Archive for the ‘Euphemism’ Category

Clean underwear

November 6, 2015

A recent tv commercial ‘Clean Underwear’ for Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper, featuring the four Charmin bears and their mother, skirts direct mention of feces stains on underwear (colloquially referred to euphemistically as skidmarks), while including a very slightly concrealed allusion to skids. A performance that some viewers found funny-cute and others found offensive. By going to this site, you can access a video of the commercial that loops through the thing again and again, until you shut it off.


Bullshido, bullshtein, and cork soakers

November 4, 2015

(All sorts of taboo language and sexual references.)

So I posted a brief notice of Mark Peters’s recently published bullshit lexicon, noting in passing the euphemism bullshine, which wasn’t among the many listed in the book. That has led me to a play on bullshit, the portmanteau Bullshido; through Michael Covarrubias, to the swearword malapropism bullshtein in the movie Johnny Dangerously; and through the malapropistic slur cork-soaker in that movie, to a hilarious SNL sketch “Cork Soakers”, where the expression is a comic double entendre. What a long strange trip.


Lame taboo avoidance

October 29, 2015

From the Washington Post on the 27th, the story “Lindsey Graham pours beers, contemplates marrying Carly Fiorina’ by David Weigel, beginning:

Boulder, Colo. — Low poll numbers almost kept him out of Wednesday’s “undercard” CNBC debate, but Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s presidential campaign made it to Colorado — and took him into territory where few campaigns would tread. Graham (R-S.C.) was the inaugural guest at CNN’s “Politics on Tap” happy hour, its first celebrity bartender and its first participant in a twist on a somewhat salacious name game usually reserved for slumber parties.

The game has a variety of names — kill, fuck, marry;  fuck, marry, killfuck, marry, dumpmarry, fuck, kill — but all have fuck in them, and most have kill as well.


Morning: the call of nature

October 13, 2015

Yesterday’s morning expression on awakening (with a need to answer the call of nature) was not exactly a name, but, well, the NP the call of nature. That led to the product Serutan — that is a name — and, in another direction, to the PP against nature, which I’ll reserve for another day.

Basic dictionary work. From NOAD2:

call of nature  used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate or defecate.

and AHD5:

A need to urinate or defecate. Often used with answer: He left the room to answer the call of nature.

Idiom dictions are roughly similar, and some offer nature’s call as an alternative.


From manure du jour to the Ascent of Man

June 19, 2015

It starts with today’s Bizarro, which turns out to have a history:


The reporter challenges the presidential spokesman on the accuracy of his pronouncements, suggesting, with a euphemistic label that rhymes (in English), that it’s just bullshit.


Armenian days

April 27, 2015

Some time ago I came to consciousness in the middle of the night to intriguing music from WQXR (classical music from NYC): a collage of melodies, many hauntingly semi-familiar. Hmm, Charles Ives? Not any Ives I recognized, and quieter and less assertive than you expect from Ives. Unfamiliar and charming.

Symphony No. 50 Mount St Helens by Alan Hovhaness. And that took me to Armenians in the U.S., especially to the west of Boston (near where I lived when I was in grad school); to the Armenian diaspora; and to the genocide, a hundred years ago, that triggered the dispersal of Armenians.


Sidestepping the taboo item

April 2, 2015

Two instances of taboo avoidance today: one from today’s Dilbert, one from a tv ad for DraftKings (a fantasy sports site).

The DraftKings ad (with “you could win a shipload of money”) can be viewed here.


Annals of euphemism

December 20, 2014

A Clive Goddard cartoon from the January 2015 Funny Times:

On the left, a woman shopping for products to use during menstruation, euphemistically called sanitary products. On the right, an unsavory guy shopping for god-knows-what — but whatever it is, it’s unsanitary ‘unclean’.


Flashers abroad

October 11, 2014

This seems to be Sex Saturday, though I have plenty of other things I’m anxious to post about today. But here goes, with a story from the weekend edition of the (San Francisco Mid-Peninsula) Daily Post, headlined: “Cops: Flasher strikes again: Fourth incident in a week” (by Angelo Ruggiero). About a flasher (possibly more than one) operating locally.

One recurrent feature of the Post‘s stories is the euphemism pleasure onself for masturbate (itself a technical or medical term avoiding genuinely vernacular expressions). As here, from today’s story:

The women, in their 20s, looked out the window [of Peet’s Coffee in Belmont] onto El Camino and saw a man parked at the curb and pleasuring himself, said Capt. Pat Halleran [of the local police].


lady parts

September 18, 2014

Today’s Zits:


Jeremy and his buddy Pierce, and the slang euphemism lady parts.



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