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v t e

A euphemism is a generally harmless word, name, or phrase that substitutes an offensive or suggestive one.[1] Some euphemisms intend to amuse, while others intend to give positive appearances to negative events or even mislead entirely. Euphemisms also often take the place of profanity. The opposite of euphemism roughly equates to dysphemism.


1 Etymology & Usage o 1.1 Categorization 1.1.1 Phonetic Euphemisms or Minced Oaths 1.1.2 Semantic Euphemisms 1.1.3 Slang 1.1.4 Others 2 Evolution o 2.1 Euphemism treadmill 3 Subject matter o 3.1 Disability and handicap o 3.2 Profanity 3.2.1 Religion 3.2.2 Excretion 3.2.3 Sex 3.2.4 Racism and sexism 3.2.5 Profanity itself o 3.3 Death and murder o 3.4 Warfare o 3.5 In job titles 4 Doublespeak 5 Common examples 6 See also 7 References

8 Further reading

[edit] Etymology & Usage

The word euphemism comes from the Greek word (euphemia), meaning "the use of words of good omen", which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eu (), "good/well" + pheme () "speech/speaking". The eupheme was originally a word or phrase used in place of a religious word or phrase that should not be spoken aloud; etymologically, the eupheme is the opposite of the blaspheme (evil-speaking). Primary examples of taboo words requiring the use of a euphemism are names for deities, such as Persephone, Hecate, or Nemesis. The term euphemism itself was used as a euphemism by the ancient Greeks, meaning "to keep a holy silence" (speaking well by not speaking at all). Historical linguistics has revealed traces of taboo deformations in many languages. Several are known to have occurred in Indo-European languages, including the presumed original Proto-Indo-European words for bear (*rkso), wolf (*wlkwo), and deer (originally, hart although the word hart remained commonplace in parts of England until the 20th century as is witnessed by the widespread use of the pub sign The White Hart). In different IndoEuropean languages, each of these words has a difficult etymology because of taboo deformations a euphemism was substituted for the original, which no longer occurs in the language. An example is the Slavic root for bear *medu-ed-, which means "honey eater". Names in Germanic languagesincluding Englishare derived from the color brown. Another example in English is donkey replacing the old Indo-European-derived word ass. The word dandelion (literally, tooth of lion, referring to the shape of the leaves) is another example, being a substitute for pissenlit, meaning "wet the bed", a possible reference to the fact that dandelion was used as a diuretic. The Talmud describes the blind as having "much light" (Aramaic ]2[(and this phrasesagee nahoris the Modern Hebrew for euphemism. In some languages of the Pacific, using the name of a deceased chief is taboo. Among indigenous Australians, it is forbidden to use the name, image, or audio-visual recording of the deceased; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation now publishes a warning to indigenous Australians when using names, images or audio-visual recordings of people who have died.[3] Since people are often named after everyday things, this leads to the swift development of euphemisms. New names are frequently required when an old one becomes taboo. These languages have a very high rate of vocabulary change.[4] In a similar manner, in imperial China, writers of classical Chinese texts were expected to avoid using characters contained within the name of the currently ruling emperor as a sign of respect. In these instances, the relevant characters were replaced by synonyms. (This practice may provide a fairly accurate means of dating a document.) The common names of illicit drugs, and the plants used to obtain them, often undergo a process similar to taboo deformation, because new terms are devised in order to discuss them secretly in the presence of others. This process often occurs in English (e.g. speed or crank for meth) and is really slang formation, as it often is not intended to substitute a softer term. It

occurs even more in Spanish, e.g., the deformation of names for cannabis: mota (literally, "something that moves" on the black market), grifa (literally, "something coarse to the touch"), marijuana (a female personal name, Mara Juana), camo (the original Spanish name for the plant, derived from the Latin genus name Cannabis). All four of these names are still used in various parts of the Hispanophone world, although camo ironically has the least underworld connotation, and is often used to describe industrial hemp, or legitimate medically-prescribed cannabis.

[edit] Categorization
Euphemisms can be created phonetically (also called a "Minced Oath"), semantically (using analogy to suggest the meanings), or through slang. [edit] Phonetic Euphemisms or Minced Oaths

Shortening or "clipping" the term ("jeez" for jesus, "What the-" for "what the hell") Using the first letter ("SOB"). Sometimes, the word "word" is added after it ("F word", "S word", "B word".) Also, the letter can be phonetically respelled, for example, the word "piss" was shortened to "pee" in this way. Mispronunciations, such as "What the fudge", "Oh my gosh", "Frickin", "Darn" "Oh, shoot", "Be-yotch", etc. Rhymes, such as "What the duck", "Oh, snap!", "Cheese & Rice"

[edit] Semantic Euphemisms

Abstractions and ambiguities (it for excrement, the situation or "a girl in trouble" for pregnancy, going to the other side for death, do it or come together in reference to a sexual act, tired and emotional for drunkenness.) Understatements (behind, unmentionables, privates, live together, go to the bathroom, sleep together) Metaphors, such as "beat the meat," "choke the chicken," "take a dump", "drain the main vein", etc. Comparing objectionable parts of the body to similar objects, "Wiener" for "Penis", "buns" for "butt".

[edit] Slang

Using a personal name, such as "Willy" or "Dick" for penis, "Fanny" for "buttocks" (in America) or "vulva" (in UK). Using a less harsh term with similar meaning. For instance, "messed up" is a euphemism for "screwed up", which in turn is a euphemism for f**ked up. Other slang, such as "pot" for marijuana, "laid" for sexual intercourse.

[edit] Others

Using an adjective to refer to an element of a person, rather than using a noun to define them, for example, "...makes her look slutty" instead of " a slut." Reverse understatements or litotes, such as "not so big" for "short", or "not true" for "a lie" Using a positive context ("Inspired by" instead of "ripped off of" or "plagiarized")

There is some disagreement over whether certain terms are or are not euphemisms. For example, sometimes the phrase visually impaired is labeled as a politically correct euphemism for blind. However, visual impairment can be a broader term, including, for example, people who have partial sight in one eye, or even those with uncorrected mild to moderate poor vision, a group that would be excluded by the word blind. There are three antonyms of euphemism: dysphemism, cacophemism, and power word. The first can be either offensive or merely humorously deprecating with the second one generally used more often in the sense of something deliberately offensive. The last is used mainly in arguments to make a point seem more correct.

[edit] Evolution
Euphemisms may be formed in a number of ways. Periphrasis or circumlocution is one of the most common to "speak around" a given word, implying it without saying it. Over time, circumlocutions become recognized as established euphemisms for particular words or ideas. To alter the pronunciation or spelling of a taboo word (such as a swear word) to form a euphemism is known as taboo deformation. There is an astonishing number of taboo deformations in English, of which many refer to the infamous four-letter words. In American English, words that are unacceptable on television, such as fuck, may be represented by deformations such as freak even in children's cartoons. Some examples of rhyming slang may serve the same purpose to call a person a berk sounds less offensive than to call a person a cunt, though berk is short for Berkeley Hunt, which rhymes with cunt. Bureaucracies such as the military and large corporations frequently spawn euphemisms of a more deliberate nature. Organizations coin doublespeak expressions to describe objectionable actions in terms that seem neutral or inoffensive. For example, a term used in the past for contamination by radioactive isotopes was Sunshine units.[5] Military organizations kill people, sometimes deliberately and sometimes by mistake; in doublespeak, the first may be called neutralizing the target or Employing Kinetic Effects and the second collateral damage. Violent destruction of non-state enemies may be referred to as pacification. Two common terms when a soldier is accidentally killed (buys the farm) by their own side are friendly fire or blue on blue (BOBbing) bought the farm has its own interesting history. Its origins might come from the life insurance payout or a death benefit payment that would permit the soldier's family to pay off the mortgage on real property, such as a farm, or from "the farm" being a slang reference to a burial plot. In World War I the slang "become a landowner" meant to "inhabit a cemetery plot".[6] The "farm" is a euphemism for property, and "buying" it is a euphemism for the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance benefit payment that should be sufficient to outright pay for the soldier's "farm." In 2010, the United States administration of President Barack Obama approved a "targeted killing" of a man wanted by the Central Intelligence Agency, effectively launching this term as an official alternative to legal assassination.[7][8] Execution is an established euphemism referring to the act of putting a person to death, with or without judicial process. It originally referred to the execution, i.e., the carrying out, of a death warrant, which is an authorization to a sheriff, prison warden, or other official to put a named person to death. In legal usage, execution can still refer to the carrying out of other

types of orders; for example, in U.S. legal usage, a writ of execution is a direction to enforce a civil money judgment by seizing property. Likewise, lethal injection itself may be considered a euphemism for putting the convict to death by poisoning. Abortion originally meant premature birth, and came to mean birth before viability. The term "abort" was extended to mean any kind of premature ending, such as aborting the launch of a rocket. Euphemisms have developed around the original meaning. Abortion, by itself, came to mean "induced abortion" or "elective abortion" exclusively. Hence the parallel term spontaneous abortion, an "act of nature", was dropped in favor of the more neutral-sounding miscarriage. Industrial unpleasantness such as pollution may be toned down to outgassing or runoff descriptions of physical processes rather than their damaging consequences. Some of this may simply be the application of precise technical terminology in the place of popular usage, but beyond precision, the advantage of technical terminology may be its lack of emotional undertones and the likelihood that the general public (at least initially) will not recognize it for what it really is; the disadvantage being the lack of real-life context. Terms like waste and wastewater are also avoided in favor of terms such as byproduct, recycling, reclaimed water and effluent. In the oil industry, oil-based drilling muds were simply renamed organic phase drilling muds, where organic phase is a euphemism for "oil." In medicine, magnetic resonance imaging has replaced nuclear magnetic resonance in order to avoid frightening patients with the word nuclear (even though MRI scanning does not involve the use of harmful ionizing radiation). However, this kind of "euphemism" is not necessarily malicious in the sense that labeling an individual byproduct stream "waste" can have severe legal consequencies, such as additional taxes or prohibition of transport or export.

[edit] Euphemism treadmill

Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine,[9] and more recently dubbed the "euphemism treadmill" by Steven Pinker,[10] discussed in his The Blank Slate (2003)[11] and The Stuff of Thought (2007)[12] This is the well-known linguistic process known as pejoration or semantic change. Words originally intended as euphemisms may lose their euphemistic value, acquiring the negative connotations of their referents. In some cases, they may be used mockingly and become dysphemisms. Euphemisms related to disabilities have been prone to this (see below).

In his remarks on the ever-changing London slang, made in Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell mentioned both the euphemism treadmill and the dysphemism treadmill. He did not use these now-established terms, but observed and commented on the respective processes as early as in 1933. Where the words lavatory or toilet were deemed inappropriate, they were sometimes replaced with bathroom or water closet, which in turn became simply restroom or W.C. These are also examples of geographic concentration: the term restroom is an Americanism rarely used outside the United States,[13] while washroom is a Canadian euphemism.[14] The term W.C. was previously quite popular in the United Kingdom, but is passing out of favor there, while becoming more popular in France, Germany, the Netherlands

and Hungary as the polite term of choice.[citation needed] Ironically, Toilet is itself a euphemism.

[edit] Subject matter

[edit] Disability and handicap
Connotations easily change over time. Idiot, imbecile, and moron were once neutral terms for a developmentally delayed adult with the mental age comparable to a toddler, preschooler, and primary school child, respectively.[15] In time negative connotations tend to crowd out neutral ones, so the phrase mentally retarded was pressed into service to replace them.[16] Mentally retarded, too, has come to be considered inappropriate by some, because the word retarded came to be commonly used as an insult of a person, thing, or idea. As a result, new terms like mentally challenged, with an intellectual disability, learning difficulties and special needs have widely replaced retarded. A similar progression occurred with the following terms for persons with physical handicaps being adopted by some people: lame crippled spastic handicapped disabled physically challenged differently abled Euphemisms can also serve to recirculate words that have passed out of use because of negative connotation. The word lame from above, having faded from the vernacular, was revitalized as a slang word generally meaning "not living up to expectations" or "boring." The connotation of a euphemism can also be subject-specific. In the early 1960s, Major League Baseball franchise owner and promoter Bill Veeck, who was missing part of a leg, argued against the then-favored euphemism handicapped, saying he preferred crippled because it was merely descriptive and did not carry connotations of limiting one's capability the way handicapped (and all of its subsequent euphemisms) seemed to do (Veeck as in Wreck, chapter "I'm Not Handicapped, I'm Crippled"). Later, comedian George Carlin gave a famous monologue of how he thought euphemisms can undermine appropriate attitudes towards serious issues such as the evolving terms describing the medical problem of the cumulative mental trauma of soldiers in high-stress situations:[17] shell shock (World War I) battle fatigue (World War II) operational exhaustion (Korean War) posttraumatic stress disorder (Vietnam War) He contended that, as the name of the condition became more complicated and seemingly arcane, sufferers of this condition have been taken less seriously as people with a serious illness, and were given poorer treatment as a result. He also contended that Vietnam veterans would have received the proper care and attention they needed were the condition still called shell shock. In the same routine, he echoed Bill Veeck's opinion that crippled was a perfectly valid term (and noted that early English translations of the Bible seemed to have no qualms about saying that Jesus "healed the cripples"). Similarly, spastic was once a neutral descriptor of a sufferer of muscular hypertonicity in British English, but playground use of spastic (and variants such as spaz and spacker) as an

insult led to the term being regarded by some as offensive. While the term was developing into an insult in British English, it was evolving in a radically different fashion in American English. In the U.S., spastic or spaz became a synonym for clumsiness, whether physical or mental, and nerdiness, and is very often used in a self-deprecating manner. The difference between the British and American connotations of spastic was starkly shown in 2006 when golfer Tiger Woods used spaz to describe his putting in that year's Masters. The remark went completely unnoticed in America, but caused a major uproar in the UK.[18]

[edit] Profanity
Profane words and expressions in the English language are commonly taken from three areas: religion, excretion, and sex. Racism and sexism are a growing influence on profanities. While profanities themselves have been around for centuries, their limited use in public and by the media has only slowly become socially acceptable, and there are still many expressions that are out of place in polite conversation. One influence on the current tolerance of such language may be the frequency of its use on prime-time television. The word damn (and most other religious profanity in the English language) has long lost its shock value, and as a consequence, euphemisms for it (e.g., dang, darn-it) have taken on a very stodgy feeling. Euphemisms for male masturbation such as "spanking the monkey" or "choke the chicken" are used often among some people to avoid embarrassment in public[citation needed]. Excretory profanity such as piss and shit in some cases may be acceptable among informal[citation needed] friends (while they are almost never acceptable in formal relationships or public use); euphemisms such as Number One and Number Two may be preferred for use with children[citation needed]. Most sexual terms and expressions, even technical ones, either remain unacceptable for general use or have undergone radical rehabilitation[citation needed]. [edit] Religion Main article: Minced oaths Euphemisms for deities as well as for religious practices and artifacts have been recorded since the earliest writings. Protection of sacred names, rituals, and concepts from the uninitiated has always given rise to euphemisms, whether it be for exclusion of outsiders or the retention of power among the select. Examples from the Egyptians and every other Western religion abound. Euphemisms for God and Jesus, such as gosh and gee, are used by Christians to avoid taking the name of God in a vain oath, which would violate one of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20) Jews consider the tetragrammatonYHWH, the four-letter name of God as written in the Torahto be of such great holiness that it was never to be pronounced as spelled, except in the Temple by the High Priest on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the year. [Aryeh Kaplan, Meditation and Kabballa p. 134] (The pronunciation used in the Temple has been forgotten.) At all other times, when praying or reading from scripture, Jews say the word Adonai ("my Lords") in place of the letters. However, outside of prayer and scriptural contexts, traditional Jews will not pronounce the name Adonai, but replace it, typically with the word HaShem, which literally means, "The Name". The other name of God frequently used in the bible, Elohim (")Powers"is also not pronounced as written except in formal, religious

use; in other contexts, devout Jews typically change one of its letters to Elokim (.) Other names of God used in Jewish speech and writing, such as HaMakom (")The Place"or 'HaKadosh Baruch Hu' (" ) The Holy One, Blessed is he" can be pronounced in any context. Whether they originated as euphemisms is not clear, but they are used as such, although they are also used in formal prayer. The respect Jews show for the name of God has created, and continues to create, written euphemisms in English. That is, Orthodox Jews usually will not write out the word "God", but instead spell it "G-d." Recently, some have begun making a similar change to the spelling of the euphemism haShem (discussed above). It is written "haSh-m." Euphemisms for hell, damnation, and the devil, on the other hand, are often used to avoid invoking the power or drawing the attention of the adversary. The most famous in the latter category is the expression what the dickens and its variants, which does not refer to the famed British writer but instead was a popular euphemism for Satan in its time. In questions, "what the hell" may be replaced by "what the heck", and in directive speech "get the hell out" is sometimes replaced by "get the heck out". In times past, profanity relating to Jesus' body were sometimes used, such as "God's Wounds!" By the time of Chaucer, this was reduced to "'swounds"as spoken by characters such as the Millerand since then has worked its way into common language as "zounds," a term now considered too stodgy to be any kind of curse. Yet the same Medieval notions may continue intact in other languages, for example rany boskie (literally "God's wounds"), an extremely common mild curse in modern Polish. [edit] Excretion The abbreviation BS, or the word bull, often replaces the word bullshit in polite society. (The term bullshit itself generally means lies or nonsense, and not the literal "shit of a bull", making it a dysphemism.) What is currently known as a toilet, has been known by a number of previous euphemisms "..The Honest Jakes or Privy has graduated via Offices to the final horror of Toilet..."[19] There are any number of lengthier periphrases for excretion used to excuse oneself from company, such as to powder one's nose, to see a man about a dog (or horse), etc. In the Bible, to cover one's feet referred to excretion.[citation needed] [edit] Sex The Latin term pudendum and the Greek term (aidoion) for the genitals literally mean "shameful thing". Groin, crotch, and loins refer to a larger region of the body, but are euphemistic when used to refer to the genitals. The word masturbate is derived from Latin, the word manus meaning hand and the word sturbare meaning to defile. In pornographic stories, the words rosebud and starfish are often used as euphemisms for anus, generally in the context of anal sex. Sexual intercourse was once a euphemism derived from the more general term intercourse by itself, which simply meant "meeting" but now is normally used as a synonym for the longer phrase, thus making the town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania, a subject of jokes in modern usage.

The "baseball metaphors for sex" are perhaps the most famous and widely-used set of polite euphemisms for sex and relationship behavior in the U.S. The metaphors encompass terms like "hitting it off" for a good start to relationship, "Striking out" for being unlucky with a love interest, and "running the bases" for progressing sexually in a relationship. The "bases" themselves, from first to third, stand for various levels of sexual activity from French kissing to "petting", itself a euphemism for manual genital stimulation, all of which is short of "scoring" or "coming home", sexual intercourse. "Hitting a home run" describes sex during the first date, "batting both ways" (also "switch-hitting") or "batting for the other team" describes bisexuality or homosexuality respectively, and "stealing bases" refers to initiating new levels of sexual contact without invitation. Baseball-related euphemisms also abound for the "equipment"; "Bat and balls" are a common reference to the male genitalia, while "glove" or "mitt" can refer to the female anatomy. Among gay men, "pitcher" is sometimes used to mean a "top", while "catcher" means a "bottom". There are many euphemisms for birth control devices, sometimes even propagated by the manufacturers: Condoms are known as "rubbers", "sheaths", "love gloves", "diving suits", "raincoats", "French letters", "Jimmy Caps", "Johnnies" (in Ireland and to a lesser degree Britain) etc. Euphemisms are also common in reference to sexual orientations and lifestyles. For example in the movie Closer, the character played by Jude Law uses the euphemism "He valued his privacy" for being gay. Other examples are being a 'lover of musical theatre' or a 'confirmed bachelor'. As an aside, the use of euphemisms for sexual activity has grown under the pressure of recent rulings by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding what constitutes "decent" on-air broadcast speech. The FCC included many well known euphemisms in its lists of banned terms but indicated that even new and unknown coinages might be considered indecent once it became clear what they referenced. George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say On TV" evolved into the "Incomplete List of Impolite Words", available in text and audio form, and contains hundreds of euphemisms and dysphemisms to genitalia, the act of having sex, various forms of sex, sexual orientations, etc. that have all become too pejorative for polite conversation, including such notables as "getting your pole varnished" and "eating the tuna taco". [edit] Racism and sexism Racism and sexism are also common sources of profanity, and one of the few categories producing new profanities. One example is bitch, a slur often used for women, while nigger, a slur for black people, was not considered a profanity at all as recently as the 1950s. Such profanities are often acceptable among the group targeted (for example, some American black people will often call each other nigga). [edit] Profanity itself In the Spanish language, the word maldicin, literally meaning "a curse" or an evil spell, is occasionally used as an interjection of lament or anger, but not necessarily to replace any of several Spanish profanities that would otherwise be used in that same context. The same is true in Italian with the word maledizione and in Portuguese with the word maldio.

In Greek, the word "curse" is found, although , from (hubris) is more commonly used, and in English, an exclamation that is used in a similar style is curses, although it is these days less common. The stereotyped "Perils of Pauline" silent film might have the villain tying his victim to a railroad track. When the hero rescues the heroine, the card might say, "Curses! Foiled again!" in place of whatever cursing the character presumably uttered. The English language phrase "Pardon my French" is also sometimes used as a euphemism for profanity. In Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, swear words are replaced by the words "unprintable" and "obscenity", even though the characters are actually speaking Spanish that has been translated into English for the reader (in Spanish, foul language is used freely even when its equivalent is censored in English). These replacements were not performed at the publisher's behest, but instead by Hemingway's choice. In Wes Anderson's film Fantastic Mr. Fox, the replacement of swear words by the word "cuss" became a humorous motif throughout the film.

[edit] Death and murder

This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability. The English language contains numerous euphemisms related to dying, death, burial, and the people and places that deal with death. The practice of using euphemisms for death is likely to have originated with the magical belief that to speak the word "death" was to invite death; where to "draw Death's attention" is the ultimate bad fortune a common theory holds that death is a taboo subject in most English-speaking cultures for precisely this reason. It may be said that one is not dying, but fading quickly because the end is near. People who have died are referred to as having passed away or passed or departed. Kick the bucket seems innocuous until one considers an explanation that has been proposed for the idiom: that a suicidal hanging victim must kick the bucket out from under his own feet during his suicide. Deceased is a euphemism for "dead", and sometimes the deceased is said to have gone to a better place, but this is used primarily among the religious with a concept of Heaven. Was taken to Jesus implies salvation specifically for Christians, but met his Maker may imply some judgment, content implied or unknown, by God. In the Bible, especially in the books of Kings and Chronicles, a deceased king is said to have "slept [or rested] with his fathers" if he received a proper burial. Some Christians often use phrases such as gone to be with the Lord or called to higher service (this latter expression being particularly prevalent in the Salvation Army along with "promoted to glory") or "graduated" to express their belief that physical death is not the end, but the beginning of the fuller realization of redemption. Orthodox Christians often use the euphemism fallen asleep or fallen asleep in the Lord, which reflects Orthodox beliefs concerning death and resurrection. Greeks in particular are apt to refer to the deceased as "the blessed", "the forgiven", or "the absolved" ones, in the belief that the dead person will be counted among the faithful at the Last Judgement.

The dead body entices many euphemisms, some polite and some profane, as well as dysphemisms such as worm food, dead meat, or simply a stiff. Modern rhyming slang contains the expression brown bread. The corpse was once referred to as the shroud (or house or tenement) of clay, and modern funerary workers use terms such as the loved one (title of a novel about Hollywood undertakers by Evelyn Waugh) or the dear departed. (They themselves have given up the euphemism funeral director for grief therapist, and hold arrangement conferences with relatives.) Among themselves, mortuary technicians often refer to the corpse as the client. A recently dead person may be referred to as "the late John Doe". The term cemetery for "graveyard" is a borrowing from Greek, where it was a euphemism, literally meaning 'sleeping place'. The term undertaker (for the person responsible for the preparation of a body for burial) is so well-established that some people do not recognize it as a euphemism, since giving way to the more scientific-sounding euphemism mortician and yet further euphemisms. Someone who has died is said to have passed on, checked out, cashed in their chips, bit the big one, kicked the bucket, keeled over, bit the dust, popped their clogs, pegged it, carked it, was snuffed out, turned their toes up, hopped the twig, bought the farm, got zapped, wrote their epitaph, fell off their perch, croaked, gave up the ghost (originally a more respectful term, cf. the death of Jesus as translated in the King James Version of the Bible Mark 15:37), gone south, gone west, gone to California, shuffled off this mortal coil (from William Shakespeare's Hamlet), run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible, or assumed room temperature (actually a dysphemism in use among mortuary technicians). When buried, they may be said to be pushing up daisies, sleeping the big sleep, taking a dirt nap, gone into the fertilizing business, checking out the grass from underneath or six feet under. There are hundreds of such expressions in use. (Old Burma-Shave jingle: "If daisies are your favorite flower, keep pushin up those miles per hour!") In Edwin Muir's 'The Horses' a euphemism is used to show the elimination of the human race 'The seven days war that put the world to sleep.' The "Dead Parrot" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus contains an extensive list of euphemisms for death, including many cited above, referring to the deceased parrot that the character played by John Cleese had purchased. The popularity of the sketch has itself increased the popularity of some of these euphemisms indeed, it has introduced another euphemism for death, "pining for the fjords" (since it was a Norwegian parrot) although in the sketch that phrase was used by the shop owner to assert that the parrot was not dead, but was merely quiet and contemplative. Euthanasia also attracts euphemisms. One may put one out of one's misery, put one to sleep, or have one put down, the latter two phrases being used primarily with dogs, cats, and horses who are being or have been euthanized by a veterinarian. (These terms are not usually applied to humans, because both medical ethics and law deprecate euthanasia.) In fact, Dr. Bernard Nathanson has pointed out that the word "euthanasia" itself is a euphemism, being Greek for "good death." Some euphemisms for killing are neither respectful nor playful, but instead clinical and detached, including terminate, wet work, to take care of one, to do them in, to off, or to take them out. To cut loose or open up on someone or something means "to shoot at with every available weapon". Gangland euphemisms for murder include ventilate, whack, rub out, liquidate, cut down, hit, take him for a ride, string him up, cut down to size, or "put him in cement boots," "sleep with the fishes" or "put him in a concrete overcoat," the latter three

implying disposal in deep water, if then alive by drowning; the arrangement for a killing may be a simple "contract" with the victim referred to as the "client," which suggests a normal transaction of business. One of the most infamous euphemisms in history was the German term Endlsung, frequently translated in English as "the Final Solution", a systematic plan for genocide of the Jews. This was, in turn, an extension of the concept of eugenics, a euphemism for the neutering and killing various people who are deformed, social misfits, or members of racial groups deemed undesirable to the Nazi Party. Some dysphemisms, especially for death are euphemisms or dysphemisms for other unpleasant events and thus are unpleasant in their literal meaning, used to generalize a bad event. "Having your ass handed to you," "left for the rats," "toasted," "roasted," "burned," "pounded", "bent over the barrel," "screwed over," or other terms commonly describe death or the state of imminent death, but also are common in describing defeat of any kind such as a humiliating loss in a sport or video game, being unfairly treated or cast aside in business affairs, being badly beaten in a fight, and similar. Such an execution device as the electric chair has been known as "Old Sparky" or "Yellow Mama," and the device that delivers lethal chemicals to the condemned in a lethal injection is reduced to "the needle." To terminate with prejudice generally means to end one's employment without possibility of rehire (as opposed to lay off, where the person can expect rehire if business picks up), but the related term to terminate with extreme prejudice now usually means to kill. The adjective extreme may occasionally be omitted. In a famous line from the movie Apocalypse Now, Captain Willard is told to terminate Colonel Kurtz's commission "with extreme prejudice". An acronym, TWEP has been coined from this phrase, which can be used as a verb: "He was TWEPed/TWEPped." In a passage near the beginning of The Twelve Chairs, Bezenchuk, an undertaker, astonishes Vorobyaninov with his classification of people by the euphemisms used to speak of their deaths. The game Dungeon Siege contains many euphemisms for death. Likewise the video game Secret of Mana uses the phrase sees the reaper to mean death. A scene in the film Patch Adams features Patch (Robin Williams) dressed in an angel costume, reading out various synonyms and euphemisms for the phrase "to die" to a man dying of cancer. This evolves into a contest between the two men to see who can come up with more, and better, euphemisms, ending when Patch comes up with "and if we bury you ass up, we'll have a place to park my bike."

[edit] Warfare
The last time the United States Congress passed a bill with the title "Declaration of War" was in 1942, when the U.S. declared war on Romania.[citation needed] Since then, various euphemisms have been employed: Euphemism Usage

While sometimes used to refer to activities designed to make life more comfortable for civilians, the term can also be used to imply pacification intervention by coercive force, including warfare. Examples: Pacification of Algeria, Pacification of the Araucana, Pacification operations in German-occupied Poland, and the Pacification of Tonkin. "[T]he term 'presence' had been used as a euphemism for 'occupation' presence during the Cold War."[20] In the early days of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman referred to the United States response to the North Korean invasion as a police action police action.[21] Similarly, the Vietnam War is also referred to as a "police action" or "security action". The Clinton Doctrine of military interventionism argues for humanitarian involvement in warfare on humanitarian grounds. The Kosovo War is intervention believed to be the first so-called humanitarian war.[22] These generic words are used in many respects for battles, skirmishes, prolonged wars, and undeclared wars; they may also refer to quasi-wars between peoples and factions that do not amount to a sovereign state or [armed] conflict; nation. The Wikipedia uses this terminology, e.g. IsraeliPalestinian aggression; action; conflict and Colombian armed conflict (1964present). The Cold War tension; unrest; crisis has been described as a stand-off conflict that was the result of tension. What does and does not amount to war is often open to debate when civil unrest, guerrilla warfare, terrorism, and unconventional warfare is involved. After the 60-day War Powers Act deadline for congressional authorization to remain involved in the 2011 military intervention in limited kinetic action Libya passed, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates refused to call the operation a war; instead describing it as a limited kinetic action.[23] The renaming of war department as defence department in the post-World War II era in various countries is itself a euphemism, as pointed out by George Orwell (who portrays a Ministry of Peace or minipax in a state at perpetual war in 1984).

[edit] In job titles

This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability. Euphemisms are common in job titles; some jobs have complicated titles that make them sound more impressive than the common names would imply, such as CPA in place of car parking attendant. Many of these euphemisms may include words such as engineer, although in fact the people who do the job are not accredited in engineering, manager for an employee without subordinates, or even a combination thereof. Extreme cases, such as sanitation engineer for janitor, or 'transparent-wall maintenance officer' for window cleaner, are cited humorously more often than they are used seriously. Less extreme cases, such as custodian for janitor or administrative assistant for secretary, are considered more terms of respect than euphemisms. Where the work itself is seen as distasteful, a euphemism may be used, for example "rodent officer" for a rat-catcher, or "cemetery operative" for a gravedigger. From the inter-force rivalry of the US military comes "High-Velocity Projectile Interceptor" as a

description of the mission of an infantry soldier, usually spoken by someone of a non-infantry branch like the Air Force.

[edit] Doublespeak
Main article: Doublespeak Doublespeak, often incorrectly assumed to originate from George Orwell's novel 1984 (erroneously combining Orwell's "newspeak" and "doublethink"), is language deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass. What distinguishes doublespeak from other euphemisms is its deliberate usage. Doublespeak may be in the form of bald euphemisms such as "downsizing" or "rightsizing" for "firing of many employees"; or deliberately ambiguous phrases such as "wet work" for "assassination" and "take out" for "destroy".

[edit] Common examples

Other common euphemisms include:
Euphemisms light in the loafers, confirmed bachelor, rides the bus abattoir acting like rabbits, making love to, getting it on, screwing, doing it, making the beast with two backs, sleeping with adult entertainment, adult material, gentlemens's special interest literature bathroom tissue, t.p., bath tissue big, curvy, fluffy, thickboned, full-figured, heavyset chemical dependency Meaning male homosexuality slaughterhouse

having sex with

pornography toilet paper (usually used by toilet paper manufacturers) overweight, fat, obese drug addiction (though these technically describe distinct conditions) simultaneous existence of related mental and physical health issues (when morbidity is used as a medical term for illness), although in the regular medical use of this term it simply means the presence of one or more mental or physical diseases apart from the primary one and as such is not a euphemism.[24] prison janitor (Also originally a euphemism in Latin, it means doorman. In the British Secret Service, it may still carry the ancient meaning. It does in the novels of John le Carr.) ghetto, slum


correctional facility custodian, caretaker economically depressed

neighborhood, culturallydeprived environment, inner city enhanced interrogation torture[25] callgirl, sex worker - often used in a context where 'johns' become "clients" and 'tricks' become "sessions" or escort, service provider "appointments" like those conducted by professionals in various other fields. killing of healthy animals in animal shelters for a variety of euthanasia reasons ranging from temperament to shelter overcrowding feminine protection tampon gaming gambling gender-based violence rape or sexual assault gentlemen's club go-go bar, strip club hardware key, hardware dongle token, security device holiday tree, winter tree, Christmas tree tree in the family way pregnant it's snowin' down south your slip is showing lost their lives were killed mature, senior, been around old, elderly the block been around the block having had much sexual experience "I misspoke," bend the truth, white lie, fudge, colour the truth, be economical with lied, lie the truth, dissemble, political spin, unreliable motivation bribe or coercion peer homework help, comparing answers, cheating collaborating, harvesting answers persuasion or interrogation torture[26] a little persuasion enormous physical force, as with a blow from a sledgehammer pre-owned, pre-loved used or second hand goods, such as automobiles products of pregnancy fetus (in the context of abortion) mentally challenged, stupid, dim, dull, slow; of subnormal intelligence intellectually challenged the use by lawyers of a strategic lawsuit against public reputational management participation or threats of vexatious litigation to silence public complaints or criticism learning disability requiring remedial or special education - see ride the short bus short bus (disambiguation) restroom, washroom, toilet room powder room (for women) replacement workers scabs or strikebreakers brought into a labour dispute

sanitary landfill sanitary napkin sanatorium sanitation worker (or, sarcastically, sanitation officer or sanitation engineer) "she's in the club" State Electrician take legal action

garbage dump (and a temporary garbage dump is a transfer station), also often called a Civic Amenity in the UK maxipad lunatic asylum bin man, garbage man she's pregnant, chiefly British executioner in cases where an electric chair is used sue cancer (in addition, some people whisper the word when they say it in public, and doctors euphemistically use technical terminology when discussing cancer in front of patients, e.g., "c.a." or "neoplasia"/"neoplastic process", "carcinoma" for "tumor"); euphemisms for cancer are used even more so in the Netherlands, because the Dutch word for cancer can be used as a curse word Northern Ireland (seen by many Irish people as a term imposed by the British and therefore a profanity; however, saying the north of Ireland may be primarily a way of identifying oneself with the Irish Nationalist cause, rather than a euphemism) Shakespeare's Macbeth

the big C

the north of Ireland

the Scottish Play to cut excesses (in a budget), rightsize, downsize, Lay off let go being paid (off)', dismissal' fired or sacked water pollution control sewage treatment facility plant benefits and treatments that tend to only be used in times of wellness sickness women wearing comfortable female homosexuality (used on-air by Robin Williams as shoes announcer in Good Morning Vietnam) comfort station Brothel, or alternatively, Toilet a little thin on top bald we are looking forward to you owe us money settlement of the account exotic dancer stripper visit from the stork give birth

These lists might suggest that most euphemisms are well-known expressions. Often euphemisms can be somewhat situational; what might be used as a euphemism in a conversation between two friends might make no sense to a third person. In this case, the euphemism is being used as a type of innuendo. At other times, the euphemism is common in some circles (such as the medical field) but not others, becoming a type of jargon or, in underworld situations especially, argot. One such example is the line "put him in bed with the captain's daughter" from the popular sea shanty Drunken Sailor, which means to give a

whipping with the cat o' nine tailseuphemistically referred to by sailors as the "captain's daughter". Euphemisms can also be used by governments to rename statutes to use a less offensive expression. For example, in Ontario, Canada, the "Disabled Person Parking Permit" was renamed to the "Accessible Parking Permit" in 2007.[27] The word euphemism itself can be used as a euphemism. In the animated short It's Grinch Night (See Dr. Seuss), a child asks to go to the euphemism, where euphemism is being used as a euphemism for outhouse. This euphemistic use of "euphemism" also occurred in the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? where a character requests, "Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?" It is analogous to the 19th-century use of unmentionables for underpants. Also, lots of euphemisms are used in the improvised television show, Whose Line Is It Anyway?. They are used often in the game 'If You Know What I Mean', where players are given a scene and have to use as many obscure clichs and euphemisms as possible.

[edit] See also

For a list of words relating to euphemisms, see the Euphemisms category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Look up euphemism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopdia Britannica article Euphemism.

Allusion Code word (figure of speech) Dead Parrot sketch Distancing language Double entendre Dysphemism Framing (social sciences) Minimisation Polite fiction Political correctness Pun Sexual slang Slander and libel Spin (public relations) Thomas Bowdler Word play

Double entendre

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An 1814 engraving of a double entendre. He: "My sweet honey, I hope you are to be let with the Lodgins!" She: "No, sir, I am to be let alone." A double entendre (French pronunciation: dubl t d ) (literally to hear double) is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more obvious) meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqu or ironic. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a double entendre as especially being used to "convey an indelicate meaning." It is often used to express potentially offensive opinions without the risks of explicitly doing so. A double entendre may exploit puns to convey the second meaning. Double entendres tend to rely more on multiple meanings of words, or different interpretations of the same primary meaning; they often exploit ambiguity and may be used to introduce it deliberately in a text. Sometimes using a homophone (i.e. a different spelling that yields the same pronunciation) can sometimes be used as a pun as well as a "double entendre" of the subject.


1 Structure 2 Etymology 3 Usage o 3.1 Literature o 3.2 Stage performances o 3.3 Radio and television o 3.4 Movies

3.5 Music 3.6 Comics and pictoral 3.7 Social interaction 4 See also 5 References

o o o

[edit] Structure
A person who is unfamiliar with the hidden or alternative meaning of a sentence may fail to detect its innuendos, aside from observing that others find it humorous for no apparent reason. Perhaps because it is not offensive to those who do not recognize it, innuendo is often used in sitcoms and other comedy considered suitable for children, who may enjoy the comedy while being oblivious to its second meanings. For example, Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing used this ploy to present a surface level description of the play as well as a pun on the Elizabethan use of "nothing" as slang for vagina.[1] A triple entendre is a phrase that can be understood in any of three ways, such as in the cover of the 1981 Rush album Moving Pictures. The left side of the front cover shows a moving company carrying paintings out of a building. On the right side, people are shown crying because the pictures carried by the movers are emotionally "moving". Finally, the back cover features a film crew making a "moving picture" of the whole scene.[2] Another example can be observed in the 1995 film GoldenEye, in which the female villain is crushed to death between a tree, to which James Bond quips, "She always did enjoy a good squeeze." This references her death, her method of executing men (crushing them with her legs) and her sexual appetite.[3] Another example is a sports bar at the bottom of 5th Street in Benicia, California, named "Bottom of the Fifth", referring to (1) the address, (2) baseball's fifth inning, and (3) a measure of consumption of a common quantity of alcoholic beverage. In contrast, comedian Benny Hill, whose television shows included straightforward sexual gags, has been jokingly called "the master of the single entendre".[4]

[edit] Etymology
The expression comes from French double = "double" and entendre = "to hear" (but also "to understand"[5]). However, the English formulation is a corruption of the authentic French expression double entente.[6] Modern French uses double sens instead; the phrase double entendre has no real meaning to a native French speaker. The term "adianoeta" comes from Greek and means "unintelligible".[7]

[edit] Usage
[edit] Literature
The title of Damon Knight's story To Serve Man is a double entendre, it can mean "to perform a service for humanity" or "to serve a human as food". An alien cookbook with the title To Serve Man is featured in the story, implying that the aliens eat humans.

Examples of sexual innuendo and double-entendre occur in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (14th century), in which the Wife of Bath's Tale is laden with double entendres. The most famous of these may be her use of the word "queynte" to describe both domestic duties (from the homonym "quaint") and genitalia ("queynte" being a root of the modern English word cunt.) The title of Sir Thomas More's 1516 fictional work Utopia is a double entendre because of the pun between two Greek-derived words that would have identical pronunciation: with his spelling, it means "no place"[8] (as echoed later in Samuel Butler's later Erewhon); spelled as the rare word Eutopia, it is pronounced the same[9] by English-speaking readers, but has the meaning "good place". The poem Ozymandias by Percy Shelley published in 1818, is an example of ironic double entendre. Looking upon the shattered ruins of a colossus, the traveler reads: My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! The speaker believes that the king's sole intended meaning of "despair" was that nobody could hope to equal his achievements, but the traveler seems to find another meaningthat the reader might "despair" to find that all beings are mortal, that king and peasant alike inevitably share oblivion in the sands of time.[10] This portrayal of an unintended double entendre exemplifies a case of the double entendre as the poet's figure of speech. Earlier in the poem, the narrator says the face "lay in the sand", referring to the shattered statue. However, the barren wastland around, contrasted with the boastful statement, shows a double entendre. In Homer's "The Odyssey", when Odysseus is captured by the Cyclops Polyphemus, he tells the Cyclops that his name is Outis (No-one). When Odysseus attacks the Cyclops later that night and stabs him in the eye, the Cyclops runs out of his cave, yelling to the other cyclopes that "No-one has hurt me!", which leads the other cyclopes to take no action, allowing Odysseus and his men to escape. Often, older media contain words or phrases that were innocuous at the time of publication, but have a more obscene or sexual meaning today, such as "have a gay old time" from The Flintstones ("gay" means "happy" in this context). One possibly intentional example is the character Charley Bates from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, frequently referred to as Master Bates. The word "masturbate" was in use when the book was written.

[edit] Stage performances

Flax on a distaff Shakespeare frequently used innuendos in his plays. Indeed, Sir Toby in Twelfth Night is seen saying, in reference to Sir Andrew's hair, that "it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off;" the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet says that her husband had told Juliet when she was learning to walk that "Yea, dost thou fall upon thy face? Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;", or is told the time by Mercutio: "for the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon"; and in Hamlet, Hamlet torments Ophelia with a series of sexual puns, viz. "country" (similar to "cunt"). In the UK, starting in the 19th century, Victorian morality disallowed innuendo in the theatre as being unpleasant, particularly for the ladies in the audience. In music hall songs, on the other hand, innuendo remained very popular. Marie Lloyd's song 'She Sits Among The Cabbages And Peas' is an example of this. (Music hall in this context is to be compared with Variety, the one common, low-class and vulgar; the other demi-monde, worldly and sometimes chic.) In the 20th century there began to be a bit of a crackdown on lewdness, including some prosecutions. It was the job of the Lord Chamberlain to examine the scripts of all plays for indecency. Nevertheless, some comedians still continued to get away with it. Max Miller, famously, had two books of jokes, a white book and a blue book, and would ask his audience which book they wanted to hear stories from. If they chose the blue book, it was their own choice and he could feel reasonably secure he was not offending anyone.

[edit] Radio and television

In Britain, innuendo humour did not transfer to radio or cinema at first, but eventually and progressively it began to filter through from the late 1950s and 1960s on. Particularly significant in this respect were the Carry On series of films and the BBC radio series Round the Horne, although this humor is carried because of the apparent "nonsense" language that the protagonists use but in fact are having a "rude" conversation in Polari (gay slang). Spike Milligan, writer of The Goon Show, remarked that a lot of blue innuendo came from serviceman's jokes, which most of the cast understood (they all had been soldiers) and many of the audience understood, but which passed over the heads of most of the BBC producers and directors, most of whom were "Officer class." In 1968, the office of the Lord Chamberlain ceased to have responsibility for censoring live entertainment, after the Theatres Act 1968. By the 1970s innuendo had become widely pervasive across much of the British media, including sitcoms and radio comedy, such as I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Round the Horne. For example, in the 1970s series Are You Being Served?, Mrs. Slocombe frequently referred to her pet cat as her "pussy", apparently unaware

of how easily her statement could be misinterpreted, such as "It's a wonder I'm here at all, you know. My pussy got soakin' wet. I had to dry it out in front of the fire before I left." Someone unfamiliar with sexual slang might find this statement funny simply because of the references to her cat, whereas generally a viewer would be expected to detect the innuendo ("pussy" is sexual slang for vulva). Modern U.S. comedies like The Office do not hide the fact of adding sexual innuendos into the script. One repeated example comes from main character Michael Scott who often deploys the catch-phrase "that's what she said" after another character's innocent statement, to turn it retroactively into a sexual pun.

[edit] Movies
Bawdy double entendres, such as "I'm the kinda girl who works for Paramount by day, and Fox all night", and "I feel like a million tonightbut only one at a time", were the trademark of Mae West, in her early-career vaudeville performances as well as in her later plays and movies. Double entendres are popular in modern movies, as a way to conceal adult humour in a work aimed at general audiences. The James Bond films are rife with such humour. For example, in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), when Bond is disturbed by the telephone while in bed with a Danish girl, he explains to Moneypenny that he is busy "brushing up on a little Danish". Moneypenny responds in kind by pointing out that Bond was known as "a cunning linguist", a play on the word "cunnilingus". More obvious examples include Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Holly Goodhead in Moonraker. The double entendres of the Bond films were parodied in the Austin Powers series.

[edit] Music
Double entendres are very common in the titles and lyrics of pop songs, such as "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" by The Bellamy Brothers, which is based on an old Groucho Marx quote, where the person being talked to is asked, by one interpretation if they would be offended, and by the other, if they would press their body against the person doing the talking. Songs in the blues style often employ double entendre. The first meaning is usually rather prosaic while the second meaning is risque. For example, Bessie Smith sang: "I want a little sugar in my bowl." It is clear that on one level she is referring to a sugar bowl, but the second or hidden meaning refers to her female genitalia; the sugar is a man's semen. Another blues double entendre refers to thoroughbred racing. "My daddy was no jockey oh but he could ride/My daddy was no jockey but sho' could ride. He said jes git in the middle and sway from side to side." Finally, a more recent blues song (circa the 1980s) contained the double entendre: "Granpa can't fly his kite because grandma won't give him no tail." Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, in his somewhat controversial song "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35", repeats the line "Everybody must get stoned." In context, the phrase refers to the punishment of execution by stoning, as described in the Bible, but on another level it means to get stoned, a common slang term for being high on narcotics. AC/DC's unintended hit Big Balls off their album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap refers to ballroom dancing, but the lyrics suggest masturbation of the testicles. Sometimes, even when the prosaic meaning is more

obvious, the risque one is thought of as the factual one; for example the humorous Bruce Springsteen song Pink Cadillac uses a pink Cadillac car as a metaphor for a woman's vagina. ZZ Top's song "Tush" uses the prosaic and risque meaning in exact equal portion, as in the band's native Texas "tush" has two meanings: when rhyming with "bush" refers to the female buttocks but when rhyming with "rush" is a slang term for "good enough" or "adequate".

During the 1940s, Benny Bell recorded several "party records" that contained double entendre including "Everybody Wants My Fanny" where the lyrics state "Everybody wants to seize my fanny, everybody likes to squeeze my fanny, they do everything to please my fanny, still she loves no one but me", where "Fanny" could be either a girl's name or a slang for someone's backside. Conscious rap and other variations of rap music are known for several complex metaphors and double entendres.

[edit] Comics and pictoral

The Finbarr Saunders strip in the British comic Viz is built around double entendres. It is one of Viz's longest running strips, often titled 'Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres'. Donald McGill was the creator of many cartoon seaside postcards which used innuendo.

[edit] Social interaction

Double entendres often arise in the replies given to inquiries. For example, the response to the question "What is the difference between ignorance and apathy?" would be "I don't know and I don't care". The dual meaning arises in the iteration (though from a first-person perspective) of the definitions of both terms within the reply ("I don't know" defining ignorance, and "I don't care" defining apathy). In the more obvious sense, the reply may simply indicate that the replier neither knows nor cares about what the difference is between the two words. Another instance of double entendre involves responding to a seemingly innocuous sentence that could have a sexual meaning with the phrase "that's what she said". An example might be if one were to say "It's too big to fit in my mouth" upon being served a large sandwich, someone else could say "That's what she said," as if the statement were a reference to oral sex. This phrase was used in the "Wayne's World" Saturday Night Live skits, and was a recurring joke on the US sitcom The Office; it has in fact become so common among some young social circles in the United States and other countries that it is seen by some in those circles as something bordering on dumb and cliche. The phrase " the actress said to the bishop" is used in a similar way, usually in England. United States military pilots often respond to any statement that might be construed as a double entendre with an erotic alternative meaning with the phrase "so to speak," much to the same effect as the Wayne's World reference above. So pervasive has the practice become that much verbal expression in some units is stilted or stylized to avoid any possibility of double entendre. For example, the word "head" (military term for a restroom, a term used to give or receive oral sex, as well as more common use to mean head of a person) is eschewed in favor of terms such as "cranium" or "brain housing group."[11]

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Sefer Torah at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne

The Torah (English pronunciation: /tr /; Hebrew: " ,Instruction", "Teaching") is the Jewish name for the first five books of the Jewish Bible. In Hebrew the five books are named by the first phrase in the text: Bereshit ("In the beginning," Book of Genesis), Shemot ("Names," Exodus), Vayikra ("He called", Leviticus[1]), Bamidbar ("In the desert," Numbers) and Devarim ("Words," Deuteronomy). In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav (" , Torah that is written"), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe'al Peh (" , Torah that is spoken"). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud ( ) and Midrash (]2[. ) According to Jewish tradition, all of the laws found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and most of them at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were later compiled and written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to medieval Jewish mysticism the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation.[3] Most Modern biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c.600 BCE) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c.400 BCE).[4]

In language, dysphemism,a malphemism,b and cacophemismc refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh (rather than polite) word or expression; roughly the opposite of euphemism.[1] Referring to the paper version of an online magazine as the "dead tree edition" or conventional postal mail as "snail-mail" are examples of dysphemisms.


1 Examples o 1.1 Taboo concepts and Euphemism Treadmill o 1.2 Terms with a generally negative (non-specific) connotation o 1.3 Racial slurs o 1.4 Intelligence level 1.4.1 Dysphemisms for mental retardation o 1.5 Miscellaneous dysphemisms 2 List of dysphemisms, euphemisms, and neutral terms o 2.1 Cross-register synonymy of euphemisms, orthophemisms, and dysphemisms 3 Reclamation and dysphemism treadmill 4 Related terms 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading

[edit] Examples
Many dysphemisms are pejoratives, e.g., referring to the police as the "pigs", or referring to homosexual men as "fags". Some are profanities, such as referring to a woman as a "bitch". Others are playful or slang terms, e.g., referring to a cigarette as a "cancer stick" or "coffin nail". There are two kinds of dysphemisms (and euphemisms). They are conventional and general.

Conventional dysphemisms do not describe the person's feelings toward a subject, and are more about politeness and casualness than context. (e.g., "crap" for defecate, "dick" for penis, "fat" for overweight, etc.) Profanity is a form of this. General dysphemisms describe a person's attitude toward something. ("terrorist" vs. "freedom fighter", "weird" vs. "unique", "egghead" vs. "genius", "ripped off of" vs "inspired by", "henchman" vs "associate", "dead-tree" vs "hard copy", etc)

Referring to a person by an animal name, such as pig, cow, snake, chicken, donkey, ass, or bitch, is almost always a dysphemism, and the last two terms are often considered profane.

Using an adjective as a name, e.g. "cripple" for "has a crippling injury", "White" for "White person", or "retard" for "retarded", is generally more offensive, so it is considered a dysphemism. Using the name of a medical condition, mental disorder, physical injury, sexuality, or social class to describe a more generic issue is also a dysphemism. Examples include saying that an effeminate man is "gay", referring to a ridiculous person or action as "retarded", or saying that an overly cautious person "has OCD". Similarly, using a generic term for a disabled or different person is offensive. "Spastic" is an offense to individuals living with cerebral palsy, but is okay in the context of hyperactivity (except in British English, where it is still very offensive). A "euphemistic dysphemism" is a term that has characteristics of both a euphemism and a dysphemism, e.g., "drain the main vein" for "urinate".

[edit] Taboo concepts and Euphemism Treadmill

Dysphemisms often refer to bad concepts. They are often created over time when a "nice" term for a taboo concept becomes obsolete, and then becomes a dysphemism, and a new, acceptable, term is needed. Taboo concepts include: - Excretion, defecation, and sex, the substances created in the processes (urine, feces, sperm, etc), and the organs associated (genitals, buttocks). - Acts related to the above acts (flatulence, menstruation). - Religion, especially damnation (sending to hell) and religious biases (anti-Semitism, for example) - An otherwise positive concept viewed as taboo or weird to a certain group. - Politics, especially political parties - Disabilities and diseases - Intellectual and mental disorders, like bipolar, Autism, and Down's symdrome - Race, color, or ethnic groups - Gender, orientation, and romantic/sexual desire - Physical differences, such as dwarfism and obesity Examples of the euphemism treadmill include Negro > Black > African Cripple > Handicapped > Disabled > Physically-challenged > Differently-abled

[edit] Terms with a generally negative (non-specific) connotation

Over time, a word can evolve from having a specific meaning to having a general negative meaning, e.g., that TV show is so gay/lame/retarded. Many of these terms retain their original meaning for other uses, but others have gone through the semantic change, with "lame" being the most famous example. Some slang terms were also made for that purpose, e.g., sucks/lousy. Terms used for such purpose include: - dumb - crappy - dorky - sucks/suckish (the term "suckish" is the common term to define a general negative meaning) - weird - nerdy - reeks - stupid - nonsense - BS

[edit] Racial slurs

Main article: List of ethnic slurs A racial slur is a term that can offend a member of a particular race. Examples:

Wop Chink Dago Arab (when pronounced AY-rahb, last syllable rhyming with "rehab") Nigger

[edit] Intelligence level

[edit] Dysphemisms for mental retardation It is common to look down upon people with low intelligence, and the diseases that cause it (Autism, for example). Since the 1950's, "retarded" has been the most common term for low

intelligence, but it has evolved into a dysphemism. Euphemisms like "mentally challenged" have been used to replace it. Other dysphemisms for retardedness include:

Stupid (abstract Stupidity) Idiot (abstract Idiocy) Small brain Mongoloid Has issues Autistic (if the person does not actually have it) Different (used by teenagers and other people who do not support retardation) Special Ed (also used by teens and non-activists, but has a euphemistic value if used otherwise) Lame Mental

[edit] Miscellaneous dysphemisms

Dysphemism Proper term Tax on the Stupid Lottery Cancer Stick cigarette Squeezebox Accordion Dead-Tree Edition Hard copy Snail Mail postal mail Railroad Tracks dental braces a vegetable in a coma crippleware shareware (as in a PC program) punk person pigs the police shrink psychiatrist egghead scientist hobo, bum homeless lame boring weird different Junk food candy or fast food Idiot box, Boob Tube Television set pie hole, yap trap mouth the slammer prison loser low achiever sit on your lazy butt be lazy or inactive dreamer person with high hopes

[edit] List of dysphemisms, euphemisms, and neutral terms

Some terms, called orthophemisms or neutral terms, can have both euphemisms and dysphemisms. A euphemism for such a term is used in a situation where the word is too descriptive, too technical, or impolite for the situation. Some dysphemisms add or emphasise negative aspects of the person, object or act that is being defined. The word "nerd" can refer to a person that is either smart or different, but adds in the concept of being socially and physically awkward. A "terrorist" is a rebel that is viewed as negative and dangerous, but a "freedom fighter" fights for his freedom from his government or business (e.g., Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist, but Sarah Bagley fought for better working conditions). Even different negative terms for the same idea can have slightly different connotations and/or severity. A "priss" may be more uneasy around cussing, bullying, and/or impoliteness, while a "prude" is more concerned on sex, irreligion, and/or mischief, yet both terms have similar general meaning. Some terms can be both euphemisms and dysphemisms, depending on the context. For example, the term "Special Ed" or "special needs" is negative when used to offend people, especially when used by teenagers or non-activists (e.g., "that loser acts like he is in Special Ed", "Good luck at the Special Olympics, weirdo"), but in a positive context, it is a euphemism for retardation. Some of these terms are modifiers, others are names. The word "person" in parentheses is placed after the descriptive terms in this below chart.

[edit] Cross-register synonymy of euphemisms, orthophemisms, and dysphemisms

Dysphemism terrorist spod, boffin, egghead, nerd fag, queer slut, pervert, manwhore Orthophemism (neutral) rebel intellectual male homosexual polygamist, polyamorous, fetishist, or promiscuous (person) excrete or defecate intellectually disabled or challenged obese, overweight virtuous (person), moral (person) person with a physical disability, handicapped (person) buttocks, rectum, rump Euphemism freedom fighter brainiac, whiz, intellectually badass gay playboy, lady's man, player relieve oneself, take a dump, take a poop/pee, use the facility special (in a positive context), solid, heavy-set, big boned angel, do-gooder, good person, differently-abled trunk, bottom, rear-end, behind, butt passed away, with the angels in heaven, lost, asleep on life support, in deep sleep

take a crap, shit, or piss has issues, special ed (in a negative context), retarded, stupid, idiot fat, a pig priss, prude, goody-two-shoes cripple ass

(to be) worm food, pushing up dead dasies, kicked the bucket a vegetable in a coma, braindead

[edit] Reclamation and dysphemism treadmill

Main Article: Reappropriation Over time, dysphemisms (even offensive ones) can become euphemisms (e.g., fart, gay). This is called the dysphemism treadmill, and is the opposite of the euphemism treadmill. A similar process, called linguistic reappropriation or "reclamation", occurs when a group of people offended by a pejorative dysphemism "takes it back" by using it as a term of endearment, somtimes preferring them to the proper terms. These groups can be racial, political, sexual, religious, or simply different. The "reclaimed word" is often still offensive when used by group outsiders (e.g. nigger, tree hugger, geek, punk, Jesus Freak), but some of these terms can also now be used across the board (e.g. gay, Jesuit, Quaker, Republican).

[edit] Related terms

While "dysphemism" or "malphemism" may be either offensive or merely humorously deprecating, "cacophemism" is usually deliberately offensive. The term "orthophemism" has been offered to refer to a neutral name or expression.[citation needed] Some humorous expressions can be either euphemistic or dysphemic depending on context because terms which can be dysphemic can also be affectionate. For example, pushing up daisies can be taken as either softer or harsher than died.

Satiric misspelling
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page. (April 2008) This article uses bare URLs for citations. Please consider adding full citations so that the article remains verifiable. Several templates and the Reflinks tool are available to assist in formatting. (Reflinks documentation) (September 2011) A satiric misspelling is an intentional misspelling of a word, phrase or name for a rhetorical purpose. This is often done by replacing a letter with another letter (for example, k replacing c), or symbol (for example, $ replacing s, @ replacing a, or replacing c). Satiric misspelling is found particularly in informal writing on the Internet, but can also be found in some serious political writing that opposes the status quo.


1 "K" replacing "C"

o 1.1 KKK replacing C or K 2 Currency signs replacing similar letters 3 "@" replacing "A", "at", or "O" 4 Hidden puns 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

[edit] "K" replacing "C"

Replacing the letter "c" with "k" in the first letter of a word came into use by the Ku Klux Klan during its early years in the mid-to-late 19th century. The concept is continued today within the ranks of the Klan.

Barcelona squat and anarchist center, labeled "OKUPA Y RESISTE" In the 1960s and early 1970s in the United States, leftists, particularly the Yippies, sometimes used "Amerika" rather than "America" in referring to the United States.[1] It is still used as a political statement today.[2] It is likely that this was originally an allusion to the German spelling of America, and intended to be suggestive of Nazism, a hypothesis that the Oxford English Dictionary supports. In broader usage, the replacement of the letter "C" with "K" denotes general political skepticism about the topic at hand and is intended to discredit or debase the term in which the replacement occurs.[3] Detractors sometimes spell former U.S. president Bill Clinton's name as "Klinton" or "Klintoon".[citation needed] A similar usage in Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese[citation needed] is to write "okupa" rather than "ocupa" (often on a building or area occupied by squatters,[4] referring to the name adopted by okupacin activist groups), which is particularly remarkable because the letter "k" is rarely found in either Spanish or Portuguese words. It stems from Spanish anarchist and punk movements which used "k" to signal rebellion.[5]

[edit] KKK replacing C or K

A common satiric usage of the letters kkk is the spelling of America as Amerikkka, alluding to the Ku Klux Klan, drawing to a perceived notion of an underlying or inherent racism in American society. The earliest known usage of Amerikkka recorded in the Oxford English

Dictionary is in 1970, in a journal called Black World. Presumably, this was an extrapolation from the then already widespread Amerika. The spelling Amerikkka came into greater use after the 1990 release of the gangsta rap album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted by Ice Cube, also used by rapper Spice 1 for his album AmeriKKKa's Nightmare and by Shock Rock band, Undercover Slut for their album "Amerikkka Macht Frei". The letters KKK have been inserted into many other words, to indicate similar perceived racism, oppression or corruption. Examples include:

Republikkkan (U.S. Republican Party)[6] Demokkkrat (United States Democratic Party)[7] Kkkapitalism (capitalism)[8] KKKlinton (Bill[9] or Hillary Clinton[10])

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Caricature of Charles H. Workman. Caption read "Through every passion raging". Accompanying biography read "The only part of him which gets tired is his tongue, and occasionally the oft-repeated lines have got muddled. 'Self-constricted ruddles', 'his striggles were terruffic', and 'deloberately rib me' are a few of the spoonerisms he has perpetrated. Success has not spoilt him. He is a professional humourist, who has been known to make an Englishman laugh at breakfast".

A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see metathesis). It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (18441930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone to this tendency.[1][2] A spoonerism is also known as a marrowsky, after a Polish count who suffered from the same impediment.[3] While spoonerisms are commonly heard as slips of the tongue resulting from unintentionally getting one's words in a tangle, they can also be used intentionally as a play on words. In some cultures, spoonerisms are used as a rhyme form in poetry, such as German Schttelreime. In French, "contrepterie" is a national sport, the subject of entire books and a weekly section of Le Canard enchan. Spoonerisms are commonly used intentionally in humour.


1 Examples 2 Popular use o 2.1 Politics o 2.2 Twisted tales 3 Kniferism and forkerism 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

[edit] Examples
Most of the quotations attributed to Spooner are apocryphal; The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (3rd edition, 1979) lists only one substantiated spoonerism: "The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer" (instead of "rate of wages"). Spooner claimed[1] that "The Kinquering Congs Their Titles Take" (in reference to a hymn)[4] was his sole spoonerism. Most spoonerisms were probably never uttered by William Spooner himself, but rather made up by colleagues and students as a pastime.[5] Richard Lederer, calling "Kinkering Kongs their Titles Take" (with an alternative spelling) one of the "few" authenticated Spoonerisms, dates it to 1879, and gives nine examples "attributed to Spooner, most of them spuriously".[6] They are:

"Three cheers for our queer old dean!" (dear old queen, referring to Queen Victoria) "Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (customary to kiss) "The Lord is a shoving leopard." (a loving shepherd) "A blushing crow." (crushing blow) "A well-boiled icicle" (well-oiled bicycle) "You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle." (lighting a fire) "Is the bean dizzy?" (Dean busy) "Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet." (occupying my me to another seat) "You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain." (missed...history, wasted...term, down train)[6]

A newspaper column[2] attributes this additional example to Spooner: "A nosey little cook." (cozy little nook).

[edit] Popular use

In modern terms, "spoonerism" generally refers to any changing of sounds in this manner.[original research?]

One example is "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" (variously attributed to W. C. Fields, Tom Waits, and most commonly Dorothy Parker), which not only shifts the beginning sounds of the word lobotomy, but the entire phrase "frontal lobotomy". The preceding phrase was further developed by Dean Martin, who said, "I would rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy." Spoonerism was chosen as one of the character personalities of the seven dwarfs during the production of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, becoming the lead dwarf Doc. Shel Silverstein's last children's book was entitled Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook. In the English translations of the Finnish Moomins books, the characters Thingumy and Bob often use these, sometimes referring to themselves as "Bingumy and Thob", and stating things are "worry vell" (very well). In a situation where profanity is unsuitable, a spoonerism is sometimes used to tone down the intensity of the expression or just to bend the rules. For example, "Bass ackwards" in place of ass backwards or "Nucking Futs" instead of fucking nuts. This is also common among college sports teams slandering others on t-shirts, posters, etc.e.g., "Muck Fichigan" from University of Illinois supporters. In music, there have been several rock albums called Cunning Stunts. Some other music albums containing a spoonerism are Punk in Drublic and Liberal Animation by NOFX, as well as Night in the Ruts by Aerosmith, Farstucker by Lords of Acid, and Suck Fony by Wheatus. Christian metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada has a song titled "Don't Dink and Drance" on their 2007 album, Plagues. The band names Buck Cherry and Com Truise are spoonerisms. Kevin Gilbert released an album titled The Shaming of the True. On his BBC television series, the British disc jockey and comedian Kenny Everett frequently portrayed a movie starlet of rather questionable morals, and overfamiliarity with the casting couch called 'Cupid Stunt'. The original name for the character was Mary Hinge but the BBC vetoed it as they feared continuity announcers would incorrectly pronounce the spoonerism; rather bizarrely they allowed Cupid Stunt despite the same risk.[citation needed] The British radio announcer McDonald Hobley famously introduced the politician Sir Stafford Cripps as Sir 'Stifford Crapps'.[citation needed] British comedian and actor Ronnie Barker produced a sketch called "the funeral of Dr Spooner" in which the minister delivers the eulogy entirely in spoonerisms.[citation

In a BBC Radio 4 episode of I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, Barry Cryer referred to a certain radio/television personality as a "shining wit".[citation needed] On the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 on December 6, 2010, James Naughtie used a spoonerism and mispronounced Jeremy Hunt's name, mixing his title, culture secretary, with his surname.[7][8]

In J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book, the Weasley children receive sweaters from their mother for Christmas. George Weasley wonders why he and his brother, Fred, have their initials stitched into their sweaters, saying, "we're not stupid we know we're called Gred and Forge". Australian author Paul Jennings wrote a children's puzzle book in 1992 entitled "Spooner or Later", featuring illustrated pictures of spoonerisms of increasing complexity, requiring the reader to find their intended meaning. Rap group OFWGKTA often go by both Wolf Gang (part of the acronym) and its spoonerism Golf Wang.[citation needed] "Ring Kitchard" appears in the Monty Python episode "Blood, War, Devastation and Horror" American experimental rock band Battles released their sophomore album Gloss Drop in 2011, then released a remix compilation album in 2012 called Dross Glop Australian Bluegrass band - The Pheasant Pluckers

[edit] Politics
The Capitol Steps, a political satire group, use spoonerisms in a segment of their show called "Lirty Dies and Scicious Vandals". Sarah Palin's name has been parodied as "Parah Salin" in an internet meme.[9] In a deliberate spoonerism, Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson once stated, "Speaking as a Christian, I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the apostle Peale appalling" (in reference to Norman Vincent Peale, who had opposed his candidacy).[10]

[edit] Twisted tales

Comedian F. Chase Taylor was the star of the 1930s radio program Stoopnagle and Budd, in which his character, Colonel Stoopnagle, used spoonerisms. In 1945 he published a book, My Tale is Twisted, consisting of 44 "spoonerised" versions of well-known children's stories. Subtitled "Wart Pun: Aysop's Feebles" and "Tart Pooh: Tairy and Other Fales", these included such tales as "Beeping Sleauty" for "Sleeping Beauty". The book was republished in 2001 by Stone and Scott Publishers as Stoopnagle's Tale is Twisted.[11] Archie Campbell of the television show Hee Haw was also well known for telling twisted tales, the most famous of which being the story of "RinderCella". All of Campbell's spoonerism routines borrowed heavily from Colonel Stoopnagle.

[edit] Kniferism and forkerism

As complements to spoonerism, Douglas Hofstadter used the nonce terms kniferism and forkerism to refer to interchanging the nuclei and codas, respectively, of syllables (spoonerism then being reserved for exchange of the onsets). Examples of so-called kniferisms include a British television newsreader once referring to the police at a crime scene removing a 'hypodeemic nerdle'; a television announcer once saying that "All the world was thrilled by the marriage of the Duck and Doochess of Windsor"[12] and that word regarding an impending presidential veto had come from "a high White Horse souse" (instead of "a high White House source");[13] and during a live broadcast in 1931, radio presenter Harry von Zell accidentally mispronouncing US President Herbert Hoover's name, "Hoobert

Heever."[12][14] Usage of these new terms has been limited; many sources count any syllable exchange as a spoonerism, regardless of location.[15][16]

Bleep censor
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A Bleep censor (or "bleeping") is the replacement of profanity or classified information with a beep sound (usually a 1000 Hz tone (helpinfo)), in television or radio.[1] It is mainly used in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.[citation needed]


1 History of the bleep 2 Regulations o 2.1 Advertising in the United Kingdom o 2.2 United States o 2.3 New Zealand 3 See also 4 References

[edit] History of the bleep

Bleeping has been used for many years as a means of censoring TV programs to remove content not deemed suitable for "family" or "nighttime" viewing and personal information for privacy. The bleep censor is a software module, manually operated by a broadcast technician.

A bleep is sometimes accompanied by a digital blur or box over the speaker's mouth in cases where the removed speech may still be easily understood by lip-reading. On closed caption subtitling, bleeped words are usually represented by the phrase "(bleep)", sometimes the phrase "[expletive]", sometimes hyphens (e.g. f--k), and occasionally asterisks (e.g. ****), remaining faithful to the audio track. Where open captions are used (generally in instances where the speaker is not easily understood), a blank is used where the word is bleeped. Occasionally, bleeping is not reflected in the captions, allowing the unedited dialogue to be seen. Sometimes, a "black bar" can be seen for closed caption bleep, or a blur. Bleeping is normally only used in unscripted programs - documentaries, radio features, panel games etc. - since scripted drama and comedy are designed to suit the time of broadcast. In the case of comedies, most bleeping may be for humorous purposes. When films are edited for daytime TV, broadcasters usually prefer not to bleep swearing, but cut out the segment containing it, replace the speech with different words, or cover it with silence or a sound effect. (See also In film.) In the first example, the film may (unintentionally) become nonsensical or confusing if the removed portion contains an element important to the plot. The bleep is sometimes used for privacy reasons, concealing for example names and addresses. Bleeping is commonly used in English- and Japanese-language broadcasting, but rarely used in some other languages (such as Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Polish), displaying the varying attitudes between countries; some are more liberal towards swearing, less inclined to use strong profanities in front of a camera in the first place, or unwilling to censor.

[edit] Regulations
[edit] Advertising in the United Kingdom
Television and radio commercials are not allowed to use bleeps to obscure swearing under BACC/CAP guidelines. However, this does not apply to program trailers or cinema advertisements and "fuck" is beeped out of two cinema advertisements for Johnny Vaughan's Capital FM show and the cinema advertisement for Family Guy season 5 DVD. An advert for Esure insurance released in October 2007 uses the censor bleep, as well as a black star placed over the speaker's mouth, to conceal the name of a competitor company the speaker said she used to use. The Comedy Central advert for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut had a version of 'Kyle's mom is a big fat bitch' where vulgarities were bleeped out, though the movie itself did not have censorship, and was given a 15 rating. A Barnardo's ad, released in summer 2007, has two versions: one where a boy can be heard saying "BEEP" four times which is restricted to "18" rated cinema screenings, and one where a censor bleep sound obscures the profanity which is still restricted to "15" and "18" rated films. Neither is permitted on UK television.

Trailers for programs containing swearing are usually bleeped until well after the watershed, and it is very rare for any trailer to use the most severe swearwords uncensored. The UK version of the Adventureland Red Band trailer (the version shown in cinemas) which showed before Funny People and Drag Me to Hell when it was out in UK cinemas had the profanities bleeped out in order to have a 15 certificate.

[edit] United States

The Federal Communications Commission has the right to regulate indecent broadcasts. However, the FCC does not actively monitor television broadcasts for indecency violations, nor does it keep a record of television broadcasts. It relies exclusively on documented indecency complaints from television viewers. The FCC is allowed to enforce indecency laws during 6 a.m. 10 p.m. local time.[2] In addition, for network broadcasts, offensive material seen during watershed in one time zone may be subject to fines and prosecution for stations in earlier time zones: for instance, a program with offensive content broadcast at 10 p.m. Eastern Time/Pacific Time may fall out of watershed at 9 p.m. Central Time/Mountain. Many stations have been fined because of this detail.[citation needed] For example, Comedy Central only airs uncensored after 1a.m. so in Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time, and Pacific Time all have it past 10 p.m.[citation

Cable and satellite channels are subject to regulations on what the FCC considers "obscenity," but are exempt from the FCC's "indecency" and "profanity" regulations, though many police themselves using the same FCC guidelines.[citation needed]

[edit] New Zealand

The Office of Film and Literature Classification enforces what can and cannot be said on television in New Zealand and order television networks to apply the bleep censor over objectionable material

Minced oath
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Jump to: navigation, search A minced oath is an expression based on a profanity or a taboo term that has been altered to reduce the objectionable characteristics. Many languages have such expressions. In the English language, nearly all profanities have minced variants.[1] Examples include darn or dang instead of damn; shoot or shucks instead of shit; heck instead of hell; flipping, freaking, "fudging", fluffing, frigging, effing, fricking, farging, frakking, fecking, or funking/phunking instead of fucking; beotch, beach, biatch or beech for bitch;

goodness, golly, gosh, or gad (and likewise the colloquial UK expression gor) instead of God; gee, geesh, geez, geeze, or jeez instead of Jesus; oh my word instead of oh my Lord; crud instead of crap; and crikey or cripes instead of Christ. Profanity-containing or otherwise objectionable phrases may also be minced: Criminy or crimony is an alteration of Christ's money, the thirty pieces of silver in exchange for which Judas betrayed Jesus; gadzooks literally means God's hooks and refers to Jesus being nailed to the cross; and zounds is an alteration of God's wounds, the injuries that Jesus suffered while being crucified.[2]


1 Formation 2 History 3 Acceptability 4 Literature and censorship 5 See also 6 Footnotes 7 References

[edit] Formation
The most common methods of forming a minced oath are rhyme and alliteration. Thus the word bloody can become blooming, or ruddy.[1] Alliterative minced oaths such as darn for damn allow a speaker to begin to say the prohibited word and then change to a more acceptable expression.[3] In rhyming slang, rhyming euphemisms are often truncated so that the rhyme is eliminated: prick became Hampton Wick and then simply Hampton. Another well-known example is "cunt" rhyming with "Berkeley Hunt", which was subsequently abbreviated to "berk". Alliteration can be combined with metrical equivalence, as in the pseudo-blasphemous "Judas Priest," substituted for the blasphemous use of "Jesus Christ".[4] Minced oaths can also be formed by shortening: e.g., b for bloody or f for fuck.[1] Sometimes words borrowed from other languages become minced oaths; for example, poppycock comes from the Low Dutch pappe kak, meaning "soft dung".[5] The minced oath blank is an ironic reference to the dashes that are sometimes used to replace profanities in print.[6] It goes back at least to 1854, when Cuthbert Bede wrote "I wouldn't give a blank for such a blank blank. I'm blank, if he doesn't look as if he'd swallowed a blank codfish." By the 1880s, it had given rise to the derived forms blanked and blankety.[7] which combined together gave the name of the long running and popular British TV show "Blankety Blank". In the same way, bleep arose from the use of a tone to mask profanities on radio.[6]

[edit] History
The Cretan king Rhadamanthus is said to have forbidden his subjects to swear by the gods, suggesting that they swear instead by the ram, the goose or the plane tree. Socrates favored the "Rhadamanthine" oath "by the dog," with "the dog" often interpreted as referring to the bright "Dog Star," i.e., Sirius. Aristophanes mentions that people used to swear by birds

instead of by the gods, adding that the soothsayer Lampon still swears by the goose "whenever he's going to cheat you".[8] Since no god was called upon, Lampon may have considered this oath safe to break.[9] The use of minced oaths in English dates back at least to the 14th century, when "gog" and "kokk", both euphemisms for God, were in use. Other early minced oaths include "Gis" or "Jis" for Jesus (1528).[10] Late Elizabethan drama contains a profusion of minced oaths, probably due to Puritan opposition to swearing. Seven new minced oaths are first recorded between 1598 and 1602, including 'sblood for By God's blood from Shakespeare, 'slight for God's light from Ben Jonson, and 'snails for By God's nails from the historian John Hayward. Swearing on stage was officially banned by the Act to Restraine Abuses of Players in 1606, and a general ban on swearing followed in 1623. In some cases the original meanings of these minced oaths were forgotten; 'struth (By God's truth) came to be spelled strewth and zounds changed pronunciation (with the vowel as in "found") so that it no longer sounded like By God's wounds.[11] Other examples from this period include 'slid for "By God's eyelid" (1598) and 'sfoot for "By God's foot" (1602). Gadzooks for "By God's hooks" (the nails on Christ's cross) followed in the 1650s, egad for oh God in the late 17th century,[12] and ods bodikins for "By God's bodkins [i.e. nail]s" in 1709.[13]

[edit] Acceptability
Although minced oaths are not as strong as the expressions from which they derive, some still find them offensive. One writer in 1550 considered "idle oaths" like "by cocke" (by God), "by the cross of the mouse foot", and "by Saint Chicken" to be "most abominable blasphemy".[14] The minced oaths "'sblood" and "zounds" were omitted from the Folio edition of Shakespeare's play Othello, probably due to Puritan-influenced censorship.[15] In 1941 a U.S. federal judge threatened a lawyer with contempt of court for using the word "darn".[16] Zounds may sound amusing and archaic to the modern ear,[17] yet as late as 1984 the columnist James J. Kilpatrick recalled that "some years ago", after using it in print, he had received complaints that it was blasphemous because of its origin as "God's wounds".[18] (He had written an article entitled "Zounds! Is Reagan Mad?" in the Herald-Journal for 12 June 1973,[19] and also used "zounds" on 11 June 1970.[20])

[edit] Literature and censorship

Main article: Minced oaths in literature It is common to find minced oaths in literature. Writers sometimes face the problem of portraying characters who swear, and often include minced oaths instead of profanity in their writing so that they will not offend audiences or incur censorship. Somerset Maugham referred to this problem in his 1919 novel The Moon and Sixpence, where he admitted: Strickland, according to Captain Nichols, did no

Fuddle duddle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search The fuddle duddle incident in Canadian political history occurred on February 16, 1971 when Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Elliott Trudeau was alleged to have spoken or at least mouthed unparliamentary language in the House of Commons, causing a minor scandal. Trudeau mentioned the words "fuddle duddle" in an ambiguous answer to questions about what he may or may not have said in Parliament. In February 1971, opposition MPs accused Trudeau of having mouthed the words "fuck off" at them in the House of Commons. When pressed by television reporters on the matter, Trudeau would only freely admit having moved his lips, answering the question, "What were you thinking, when you moved your lips?" by rhetorically asking in return "What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say 'fuddle duddle' or something like that?" Thus, it remained unclear what Trudeau actually mouthed.


1 Origin of the phrase 2 Media coverage 3 In popular culture 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

[edit] Origin of the phrase

There is a popular misconception that "fuddle duddle" was coined as a euphemism by the Hansard reporter who prepared the official transcript of Trudeau's words for that parliamentary session. However, Hansard did not record the exchange.[1] In any case, Trudeau used it during a media scrum in the immediate aftermath of the parliamentary incident itself, leaving little time for a Hansard transcript to be consulted or even prepared. Trudeau may have coined the phrase on the spot. It did not gain wide currency in the long term, and did not enter most dictionaries of Canadian English, other than the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.[2]

[edit] Media coverage

An unofficial transcript of the CBC clip is as follows: John Lundrigan: The question I raised to the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada was that the government should introduce some new programs to lift the unemployment burden over and above what has been announced since last March. The Prime Minister interrupted me in a way that you wouldn't expect on the street, by

mouthing a four-letter obscenity which I've challenged him to verbally place on the record and I don't think he's done so since. And I certainly didn't expect this kind of behaviour from my Prime Minister of Canada, having worshipped and really adored men like John Diefenbaker and Mr Pearson and a lot of other people in the past. This to me is really inexcusable and, well I guess we're just going to have to grin and bear it, along with the Lapalme workers. Lincoln Alexander: He mouthed two words, the first word of which started with F, and the second word of which started with O. And he said it twice to John Lundrigan, the member from GanderTwillingate, and he also said the same thing to me. Now I think that we've reached a point where this type of conduct, it's not only disgraceful but it's unacceptable, and I tried to bring that point home. Now of course the Prime Minister wants to split hairs and states that he didn't say it, but when he mouthed it, it was readily recognizable by me as to what he said and what he meant. Pierre Trudeau: Well what are they, lip readers or something? Press: Did you? Pierre Trudeau: Of course I didn't say anything. I mean that's a Press: Did you mouth anything? Pierre Trudeau: I moved my lips and I used my hands in a gesture of derision, yes. But I didn't say anything. If these guys want to read lips and they want to see something into it, you know that's their problem. I think they're very sensitive. They come in the House and they make all kinds of accusations, and because I smile at them in derision they come stomping out and what, go crying to momma or to television that they've been insulted or something? [later in the press conference] Pierre Trudeau: Well, it's a lie, because I didn't say anything. Press: Sir, did you mouth it? Pierre Trudeau: [visibly annoyed What does mouth mean? Press: Move your lips. Pierre Trudeau: Move your lips? Yes I moved my lips! Press: In the words you've been quoted as saying? Pierre Trudeau: [half smile] No. Press: (After murmurs by other press) What were you thinking when you moved your lips? Pierre Trudeau: What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say fuddle duddle or something like that? God, you guys! walks away]

[edit] In popular culture

There was, in 1971-72, a short-lived satirical magazine called Fuddle Duddle, which aspired to be the Canadian equivalent of Mad magazine; however it lasted only five issues before publication ceased.[3] At least two songs related to the incident were released as record singles. "Fuddle Duddle" by Antique Fair was written by Greg Hambleton and released on the Tuesday label through Quality Records (catalogue GH107X). "Do the Fuddle Duddle" written by Gary Alles, performed by The House of Commons and released on GRT Records (catalogue 123304).[4][5][6] Mont Tremblant Resort has a ski run named Fuddle Duddle. Trudeau had been a regular visitor to the resort in the past.[7]