A euphemism (YOO-fuh-miz-uhm) is a form of figurative language. These idiomatic, indirect expressions replace harsh, impolite, taboo, or unpleasant terms with more delicate phrases. They can be used humorously or to downplay or mask a situation, causing some to find the device deceitful or counterproductive.
Euphemism literary definition
- Euphemism Definition. The term euphemism refers to polite, indirect expressions that replace words and phrases considered harsh and impolite, or which suggest something unpleasant. Euphemism is an idiomatic expression, which loses its literal meanings and refers to something else, in order to hide its unpleasantness.
Euphemism is a useful literary device for writers. This figure of speech allows a writer to address potentially sensitive, offensive, or unpleasant subjects in a more delicate or less damaging manner than literal words or phrasings would be.
What is a euphemism give an example?
Passed away instead of died. Dearly departed instead of died. Ethnic cleansing instead of genocide. Negative patient outcome instead of died. Collateral damage instead of accidental deaths.
What is the meaning of euphemism?
: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant also: the expression so substituted.
What is euphemism in writing?
A euphemism is a word or phrase that is used in place of something that might be shocking, inappropriate, or unpleasant to say or hear. You might use euphemism in creative writing when you want to be subtle or coy (or when your character wants to be subtle or coy).
What is the meaning of literary terms?
Literary terms refer to the technique, style, and formatting used by writers and speakers to masterfully emphasize, embellish, or strengthen their compositions. They can also include the tools of persuasion that writers use to convince and drive audiences to action.
What is the difference between a euphemism and a metaphor?
A euphemism is a word or phrase used in place of something people do not wish to refer to directly. A metaphor is a word, phrase or (very short) story used to allude to something so as to make it clearer, more vivid or colourful, or in some similar way easier for an audience to picture and understand.
What is the difference between a euphemism and an idiom?
An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. A euphemism a word or phrase that is a substitute for a more blunt, harsh, offensive, or unpleasant word or phrase.
Is euphemism good or bad?
To be sure, euphemisms can be useful, even good. Sometimes, however, euphemisms can distort our understanding of what is real and thereby mask—and encourage us to accept—horrendous evil. Such euphemisms are bad, even ugly. Let’s be careful with our use of language—someone’s life may depend on it!
Why should we use euphemism?
Euphemisms offer a way to reduce tension in conversation and make everyone involved feel more comfortable. For example, to be polite when speaking to a person grieving the recent loss of a loved one, the term “passed away” in place of “died” can ease some of the negative feelings the subject may cause.
What is the origin of euphemism?
Etymology. Euphemism comes from the Greek word euphemia (εὐφημία) which refers to the use of ‘words of good omen’; it is a compound of eû (εὖ), meaning ‘good, well’, and phḗmē (φήμη), meaning ‘prophetic speech; rumour, talk’.
How do you use euphemism in a sentence?
Euphemism in a Sentence
- When I was a kid, my mother described sexual intercourse using a euphemism so I would not be shocked by her words.
- While a euphemism may tone down your words, the meaning behind the phrase will remain the same.
- He used a euphemism to disguise his real feelings about the incident.
Is euphemism a poetic device?
Euphemism is an excellent literary device for writers, and poets in particular, to communicate meaning when it comes to these painful subjects. Figurative language through euphemism can allow readers to feel less confronted as they might by harsh, literal wording.
What is an example of euphemism in literature?
A euphemism is a word or expression used in lieu of a harsher alternative. For example, someone might say they’re “taking an early retirement” instead of admitting they got fired.
What are the 7 literary elements?
Writers of fiction use seven elements to tell their stories:
- Character. These are the beings who inhabit our stories.
- Plot. Plot is what happens in the story, the series of events.
- Setting. Setting is where your story takes place.
- Literary Devices.
What are the 10 literary terms?
Here are 10 of the most common literary devices:
What are the basic literary terms?
Literary Devices List: 11 Common Literary Devices
- Metaphor. Metaphors, also known as direct comparisons, are one of the most common literary devices.