Top Euphemism Quotes

Browse top 52 famous quotes and sayings about Euphemism by most favorite authors.

Favorite Euphemism Quotes

1. "Asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians."
Author: Alan Dershowitz
2. "To this day the f-word turns my stomach. Because 'fine' is a euphemism for everything you're scared of saying."
Author: Amy Molloy
3. "I love the unanswered question, the unresolved story, the unclimbed mountain, the tender shard of an incomplete dream. Most of the time. But is it mandatory for a writer to be ambiguous about everything? Isn't it true that there have been fearful episodes in human history when prudence and discretion would have just been euphemisms for pusillanimity? When caution was actually cowardice? When sophistication was disguised decadence? When circumspection was really a kind of espousal? Isn't it true, or at least theoretically possible, that there are times in the life of a people or a nation when the political climate demands that we—even the most sophisticated of us—overtly take sides? I think such times are upon us."
Author: Arundhati Roy
4. "The Good Book" - one of the most remarkable euphemisms ever coined."
Author: Ashley Montagu
5. "Partner struck me as an ugly euphemism. Euphemism in the sense that people don't like to talk about sex, so they displace it on to some kind of business model. Since I have a distaste for business, I see no appeal to something that sounds like a financial leadership team."
Author: Barbara Browning
6. "Euphemisms persist because lying is an indispensable part of making life tolerable."
Author: Bergen Evans
7. "Victorian rigidities were such that ladies were not even allowed to blow out candles in mixed company, as that required them to pucker their lips suggestively. They could not say that they were going "to bed"--that planted too stimulating an image--but merely that they were "retiring." It became effectively impossible to discuss clothing in even a clinical sense without resort to euphemisms. Trousers became "nether integuments" or simply "inexpressibles" and underwear was "linen." Women could refer among themselves to petticoats or, in hushed tones, stockings, but could mention almost nothing else that brushed bare flesh."
Author: Bill Bryson
8. "While the framers of the United States Constitution were ashamed of slavery and used euphemisms in place of the term "slave", the authors of the Confederate Constitution proudly used the term no less than ten times."
Author: C.L. Gammon
9. "The very use of the term "mental illness" (rather than, say, "neurosis", "insanity", "nervous breakdown", or other euphemisms) can be seen as an effort to move certain kinds of psychological distress into the biomedical realm."
Author: Carl Elliott
10. "Dated" in Selah's book, being a euphemism for "had enthusiastic and frequent sex with"."
Author: Charlaine Harris
11. "Our aim was not to create profit, but jobs,' Sanchez Gordillo explained to me. This philosophy runs directly counter to the late-capitalist emphasis on 'efficiency' - a word which as been elevated to almost holy status in the neoliberal lexicon, but in reality has become a shameful euphemism for the sacrifice of human dignity at the altar of share prices."
Author: Dan Hancox
12. "Nature is an outcry, unpolished truth; the art—a euphemism—tamed wilderness."
Author: Dejan Stojanovic
13. "Devising a vocabulary for gardening is like devising a vocabulary for sex. There are the correct Latin names, but most people invent euphemisms. Those who refer to plants by Latin name are considered more expert, if a little pedantic."
Author: Diane Ackerman
14. "We didn't have sex.""What?" Cale blinks at her."We just talked." Talked. Like...talking? "That isn't a euphemism for some complicated sex act I don't know about, is it?"
Author: Dominique Frost
15. "So, you're the man who can't spell 'fuck.'" Dorothy Parker to Norman Mailer after publishers had convinced Mailer to replace the word with a euphemism, 'fug,' in his 1948 book, "The Naked and the Dead."
Author: Dorothy Parker
16. "The language of the younger generation has the brutality of the city and an assertion of threatening power at hand, not to come. It is military, theatrical, and at its most coherent probably a lasting repudiation of empty courtesy and bureaucratic euphemism."
Author: Elizabeth Hardwick
17. "A nationwide study published by the USDA in 1996 found that [...] 78.6 percent of the ground beef contained microbes that are spread primarily by fecal matter. The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating hamburger meat makes you sick: There is shit in the meat."
Author: Eric Schlosser
18. "Cloud computing is a great euphemism for centralization of computer services under one server."
Author: Evgeny Morozov
19. "The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy. Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: "I feed on your energy."
Author: Frank Herbert
20. "A composite is a euphemism for a lie. It's disorderly. It's dishonest and it's not journalism."
Author: Fred W. Friendly
21. "Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table."
Author: George Schultz
22. "Ayse has always admired the Ottoman talent for euphemism. The Auspicious Event was the massacre and execution of ten thousand Janissaries. Bodies had been heaped in the Hippodrome, rotting in the June heat. The more perfumed the language, the more brutal the repression."
Author: Ian McDonald
23. "Kate, perhaps you need to explain to your significant other that he is in no position to give me orders. Last time I checked, his title was Beast Lord, which is a gentle euphemism for a man who strips nude at night and runs around through the woods hunting small woodland creatures. I'm a premier Master of the Dead. I will go where I please."
Author: Ilona Andrews
24. "In 1487 alone, two hundred heretics had-in one of the greatest euphemisms in the history of language-"relaxed," that is, burned at the stake. Dogs of God, Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors"
Author: James Reston Jr.
25. "Patrimonial capitalism's legacy is that many people see reform as a euphemism for corruption and self-dealing."
Author: James Surowiecki
26. "Technically,' I said, "I'm not breaking any of the Laws of Magic. I'm not robbing you of your will, so I'm clear of the Fourth Law. And you didn't get loose, so I'm clear of the Seventh Law. The Council can bite me.'The bone ridges above Chauncy's eyes twitched. 'Surely, that is merely a colorful euphemism, rather than a statement of desire.''It is."
Author: Jim Butcher
27. "It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating."
Author: John Green
28. "Any euphemism ceases to be euphemistic after a time and the true meaning begins to show through. It's a losing game, but we keep on trying."
Author: Joseph Wood Krutch
29. "Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent."
Author: Kevin Smith
30. "I want Holly to experience life. To take away the blinders she has so assiduously relied on. I think you're just the type of person to show her what she doesn't know and doesn't want to know. My niece is innocent in so many ways, and there comes a time in a woman's life when innocence is merely a euphemism for ignorance."
Author: Kresley Cole
31. "You know that euphemism, she's expecting? It's apt. The birth of a baby, so long as it's healthy, is something to look forward to. It's a good thing, a big, good, huge event. And from thereon in, every good things, too," I added hurriedly, "but also, you know, first steps, first dates, first places in sack races. Kids, they graduate, they marry, they have kids themselves- in a way, you get to do everything twice. Even if our kid had problems," I supposed idiotically, "at least they wouldn't be our same old problems... " (22)"
Author: Lionel Shriver
32. "Sleeping together is a euphemism for people, but tantamount to marriage with cats."
Author: Marge Piercy
33. "I like the term "decedent." It's as though the man weren't dead, but merely involved in some sort of protracted legal dispute. For evident reasons, mortuary science is awash with euphemisms. "Don't say stiff, corpse, cadaver," scolds The Principles and Practice of Embalming. "Say decedent, remains or Mr. Blank. Don't say 'keep.' Say 'maintain preservation.'…"Wrinkles are "acquired facial markings." Decomposed brain that filters down through a damaged skull and bubbles out the nose is "frothy purge."
Author: Mary Roach
34. "When we shrink from the sight of something, when we shroud it in euphemism, that is usually a sign of inner conflict, of unsettled hearts, a sign that something has gone wrong in our moral reasoning."
Author: Matthew Scully
35. "I had lied to myself from the very beginning, deceived myself into believing that I was being fanciful and overly imaginative. Surely such monstrosities only existed in nightmares? Yet I had lived through a nightmare these past months, and that was no dream at all.       I was still fighting against the awful truth, not wanting to give in, searching my mind for a logical explanation—but there was none. And the most horrible realization of all was that I had known, somewhere deep inside, ever since the day I first set eyes on Vladec Salei.       Plague carrier.       Living death.       Drainer of life.       The phrasing did not matter. No euphemism could strike fear into the hearts of men the way that single word could.       Vampire.        And for me, the uninitiated, that single word meant death."
Author: Melika Dannese Lux
36. "For myself I couldn't care less, but I have a lover. Not a partner, Susannah, or a friend or a significant euphemism, but the love of my life. And he believes. And I've watched him tie himself in knots, as he struggles to find a place for himself in texts that were written thousands of years ago, with the deliberate aim of excluding him."
Author: Michael Arditti
37. "Today promised not to be about the ecstasy of life on a farm. Today was the day we were "processing" broilers or, to abandon euphemism, killing chickens."
Author: Michael Pollan
38. "Euphemism in the workplace does not end with job descriptions. It reaches a pusillanimous peak at the other end of the work process - in dismissal."
Author: Nigel Rees
39. "Well, I'm not sure the New York Times was consciously trying to trivialise me, but the effect of it is to put everything in the same category as the gossip you read in the magazines you pick up at supermarket counters. I was asked, for example, why I thought there were so many euphemisms for genitalia. It's not a serious question. Whatever the purpose of such a tone is, the effect is to make it appear that anyone who departs from orthodox political doctrine is in some ways laughable."
Author: Noam Chomsky
40. "Users of clichés frequently have more sinister intentions beyond laziness and conventional thinking. Relabelling events often entails subtle changes of meaning. War produces many euphemisms, downplaying or giving verbal respectability to savagery and slaughter."
Author: Patrick Cockburn
41. "Euphemism is a human device to conceal the horrors of reality."
Author: Paul Johnson
42. "I walk lighter, stumble less, with more spring in leg and lung, keeping my center of gravity deep in the belly, and letting that center 'see.' At these times, I am free of vertigo, even in dangerous places; my feet move naturally to firm footholds, and I flow. But sometimes for a day or more, I lose this feel of things, my breath is high up in my chest, and then I cling to the cliff edge as to life itself. And of course it is this clinging, the tightness of panic, that gets people killed: 'to clutch,' in ancient Egyptian, 'to clutch the mountain,' in Assyrian, were euphemisms that signified 'to die'" (125)."
Author: Peter Matthiessen
43. "The first conversation began awkwardly, although Espinoza had been expecting Pelletier's call, as if both men found it difficult to say what sooner or later the would have to say. The first twenty minutes were tragic in tone, with the word fate used ten times and the word friendship twenty-four times. Liz Norton's name was spoken fifty times, nine of them in vain. The word Paris was said seven times, Madrid, eight. The word love was spoken twice, once by each man. The word horror was spoken six times and the word happiness once (by Espinoza). The word solution was said twelve times. The word solipsism seven times. The world euphemism ten times. The word category, in the singular and the plural, nine times. The word structuralism once (Pelletier). The term American literature three times. The words dinner or eating or breakfast or sandwich nineteen times. The words eyes or hands or hair fourteen times. The the conversation proceeded more smoothly."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
44. "By the way, don't ever let someone convince you that there's anything — and I mean anything — good about dying. There is nothing redemptive in decline and decay. The hard candy of necrosis has no nougat center where the human spirit prevails over all. Death is not a ‘journey,' a ‘part of life,' a ‘release from suffering,' or any other such bullshit euphemism we employ to comfort and delude ourselves. And while we're on the subject, no one ‘passes on' or ‘passes away,' either, and they sure as fuck don't ‘cross over.' They die, and then they start to swell and stink in the very moment."
Author: Ron Currie Jr.
45. "A friend called the other day.'How are you?' she said.The sun was shining, the sky a merciless blue. It was only eleven in the morning but I had been awake since three twenty. I was in bed because, as usual, I could think of nowhere else to go. I said that I was feeling low. Low is the depressive's euphemism for despair.She said: 'How can you be depressed on a day like this?'I wanted to say: 'If I had flu, would you ask me how I could be sick on a day like this?"
Author: Sally Brampton
46. "To speak specifically of our problem with the Muslim world, we are meandering into a genuine clash of civilizations, and we're deluding ourselves with euphemisms. We're talking about Islam being a religion of peace that's been hijacked by extremists. If ever there were a religion that's not a religion of peace, it is Islam."
Author: Sam Harris
47. "Her Squire, Celena, Ms. Blood Rite, I-kill-anything-that-breaks-formation, is on her way over here to have a word with you. Since Celena isn't real big on conversation, I'm taking that as a euphemism for ‘kick your ass.' (Rafael)"
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
48. "Everybody out on the sidewalk is a pedestrian Mercedes, wallowing in entitlement—colliding, snarling, shoving ahead without even the hollow-to-begin-with local euphemism "Excuse me."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
49. "She started thinking about all the euphemisms for death, all the anxious taboos that had always fascinated her. It was too bad you could never have an intelligent discussion on the subject. People were either too young or too old, or else they didn't have time."
Author: Tove Jansson
50. "Which statements are true according to the passage?A) Science, governments, and your doctor should be trusted.B) 'Comforting her deep into the night' is a euphemism for sneaking candy.C) The ugliest phrase used in this passage is 'female.'D) Bad things really do come in threes."
Author: Tupelo Hassman

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He'd seen when she began to panic, but he hadn't offered comfort like other Doms or changed his plans. He'd just waited her out. She could hate him a little for that."
Author: Cherise Sinclair

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