Writing 101


What are euphemisms?
According to the textbook definition, a euphemism is a ‘mild, indirect or vague term used in place of a direct, harsh and likely offensive one.’

For example, suppose a relative of your friend expires. Do you say “I am sorry that your uncle is dead” or “I am sorry that your uncle passed away. My sincere condolences”?

If you are a devoted student of the English language and want to become an accomplished conversationalist, then you need to learn as many euphemisms as possible. Another good reason is that someone might mention a euphemism during a public speech, but you can’t figure out what the speaker actually intends to convey.

So here goes, a short list of all the useful euphemisms you should be aware of:

10. Between jobs

Meaning: Being unemployed

Example: Right now, Shalini is between jobs because of the adverse market situation.

9. On the streets

Meaning: Homeless

Example: The raging war left many people homeless in the Balkans region.

8. Not the sharpest pencil in the box

Meaning: A stupid person

Example: Shilpa could not be blamed for the mistake in the high profile project. She was anyway not the sharpest pencil in the box.

7. Let you go

Meaning: You’re fired

Example: Due to the fragile situation of the company, we will have to let you go.

6. Collateral damage

Meaning: When innocent people or schools, hospitals, and homes are destroyed in an attack

Example: The military assault on Gaza led to the deaths of many civilians, which was termed as collateral damage by the mainstream media.

5. Left a lot to be desired

Meaning: Bad and not up to the mark

Example: According to the client, the final software product left a lot to be desired.

4. Economically disadvantaged

Meaning: Poor

Example: A large section of the Indian population can be termed as economically disadvantaged.

3. Visually challenged

Meaning: Blind or partially sighted

Example: There should be arrangements made for the visually challenged at all public places.

2. Didn’t make it

Meaning: Died

Example: Unfortunately, no member of the family could make it following the horrific car accident.

1. Call of nature

Meaning: The urge to urinate/defecate

Example: I seriously needed to attend the call of nature during the long trip to home.

Read more

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