English stylistic

Short information about Euphemism


Euphemism is a variety of a periphrasis. It is also based on the use of a descriptive expression instead of the word denoting the notion. But it has a special character. Euphemism is a word or phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conventionally more acceptable one.

E.g. To die – to pass away, to be no more, to depart, to be gone, to join the silent majority, to breathe one’s last, to meet our maker, to give up the ghost, to go west, to kick the bucket.

Euphemisms are synonyms of those unpleasant words which aim at the producing deliberately mild effect.

Euphemisms may be divided into several groups according to the spheres of application. The most recognized are the following: 1) moral 2) medical 3) parliamentary / political

Literary euphemisms which are used in the author’s narrative in speech may be used to portray the humorous or ironical attitude to the theme or idea.

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