Dr. Goodword's Office

Glossary of 21st Century Euphemisms

Words play a powerful role in out lives. In fact, some words are just too powerful. These words are either too sacrilegious or too shameful and embarrassing. We often replace such words with euphemisms like those listed here. We often don't even know that we are using euphemisms. This list should help you recognize them in your speech and the speech of others.

If you don't see your favorite here, send it to us via our contact page.

Euphemism Real Meaning
Q-tip Cotton swab
Kleenex Tissue
Aspirin Acetylsalicylic acid
Corporate misbehavior White collar crime
Normal attrition Retirement and firing
Downsizing Firing
Rightsizing Firing
Job survivor Person not yet rightsized, attrited or managed down
Employee selection Hiring
Employee deselection Firing
Tree-density reduction Chopping down every tree in sight
Deer management Shooting every deer in sight
Law & Order
Pot Marijuana
Weed Marijuana
Crack Cocaine
Horse Heroine
Pinch Steal
Rip off Steal
Clip Murder
Eliminate Murder
Hit Murder
Knock off Murder
Neutralize Murder
Off Murder
Rub out Murder
Snuff Murder
Take out Murder
Top (UK) Murder
Terminate Murder
Whack Murder
Embed (reporters) Control (reporters)
Police action War with a smaller nation
Preemptive strike Umprovoked invasion
Tribal chief Swarthy leader you admire
Warlord Swarthy leader you do not admire
Enhanced interrogation Torture
Rendition Torture in a country where it is legal
Premptive attack Unprovoked attack
Targeting process error Genocide
Collateral damage Civilian casualties
PC Modern Culture
Elderly Old (person)
Senior citizen Old person
African American Black American
Person of color Black person
Native American American Indian
Fake News Propaganda
Gridlock Republican obstructionism
Partizanship Republican and Democratic obstructionism
Deep state The professional public servants who believe in law and order
NeoCon Reactionary
Freedom caucus Reactionary caucus
Fake news Propaganda
Hemp activist Marijuana enthusiast
Uprising A riot you approve of
Rebellion A riot you don't approve of
Golly God
Darn Damn
Gee whiz Jesus
Heck Hell
Adult Pornographic
Sex worker Prostitute, pimp, pornographer
Sex industry employee Prostitute, pimp, pornographer
Pee Urine, urination
Whiz Urine, urination
Poop Defecate, defecation
Pass gas Fart
Break wind Fart
Toot Fart
Bang Copulate
Hump Copulate
Shag (UK) Copulate
Screw Copulate
Bit on the side (UK) Mistress
Plaything Mistress
Gay Homosexual
Action figure Doll for boys
Toy boy Male lover
Fancy man Male lover