What is the word that describes calling something by a banal title to disguise its true identity? Such as hamburger which is actually ground up, bloody cow flesh. Sounds nicer and doesn't remind people what they are actually eating.

closed as off-topic by anongoodnurse, Brian Hooper, JEL, Nathaniel, ab2 Jan 21 '16 at 10:34

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  • 1
    If you're making hamburgers that turn out to be ground up bloody cow flesh, you're doing it wrong. – deadrat Jan 15 '16 at 4:36
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    I have to agree with @deadrat: a good steak taratre costs a hell of a lot more than a lousy hamburger. I'm not a fan. I'm just saying. Some people order riesling with it, but that's because they're morons. Red only goes with red. – Ricky Jan 15 '16 at 4:57
  • polite expression comes to mind. Also, I found this english.stackexchange question, which suggests another great option: paranym. – Dan Romik Jan 15 '16 at 5:54
  • Or maybe groundupbloodycowfleshphobia would make a good generic name for the phenomenon. – Sven Yargs Jan 16 '16 at 11:10


A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant.



Sign in a Rite Aid drugstore using common American euphemisms for (from top): contraceptives, douches, tampons, and menstrual pads, respectively.


  • +1 for the impatience. Euphemism isn't what the OP's looking for. It should be closer to name de plume, or working alias, or monicker, or something like that. – Ricky Jan 15 '16 at 4:58
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    I think @Kyle's suggestion is in line with the OP's request: a word for a "banal" term for something more disturbing. Of course, the OP actually asked for "the word that describes calling something" which technically would be more like the act of "euphemizing." – Kiri Jan 15 '16 at 5:38
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    I agree with Kyle. "Euphemism" is the banal title. I also get where Kiri's going, but I'd say the adjective is "euphemistic"; the adverb, "euphemistically." – Benjamin Harman Jan 15 '16 at 7:39

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