|Source||Silva Rhetoricae (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm); JG Smith (1665) ("euphemismus"); Peacham (1593); Macbeth (1876)("euphemism," "smooth handle"); De Mille (1882) ("euphemism," "hypocorisma"); Waddy (1889)("euphemism"); Demetrius (1902) 195 ("euphemism"); Bullinger (1898) ("euphemismos; or, euphemy"); Johnson (1903) ("eupemism or euphuism"); Vickers (1989) ("euphemismos")|
|Synonyms||euphemismos, euphemism, smooth handle, hypocorisma, euphemy, euphuism|
|Etymology||from Gk. eu'-phee-mis'-mos from euphemizein "to use words of good omen" from eu "well" and pheemi "to speak"|
1. Substituting a more favorable term for a pejorative or socially delicate term. (Silva Rhetoricae)
2. A fair or favourable kind of speech: a figure whereby a word of a good and bad signification is interpreted to the better part, &c.; Euphemismus, bona dictionis mutatio, seu favorabilis locutio, a good change of a word, or a fair kind of speech: derived from [e*] bene, well or pleasingly, and [phemi] dico, to speak; or from [euphemeo] faveo linguâ, aut bona verba dico, to favour in speech or to give pleasing word's. It is a fair kind of speech, or a modest way of expressing ones mind. A figure whereby in Scripture you shall finde a fair name put on a foul vice, and a word of a good and bad signification interpreted to the better part; and it is also when things (which would offend a most modest and chast ear) are vailed with Periphrasis, or circumlocution. (JG Smith)
3. Euphemismus in Latine boni ominis captatio, that is, a Prognostication of good, and it is a forme of speech, by which the Orator either interpreteth an uncertaine thing to the better part, or else declareth before that some good thing shall come to passe afterward, which he speaketh from divine revelation, or else collecteth it by some likely signes and tokens. (Peacham)
4. Euphemism, or the Smooth Handle, is a figure much employed by the peculiarly polite, who wish to convey a harsh truth as gently as they can. (Macbeth)
5 a) 133. EUPHEMISM.
5 b) 134. HYPOCORISMA.
6.(3) By euphemism.
7. Whereby a man makes inauspicious
8. Change of what is unpleasant for pleasant... Euphemy is a figure by which a harsh or disagreeable expression is changed for a pleasant and agreeable one; or, where an offensive word or expression is changed for a gently one; or an indelicate word for a modest word. This figure is not, strange to say, generally used as with us of the ordinary functions of nature, which are often exaggerated by civilization and fashion into a false modesty. The Scriptures use very plain language on plain subjects: but there are beautiful Euphemies used where delicate feelings or sentiments are affected. (Bullinger, 684)
9. Euphemism or Euphuism.—This figure consists in a choice of words intended to avoid a disagreeable impression that might be produced if the idea were conveyed bluntly in the usual or more specific terms. (Johnson, 100)
10.Euphemismos, substituting a more favourable for a pejorative term. (Vickers 494)
1. In Shakespeare's King Richard II Richard inquires after John of Gaunt:
King Richard: What says he?
3. An example of the Apostle Paul: I exhort you to be of good courage, for there shalbe no losse of any mans life among you, but of the ship onely. (Peacham)
2. Thus urine is vailed with a Circumlocution, water of the feet. (JG Smith)
4. The Latin word for thief is fur; so they called a thief "a man of three letters." (Macbeth)
5 a) Examples may be found in such words and phrases as, "If anything should happen," to indicate "death;" "he was unable to meet his engagements," for "he failed;" "untidy," for "dirty;" "unfortunate," for "dishonest." (De Mille)
7. 'We will seek the cooperation of the Victories for the war.' (Demetrius)
8. Judges 3:24. -"Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber." When an Eastern stoops down, his garment fall over and cover his feet. Hence the Euphemy, the meaning of which is given in the margin. See also 1 Sam. 24:3. (Bullinger, 685)
9. One of the simplest is that of the prudish woman who spoke of "the limbs of the piano." A more striking one was originated by the wife of a hod-carrier, who, being asked what was her husband's business, answered that he was "a descender and elevater." One of the most ghastly is Hamlet's remark in answer to an inquiry for Polonius, that he has gone to supper. Slang has many euphemisms. Thus, "It has gone where the woodbine twineth," i. e., up a spout, i. e., to the pawnshop,
10. Falstaff . . . when thou art king, let not us that are squires of the night's body
|Related Figures||figures of substitution, figures of moderation, ominasio|
|Last Editor||Daniel Etigson|