Life Style

8 Ways We Use Euphemisms to Speak About the Unspeakable

“Powdering my nose,” “going to the restroom,” and other polite ways to say “taking a crap”

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The true heyday of euphemisms that describe bodily functions was the Victorian Age, when you couldn’t even say “leg” without someone’s monocle flying off. (They used “limb.”) The Victorians brought us “going to the loo” (probably from the French le lieu or “the place.”) and “going to spend a penny,” a reference to pay toilets.

I feel very strongly that we shouldn’t refer to elimination using cutesy words for children, like “poo poo” or “tinkle,” except ironically. It makes people sound creepy.

Bonus dysphemisms: There are so many rude ways to describe excrement! Try “dropping your kids off at the pool,” or “taking the Browns to the Superbowl.”


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