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.

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    If you're making hamburgers that turn out to be ground up bloody cow flesh, you're doing it wrong.
    – deadrat
    Jan 15, 2016 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, 2016 at 4:57
  • polite expression comes to mind. Also, I found this english.stackexchange question, which suggests another great option: paranym.
    – user152004
    Jan 15, 2016 at 5:54
  • Or maybe groundupbloodycowfleshphobia would make a good generic name for the phenomenon.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 16, 2016 at 11:10

1 Answer 1



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, 2016 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, 2016 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." Jan 15, 2016 at 7:39

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