters. (laughter) ...
7
votes
1answer
360 views

When was “ladyparts” first used to describe the genitalia of a woman?

When was the word ladyparts first used to describe the genitalia of a woman? I tried to look it up in the British National Corpus but it returned no results.
18
votes
13answers
18k views

Euphemism for “There's more than one way to skin a cat”

Growing up in the 80s, I ended up hearing/using this phrase a lot whenever I wanted to express that there was more than one way to do something: "there's more than one way to skin a cat." I have ...