Questions about harmless rewordings of potentially offensive words or phrases.

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-4
votes
1answer
18k 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?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

How is the term “African-American” politically correct?

First, a note: This question is meant to have no explicit or implicit political/sociological connotation whatsoever, and is indeed born of actual and deep curiosity as to what is in the author's ...
33
votes
20answers
9k views

Euphemism for diarrhea

I've recently been having diarrhea and may be calling in sick to work tomorrow. I work at a small company, so typically this involves emailing my manager and team with something like this: Hi ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Is “ethnic cleansing” an inappropriate euphemism if mass murder isn't involved?

I have heard about "ethnic cleansing" as an inappropriate euphemism. Is it only inappropriate when it's referring to mass killing, or is it also inappropriate when talking about the forced expulsion ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

Positive euphemisms for desert?

Looking on thesaurus.com I can find only synonyms for "desert" with negative connotations. Are there any synonyms with positive connotations? Specifically, something that invokes the sense of clean ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Meaning of “Immorality” in the 1886 cartoon “The Mongolian Octopus”

The cartoon The Mongolian Octopus: His Grip on Australia from 1886 (presumably referring to Chinese or Asian people, not Mongolians in particular) has "Immorality" as one of the tentacles. In the ...
6
votes
3answers
149 views

“Birds and bees” origins

"The birds and the bees" is a euphemistic way of referring to sex. As in, a parent 'telling their son about the birds and the bees' would be giving them "the talk" about sex. Growing up, I got "...
0
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

“separate” and “terminate” for “dismiss/discharge” from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Adjective for 'shite'

The adjective for 'shit' is 'shitty'. And is there no different adjective for the British word 'shite'?
3
votes
2answers
301 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
85 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
119 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?
2
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
340 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
124 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
182 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
35 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Does “absent friends” have definite association with deceased family/friends?

Having gotten married this year and acting as best man for my brother, one of the responsibilities for speeches was a toast "to absent friends". With some of our family no longer being alive, for us ...
2
votes
2answers
650 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
267 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
4answers
589 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
868 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
336 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?
0
votes
1answer
42 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
173 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
13k 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) ...
0
votes
2answers
362 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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?
11
votes
11answers
22k 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
2answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
18
votes
13answers
22k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
855 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
12k 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
144 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 ...
-1
votes
6answers
766 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
319 views

Can “fornicate” be used as a transitive verb? [closed]

(I’m asking this for someone else who doesn’t know about this site (yet).) Could fornicate be used as a transitive verb, as in We have to keep A from fornicating B. I don’t believe it can.
9
votes
8answers
2k views

What's a non pejorative way of saying that a woman is bigger? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Euphemisms to replace “fat” In French you could say that a woman is plus en chair, plus ronde, which are not necessarily pejorative. How can I say the same ...
0
votes
6answers
219 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.
13
votes
5answers
11k views

What are the polite and neutral versions of “cut the bull*’?

I was wondering what are the polite and neutral versions of cut the bullshit? Suppose one calls his mobile customer service for signal problem, but the representative endlessly tries to promote ...
-1
votes
8answers
32k 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 ...
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 ...
32
votes
6answers
12k views

Less vulgar synonyms for “circlejerk”

Someone asked in the Math.StackExchange chatroom what a "more refined word for circlejerk" might be. UrbanDictionary defines this (in our desired usage) as: [...] pompous, self-congratulatory ...
0
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...