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Euphemism Examples

This is a list of about fifty common euphemisms. For each euphemism you'll find a definition, example sentences, notes and a quick quiz question.

adult

pornographic, or related to sex

between jobs

unemployed, or without a job

bottom

buttocks

capital punishment

the death penalty

casualties

victims, or people killed or injured in wars and accidents

challenged

more limited mentally or physically than most people

comfort stop

a short break on a journey to allow travellers to go to the toilet

creative differences

problems among musicians, dancers, writers, actors, etc. that make it difficult or impossible for them to work together

dating

regularly having sex

deceased

dead

dismiss

to fire someone from their job

euthanize

to kill an unwanted animal

expecting

to be pregnant

explicit

showing or describing sexual acts

family jewels

testicles

family planning

often used as a euphemism for birth control or using contraceptives

full-figured

(esp. of a woman) fat, overweight or obese

getting on

old or elderly

go to the bathroom American English

to urinate and/or defecate, esp. in a toilet

issues

emotional problems

late

used instead of "dead" or "deceased" when mentioning a dead person

lay off

to fire a worker

let go

to fire a worker

loss of life

many deaths

make love

to have sex

manhood

the male sex organs

marital aid

a sex aid or sex toy

merry

drunk

nature calls

needing to urinate or defecate

number one

urine, or liquid waste from the body

number two

faeces, or solid waste from the body

on the game

to be working as a prostitute

pass away

to die

pass wind

to release gas from the anus or the "bottom"

person of interest

a criminal suspect

pre-owned

used or second-hand

private parts

a person's sex organs or "genitals"

put down

to kill an animal, esp. one of no commercial value

put to sleep

to kill an animal, esp. a sick, injured or very old pet

relieve oneself

to go to the toilet, esp. to urinate

restroom American English

a public toilet

sanitary pad

a menstrual pad

sanitation worker

garbage or rubbish collector

seeing (sb)

to be in a sexual relationship

senior citizen

an old person

sleep with sb

to have sex with somebody

sweetener

a bribe

terminated

murdered

termination

abortion

the big C

cancer

the facts of life

information about sex and sexual reproduction

wardrobe malfunction

a problem with clothing that allows breasts, buttocks or genitals to be seen

working girl

a female prostitute