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Miscellaneous, Words

Note 119 – Examples of euphemisms

‘Kick the bucket’, ‘spend a penny’ and ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ are all examples of euphemisms as they are words or phrases that people use to mask what they are trying to say.  Graham King in his unique book Collins Improve your Writing says that euphemisms “paint a thick veneer over clarity and understanding” and that people use them to “avoid making a statement that is direct, clear and honest”.

It might be that we use ephemisms in order to be less hurtful or offensive, such as ‘passed away’ instead of ‘died’ or ‘relieve oneself’ instead of….(I’ll let you fill that one in!). 

Euphemisms are all around us – in job descriptions, on the television and and you may even use them yourself if you happen to ask someone if they “got out of the wrong side of the bed”.  They can, however, make some jobs sound more exciting – wouldn’t you much rather be called a ‘Financial Advisor’ instead of an ‘Insurance Salesman’ or an ‘Office Manager’ rather than a ‘general dogsbody’?  

If you want more examples of euphemisms, do not fear – here are some websites with lists of them:

The Phrase Finder:

Euphemism List:

My thoughts:  I must admit that I couldn’t even spell this word before today, but I’m quite looking forward to looking around for them in what I read from now on.   In my writing, I think I will try and say what I mean wherever possible and only use euphemisms with care.

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter @madeirasandra or my new Tips and Luxuries Facebook page.

Until tomorrow…


My writing challenge:

This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Graham King The Collins Improve your Writing, UK

The Phrase Finder:

Euphemism List:


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer



  1. Pingback: Note 300 – Most popular posts since My Writing Challenge began « My writing challenge - February 24, 2012

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