What is Euphemism Example?

People often ask question that what is euphemism example and definition? It is a figure of speech commonly used to replace a word or phrase that is related to a concept which might make others uncomfortable.


Originated from the Greek word euphemisms, which means, ‘to sound good’. It was first known used in 1681.

Euphemism Definition

It is a figure of speech commonly used to replace a word or phrase related to a concept that might make others uncomfortable. In ‘euphemism,’ the impolite or aggressive words are replaced with agreeable or inoffensive words. It allows speaking in gentle and favorable terms about a person, thing, or object, otherwise seen in a less pleasing light.

‘Euphemism’ is the opposite of Hyperbole. An indirect statement is substituted with a piece of direct information to avoid honesty. However, this device has seldom been used with the advancement of realism in society. Even the authors consider that such expressions of euphemism can discriminate the readers as evidence of a tendency to be insincere or even sentimental.

What is Euphemism Example?

Here the seventeen examples of euphemism have been discussed as under:

Direct SentenceIndirect/euphemistic sentence
Jeeva is unemployed.Jeeva is between jobs
Eliza is a liar.Eliza is economical with the truth.
John’s father died yesterday.John’s father is no longer with us.
Feena has some learning disorder.Feena is a special child.
He is an old man.He is senior citizen.
Get out.Please leave me alone.
She is not feeling well.She is feeling under the cover
The thieves murdered him.The thieves put him away.
You are an idiot.You have an interesting point of view.
He is blind.He is visually impaired.
Light fingered gentryPickpocket
She is uglyShe is very plain.
He stole the moneyHe did act that did not belong to him.
He is a criminal manHe does not enjoy good repute.
Aloe has become failed in exams.Aloe has obtained less marks in the exams.
He is habitual offender.He seldom do these acts.
The suspected criminal is under custody of police and investigation is being conducted from him.He is helping the police in inquiries.

Euphemism of Death & Burial:

• The peasants rest them from their soil.
• He was gathered to his forefathers.
• I am afraid something may have happened to him.
• What he told was not the unvarnished truth.
• Yet still beneath the hallowed soil.
• He is no more with us.
• Rest in peace.
• May the departed soul live in heaven.
• Go to his eternal place.
• Time has come out.

Examples of Euphemism in Literature:

While euphemism is a universal phenomenon, it is particularly prevalent in literature. Perhaps because of the heightened emphasis on style and language in literary works, writers have often been tempted to use euphemisms for words or concepts that are considered taboo or offensive.

Othello by William Shakespeare

Iago: I am one sir that comes to tell you, your daughter and the moor are now making the beast with two backs.

Here the use of euphemism has been observed in the speech of IAGO who is telling the King about the sex of his daughter with Moore.

Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I lived at west egg the well the least fashionable of two thou this is most superficial tag’ to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast’ between them.

In the above line, the writer uses euphemism to show the dire economic condition of his character ‘Nick’ by saying that he is wealthy and can afford to live in ‘West Egg.’ Still, he is enough wealth to afford his residence in a nice place.

“Grease” Movie

Coming smooth coming through come
On lady with a baby
“Got a bun in the oven”
I hear you are knocked up, do huh yeah?

Here in the above lines, the writer is talking about the pregnancy of a lady.

“Ferris Buller’s Day off” Movie

“Pardon my French but you are”

The Wife of Bath (Prologue to the Canterbury Tales) by Geoffrey Chaucer

In wifehood I will use my instrument
As freely as my maker has it sent

Here ‘Chaucer” has used euphemism about the Chaucer’s wife of bath, who is vigorous and disloyal. The writer criticized the lady for making the situation less shocking through euphemism.

The Lady with the Little Dog by Anton Chekhov

In this short story, the author uses euphemisms to describe the woman’s sexual behavior with her lover. For example, he describes her as “shameless” when she says things like “I’ve nothing on me,” but he also refers to her as “a young married woman” and “a girl with a sweetheart.”

Difference between Euphemism & Dysphemism

Euphemism’ is a figure of speech expressing in a polite and suiting manner a statement that would have been harsh or unpleasant to hear.

Dysphemism’ is the opposite of euphemism, unlike a statement that will be harsh and unpleasant to hear as expressed in a positive, polite, and suiting manner. It can be both intentional and unintentional. For example, his result card will show as “failed” for someone who does not pass the exam.

Further Reading:

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