What is it?
According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, it's a word or phrase used to avoid saying an unpleasant or offensive word, e.g.
- 'Senior citizen' is a euphemism for 'old person'.
- The article made so much use of euphemism that often its meaning was unclear.
Here's a list of a few euphemisms that you might hear sometimes...
- to pass away = to die
- a public convenience = a toilet
- senior citizens = old age pensioners
- sb is no longer with us = the person is dead
- to answer a call of nature = to go to the toilet
- sth has seen better days = sth is shabby
Here's an interesting link where you can take a look at other euphemisms as they're used in commercials to make them more appealing.
My question to you:
What other euphemisms do you know?