Euphemism Examples


A euphemism is a word or phrase that is substituted for a word or phrase that is considered to be too straightforward or blunt when referring to something sad, distasteful, or upsetting.

Examples of Euphemism:

Passed away = dead

Early retirement = fired/let go

Economically disadvantaged = poor

Misspoke = lied

In the family way = pregnant

big-boned = fat

Examples of Euphemism in Literature:

Shakespeare often used euphemism to refer to sex:

In Othello, he referred to sex as "making the beast with two backs."

In Antony and Cleopatra, he referred to sex as "plowed" and becoming pregnant as "cropped": "He plowed her and she cropped."

Thomas Hardy's poem "Afterwards" includes many euphemisms for death:

"When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay"

"If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink, The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades"

"If I pass during some nocturnal blackness"

"If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,"

Related Links:
Grammar Examples
Sentence Structure Examples
Metaphor Examples
Similes Examples