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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
Branding
Q-tipCotton swab
KleenexTissue
AspirinAcetylsalicylic acid
Business
Corporate misbehaviorWhite collar crime
Normal attritionRetirement and firing
DownsizingFiring
RightsizingFiring
Job survivorPerson not yet rightsized, attrited or managed down
Employee selectionHiring
Employee deselectionFiring
Environment
Tree-density reductionChopping down every tree in sight
Deer managementShooting every deer in sight
Law & Order
PotMarijuana
WeedMarijuana
CrackCocaine
HorseHeroine
PinchSteal
Rip offSteal
ClipMurder
EliminateMurder
HitMurder
Knock offMurder
NeutralizeMurder
OffMurder
Rub outMurder
SnuffMurder
Take outMurder
Top (UK)Murder
TerminateMurder
WhackMurder
Military
Embed (reporters)Control (reporters)
Police actionWar with a smaller nation
Preemptive strikeUmprovoked invasion
Tribal chiefSwarthy leader you admire
WarlordSwarthy leader you do not admire
Enhanced interrogationTorture
RenditionTorture in a country where it is legal
Premptive attackUnprovoked attack
Targeting process errorGenocide
Collateral damageCivilian casualties
PC Modern Culture
ElderlyOld (person)
Senior citizenOld person
African AmericanBlack American
Person of colorBlack person
Native AmericanAmerican Indian
Politics
Fake NewsPropaganda
GridlockRepublican obstructionism
PartizanshipRepublican and Democratic obstructionism
Deep stateThe professional public servants who believe in law and order
NeoConReactionary
Freedom caucusReactionary caucus
Fake newsPropaganda
Hemp activistMarijuana enthusiast
UprisingA riot you approve of
RebellionA riot you don't approve of
Religion
GollyGod
DarnDamn
Gee whizJesus
HeckHell
Sexuality
AdultPornographic
Sex workerProstitute, pimp, pornographer
Sex industry employeeProstitute, pimp, pornographer
PeeUrine, urination
WhizUrine, urination
PoopDefecate, defecation
Pass gasFart
Break windFart
TootFart
BangCopulate
HumpCopulate
Shag (UK)Copulate
ScrewCopulate
Bit on the side (UK)Mistress
PlaythingMistress
GayHomosexual
Action figureDoll for boys
Toy boyMale lover
Fancy manMale lover