Landmark Advanced Unit 14


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


PDF for easy saving and printing: euphemisms

Related pages

Euphemisms page

Landmark Advanced page

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