Euphemisms

Euphemisms

Landmark Advanced Unit 14

Warmer

Choose one of the roleplays below and try to tell your partner what happened during the weekend without saying the underlined word (which is slightly or very taboo)

 

You were so tired that you fell asleep on the toilet

 

 

You cleaned the toilet, because you hadn’t done so for two months

 

 

When you came home, your little brother was watching a porn video

 

 

Your pet died

 

 

Your wife or husband was fired

 

 

You had food poisoning and vomited several times

 

 

You went on a blind date but he or she was really fat

 

 

You went on a blind date but he or she was really old

 

 

You had to punish your child for swearing, e.g. saying f*ck and sh*t

 

 

You got really drunk

 

 

You found out that your friend is having sex with two different people

 

 

You saw your cousin taking drugs

 

 

Your friend told you that they had slept with a prostitute in Amsterdam

 

 

You found out that your teenaged sister-in-law is pregnant

 

How many different ways can you think of to refer to the things above in more indirect ways?

Without looking below, listen to your teacher listing some things which are all euphemisms for the same thing. How soon can you guess what they are referring to?

throw up/ a Technicolor yawn/ bring something back up/ hurl/ a pavement pizza

 

powder your nose/ water the flowers/ have a slash/ have a tinkle/ have a pee/ spend a penny/ take a leak/ take a pit stop/ answer the call of nature/ relieve yourself

 

the smallest room/ the restroom/ the little boys’ room/ the ladies’

 

breaking wind/ a blow off/ bottom burp/ parp

 

pushing up daisies/ gone to meet their maker/ RIP/ kick the bucket/ six feet under/ in a better place/ no longer with us/ breathe one’s last/ cash in your chips/ croak/ check out/ eternal rest/

 

sleep with/ sleep together/ going at it like rabbits/ get laid/ go all the way/ slap and tickle/ the birds and the bees/ come up for a coffee/ have intimate relations

 

adult entertainment/ X rated/ blue movie

 

chemical dependency/ weed/ a line/ acid/ Maria/ grass

 

merry/ intoxicated/ hammered/ legless/ sozzled/ tipsy/ illegal substances

 

big boned/ ample proportions/ full figured/ likes his food

 

mature/ been around the block/ getting on/ not as young as he used to be

 

heck/ what the Dickens/ gosh/ gee/ sugar/ fiddlesticks/ the F word

 

a bun in the oven/ expecting/ with child/

 

between jobs/ gardening leave/ out of work

 

fall off the back of a lorry/ sticky fingers/ light fingered

 

streetwalker/ lady of the night/ on the job/ a professional/ call girl/ rent boy/ escort

Look at the lists and try to label them, e.g. “death”

 

After checking your answers with your teacher, test each other in pairs, starting with the most difficult ones in the category and then getting easier until your partner guesses what you are talking about

 


Using euphemisms roleplays

 

Try to refer to one of the things above without using a direct expression. Your partner will pretend to misunderstand you each time
Tell your child that their pet has died

 

Tell your friend why you are splitting up with your boyfriend or girlfriend who is related to them, so being careful saying anything too directly negative

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PDF version for easy saving and printing: euphemisms

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