Saturday, November 05, 2005

Euphemisms


Nothing gets on my tits more than people who continually talk in euphemisms; it’s as though the use of plain transparent English is somehow shameful, or would suggest they have a limited grasp of the English language. Some of my least favourite euphemisms are:

  • If he had a brain he’d be dangerous.

  • The lights are out but nobody’s in

  • Not the sharpest tool in the box.

  • About as much use as a chocolate teapot.

  • He’s had more shags/fannies/comments than you’ve had hot dinners.

  • It’s nothing but a white elephant.

The euphemism, like the cliché, began life as a genuine linguistic innovation, conjuring up a mental image that was fresh and vital. Overuse has made them the last resort of the terminally inarticulate. The English language has such a vast and varied vocabulary that it should be possible to come up with new euphemisms. Once those have been overused they can be ditched until something original comes along.

I wouldn’t advocate adopting the Yorkshire terseness that “calls a spade a spade”, or “speaks as it finds”, but I do think a bit of plain unadorned speech would be refreshing now and then.

I’ve been trying to think up an original euphemism of my own, and to be honest, it’s bloody difficult. The best that I can come up with is:

“She’s got about as much sense as a Canuck in a pair of Freakin’ Green Elf Shorts”

That’s a bit shite. If anyone can think of anything better, let me know.

11 comments:

pissoff said...

Just you wait.... You'll be crying for more once you see me. You bastard.

Sniffy said...

I'm crying!

My favourite euphemism is "librarian".

As happy as Garfer in a kebab shop.

pissoff said...

Does this count as one:

"It's better to keep your mouth shut and look stupid than to open it up and confirm it!"

Or is that just considered straight to the point and too harsh?

garfer said...

Accountants are much more dangerous than librarians. I said nothing. I'm taking cover.

Wyndham said...

If I had a pound for every time I've read a post like this. Heh.

Aginoth said...

Well, I think you hit the nail on the head

frobisher said...

I think your one sandwich short of a picnic!

garfer said...

Thank you for your contributions, they really cut the mustard.

MHN for short said...

Hey, at least they didn't "cut the cheese."

helen said...

"At the end of the day"...

aaarrrgh!

Rowan said...

"generally" I like it.
(uuugggghhhh) Are you getting enough hay for your donkey, cause it sounds like you are in need of a little relaxation of the carnal kind and possibly less association with us yesmen.