Archive for the ‘Euphemism’ Category

Linguistics and its orthographically related disciplines

August 26, 2016

Nathan Sanders writes on Facebook to display the nameplate for his new position at Haverford College:

There are few people in LINGUISTICS who have not been afflicted by the spelling LINQUISTICS, or else LINGUSITICS. But it is a little-known fact that these are actual names of academic disciplines quite distinct from linguistics.

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Fixed expressions

August 7, 2016

Two recent cartoons turning on fixed expressions, compounds in fact: a Rhymes With Orange and a One Big Happy:

(#1)

(#2)

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Cereal mascots

August 1, 2016

Today’s One Big Happy, with the kids’ grandparents at breakfast, contemplating the cereals on offer, with some dismay:

(#1)

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Morning name: Baskit

December 31, 2015

My recent “boxboys and transitive bottoming” posting led me to the informal English vocabulary for talking about the male genitals euphemistically: package, box, basket, junk, stuff, sack, unit, … (photo #1 there is an entertaining presentation of packages and boxes) — what you might think of as packagecabulary or boxcabulary. (NOAD2 has package ‘a man’s genitals’, but none of the other boxcabulary.)

That posting probably primed me to think of the premium underwear company Baskit; in the very crowded field of homoerotic underwear marketing, the company manages to be profoundly gay, starting with its name.

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boxboys and transitive bottoming

December 29, 2015

(Lots of plain talk about bodies and sexual practces, so not for kids or the sexually modest. But also plenty of stuff of linguistic interest.)

An ad for a Christmas sale on gay porn at an aggregation site for porn (of all sorts) that fills my mailbox with offers, most of which I just trash, but in this case… Here’s the ad, with the sale details cropped out:

(#1)

We’re left with six naked guys in Santa caps (ohhh, Santa baby!), their genitals covered by the (Christmas) packages and boxes they’re carrying. They’re presented as hot gay men cruising and admiring one another’s endowments — and in the case of one man, Gay 1, reaching into his neighbor’s box to handle its contents.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

(#1)

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.

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