Origin of euphemism
Examples from the Web for euphemism
The euphemism most commonly used by convicts for dying is to “be taken off the count.”
The euphemism of “collateral damage” comes with that package.Blood and War: The Hard Truth About ‘Boots on the Ground’|Clive Irving|September 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Babylon could be a euphemism for Rome or it could just be a metaphor for imagined exile.
Expense is a euphemism here; for insurers, birth control saves more in medical bills that it costs.How ‘Religious Freedom’ Is Hurting Everyone’s Freedom|Robert Shrum|March 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
French comedian Dieudonné has paid a high price for his “anti-establishment” (a euphemism for anti-Semitic) outbursts.
He was exactly in the frame of mind to grasp at the euphemism offered by Selma.Unleavened Bread|Robert Grant
Finally, we observe the same principle in euphemism, or that form of speech which avoids calling things by their names.The Romance of Words (4th ed.)|Ernest Weekley
This may be a mere mis-spelling of "God," or a sort of euphemism like the modern "thank goodness!"A Letter Book|George Saintsbury
There is nothing you need hesitate to tell me, and, besides, you are justly celebrated for your use of euphemism.Letters to an Unknown|Prosper Mrime
Only one disciplinary case, to employ the euphemism of the last official report, seems to have occurred.Social Transformations of the Victorian Age|T. H. S. (Thomas Hay Sweet) Escott
Word Origin for euphemism
1650s, from Greek euphemismos "use of a favorable word in place of an inauspicious one," from euphemizein "speak with fair words, use words of good omen," from eu- "good" (see eu-) + pheme "speaking," from phanai "speak" (see fame (n.)).
In ancient Greece, the superstitious avoidance of words of ill-omen during religious ceremonies, or substitutions such as Eumenides "the Gracious Ones" for the Furies (see also Euxine). In English, a rhetorical term at first; broader sense of "choosing a less distasteful word or phrase than the one meant" is first attested 1793. Related: Euphemistic; euphemistically.
An agreeable word or expression substituted for one that is potentially offensive, often having to do with bodily functions, sex, or death; for example, rest room for toilet, lady of the evening for prostitute. The Nazis used euphemism in referring to their plan to murder the world's Jews (see also Jews) as “the Final Solution.”