Useful TEFL-based euphemisms for your everyday life

Especially useful if your response to the double whammy of hitting your midlife crisis while still a TEFLer was to start an affair with a colleague or student (rather than the even worse option of starting a TEFL blog) and you want to be able to talk or write about it without anyone getting suspicious. Or if you are in a TEFL couple, you could use this to talk about your sex lives in front of others such as your parents or kids without them having any idea.


Focus on form – letchery

Framing move – trapping someone in the corner during a party

Transition markers – things that make you think you might be in there

ZPD (zone of proximal development) – how close you have to stand to make sure the other person is interested

Task-based Approach – coming on to someone by showing them how to do something, e.g. standing behind them and holding their hands on a pool cue

Lead in/ Warmer – chat up line/ foreplay

Connected speech – kissing

Linguistics – French kiss

Audiolingual – tongue in ear

Bottom-up – hand up skirt

Skimming and scanning – very quick foreplay

TOEIC – footsie/ toe sucking

Threshold Level – second base

Mingle – hand down someone’s trousers

Handout – handjob

Fluency – getting wet

Pairwork – sex

Gap filling – penetrative sex

Groupwork – three-way sex

Change pairs – wife swapping

PPP – piss sex

Detailed comprehension – tantric sex

Dogme – doggy style

Mock test – S&M that doesn’t actually hurt

Distance learning – phone sex

MOOC/ Community Language Learning – orgy

Applied linguistics – cunnilingus

Observation – watching other people at it

Fostering learner autonomy – watching someone pleasure themselves

Blind observation – listening to people having sex next door

Behaviourism – spanking

Blended – mixed-sex threesome

Third person S – three people with the middle one upside down

Corpus – necrophilia

Relative clause – back scratching that doesn’t leave a mark

Cohesion – getting stuck together like a couple of mating foxes

Complexity – a particularly complicated sexual position

Controlled – bondage

Scaffolding – elaborate Japanese-style rope bondage

Descriptive – talking dirty

Prescriptive – telling the other person what to do

Direct Method – quick shag

Drilling – banging away

First Certificate – losing your virginity

Exposure – flashing/ public sex

Fricative – dry heave

Hedging – cruising in a park

Immersion – going down on someone

Meaning-focussed – lots of looking in each other’s eyes during the act

Natural approach – rhythm method

The Silent Way – married sex

Voiced/ Suggestopedia – a constant commentary on what is or isn’t working

Information gap – anonymous sex

Controlled practice – masturbation for training purposes

Self-correction – the kind of thing Tory MPs accidently kill themselves doing

EF – fuck

St Giles – missionary position

Mixed levels – 69

Trinity – threesome

Camebridge – pearl necklace

Roleplay debate – disagreement over how you are willing to dress up

Error correction – teaching someone how to do it properly

False beginner – Pretending to be a virgin

Liaison – liaison

Roleplay – roleplay

Sentence transformation – law-enforcement related roleplay

Alibi Game – third degree from your wife


Language – lingerie

Worksheet – rubber sheets

Affix – strap-on

Facilitation – KY jelly

Filler – dildo

General Service List – little black book

Input enhancement – penis extension

Revision – morning after pill

Workbook – Karma Sutra

Syntax – flowers etc to your wife


PET – a toyboy/ a gimp

Body parts

TTT – double Ds

Chunks – buttocks/ breasts

Lexis – legs

Input – penis

ARELS – anus

BULATS – bollocks

Bell International – bellend

Base form – Impotent male member


Connotation – double entendres

Explicit knowledge – carnal knowledge

Chair with flaps – seated woman with no knickers

Fossilization – Viagra-assisted hard on that won’t go down

Headwords – things that pop into your mind during sex that you really shouldn’t say

Articulation – bendiness

Silent period – the moments before a screamer starts doing her thing

Free practice – an open relationship

Translation – crossdressing

Critical period – just before coming

For additional ELT-related double entendres and more, you could see the Alternative A to Z of ELT Jargon, and add your own ideas in comments here or there.

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5 Responses to Useful TEFL-based euphemisms for your everyday life

  1. Hilarious if rather close to the bone in my case! Especially the mid-life crisis bit.

  2. alexcase says:

    When I first started reading your comment, I thought it was going to end… “Especially the having an affair bit”. Of course, it does still leave that possibility open🙂

  3. Well – now you mention it…

  4. alexcase says:

    Your secret is safe with us, and anyway as I said probably much better than starting a TEFL blog…

  5. OMG! I really enjoyed. I think I have some vocabulary homework to do. I mean seriously ! jajajjaa……where’s my workbook?

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