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Euphemism and blasphemy

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Euphemism and blasphemy

Postby vaibhavd85 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:46 pm

Euphemism (N): A figure of speech in which an offensive, harsh or blunt word or expression is avoided and one that is milder but precise or accurate is used instead.

This word can be broken as "eu" which means, "good, well" + "pheme", "speaking", some more cognates of the root "eu" are eulogy (eu good + logos, discourse, i.e. to say something good about someone, which means to applaud), eugeny (nobleness if birth, can be split as good + birth), euphony (literally means good sounding, some more cognates, cacophony).

Example:
Instead of saying that he died, we say he passed away.

Blasphemy (N): profane talk of something supposed to be sacred, profaneness, sacrilege, irreverence, impiety.

The word can be split up as "blas" + "pheme" speaking.

Contextual example:
When Copernicus propounded the theory of heliocentric cosmology, everyone considered it as blasphemy.

Regards,
V
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Postby sluggo » Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:51 am

Good catch, V- surprisingly, euphemism hasn't been brought up before, although its contrast dysphemism has (qv)

I had a wonderful book full of euphemisms that was sadly subjected to Katrina solvent, but a few memorable entries survive in memory from the section on going to the bathroom, including the quaint "going to visit Mrs. White" and the bizarre "going to give a Chinaman a music lesson"
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Postby gailr » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:04 pm

With apologies to Dr. Goodword and his Sisyphean goal of civilizing uncivil tongues, the terms euphemism and blasphemy always bring fond memories of Allan Sherman:
The word euphemism is a euphemism. It may come from fancy Greek lineage, but it means a lie, nothing more or less. The fact is, human society had to have some way to mention the unmentionable in polite company―or die of boredom. That's how euphemisms were born. There is a large selection available, from the imponderably vague to the nauseatingly coy:


I remember discussions on this before; not here, as it turns out. I had to go spelunking in that other place to find this old link to the origins of common euphemisms. Vulgarity is not nice, but I take a certain amusement in hearing those with Obsessively Clean Vocabularies (*cough*certain well-coiffed politicos*cough*) saying the very same things, under the very same circumstances, in the naive belief that they are *not* swearing.

It may be wearing lipstick and mincing along with a little lace hanky, but it's still a pig.

-gailr
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Postby skinem » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:31 pm

Some favorite euphimisms of mine--

Dadshimit! (Sounds worse than the real deal to me!)

She's expecting. (A puppy? A letter?)

Going to see a man about a dog. (As they say around here--"None ye.")
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Postby Bailey » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:02 am

Shooty poo, or shoot the boots.

mark my-cuss-words Bailey

oh I have worse ones but try to keep them in this realm.

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Postby Perry » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:19 am

Godfrey Daniels and tarnation both have a nice ring to them.
Last edited by Perry on Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sluggo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:51 pm

one of the strangest:

"Land o' Goshen!"
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Postby gailr » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:02 pm

sluggo wrote:one of the strangest:

"Land o' Goshen!"

I believe it is a little-known federal law that one has to be wearing a bonnet and clutching an apron to use that one.
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Postby sluggo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:23 pm

not to forget its timeless compatriot:

Pshaw!

-there's an etymology worth digging up...
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Postby Stargzer » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:14 pm

gailr wrote:
sluggo wrote:one of the strangest:

"Land o' Goshen!"

I believe it is a little-known federal law that one has to be wearing a bonnet and clutching an apron to use that one.


Either that or one has to look and sound like Gabby Hayes or Jack Elam.
Regards//Larry

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Postby skinem » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:06 am

sluggo wrote:one of the strangest:

"Land o' Goshen!"


Or, along these lines--"Laws" or "laws' sake!"

Of course, Gabby or Jack or Slim Pickens might also let loose with the occasional "Tarnation"!
(Or, one of my favorites--"Whut in the wide, wide world of sports is agoin' on around here!?")
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Postby Stargzer » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:25 am

skinem wrote: ... (Or, one of my favorites--"Whut in the wide, wide world of sports is agoin' on around here!?")


Was that from Blazing Saddles? In my mind's eye I can just see and hear Slim Pickens saying those lines.

According to IMDB, Pickens had a brother named Easy Pickens, whose only role was in the movie The Ballad of Cable Hogue.
Regards//Larry

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Postby skinem » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:37 am

Stargzer wrote:
skinem wrote: ... (Or, one of my favorites--"Whut in the wide, wide world of sports is agoin' on around here!?")


Was that from Blazing Saddles? In my mind's eye I can just see and hear Slim Pickens saying those lines.

According to IMDB, Pickens had a brother named Easy Pickens, whose only role was in the movie The Ballad of Cable Hogue.


Sorry for the tardiness of an answer...

Yes. Said as he rode up on a group of railroad workers dancing and singing "Camptown Ladies".
His next line was politically incorrect and hilarious.

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Postby Bailey » Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:23 pm

no pics of Easy on the net, that I could find.

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