I'm looking for a word that I learned when studying for the CLEP analysing and interpreting literature exam. It is a word that means -'a more eloquent version of a harsher word.

Example: saying, 'expecting' instead of 'pregnant'

  • 2
    The title contradicts the body, the title is asking for a word that is harsher (derogatory) version of word while the body is asking for a word that is a "softer version"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 10, 2016 at 6:45
  • You have also used a double comparative (less nicer). Notwithstanding Shakespeare's having used them, they are not considered grammatical in modern English. It either needs to be less nice, or nicer.
    – WS2
    Apr 10, 2016 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


Euphemism: "a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing." Google euphemism

Euphemism: "the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant"


  • Like saying someone passed away, when they died.
    – WS2
    Apr 10, 2016 at 7:13
  • Yeah, the etymology is almost literal: Greek for "good speech".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 10, 2016 at 12:43
  • I added the link. Please cite your reference and add a link from now on.
    – ab2
    Apr 10, 2016 at 14:20
  • @ab2 Is your comment addressed to me? I'm new on the site, and am slightly confused. In a similar answer I provided, a definition, my comment was edited by the site, and the link I provided was deleted, which is why I didn't provide a link this time. From now on, I will, thank you. Apr 10, 2016 at 14:24
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    @NVZ I'm not computer savvy, nor am I familiar with all the variations of links. If I want to answer a question, I try to find a link to support my answer. Perhaps my links aren't reliable. I leave it to the site to decide. My concern is to help the person asking the question. Apr 10, 2016 at 14:57

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