Euphemistically speaking

I’m teaching my 8th graders what a euphemism is, and it must be the Friday before vacation because my personal censoring device has been temporarily disabled.

Me: So a euphemism is an expression people use when they want to talk about something that makes them uncomfortable or embarrassed.  Do you know what the three most common topics that generate euphemisms are?


Death, sex, and going to the bathroom.

(more silence)

What does it mean if you say “number two”?

(nervous giggling, mostly from the boys)

How about “making out”?  Or “getting it on”?  Ooh, or remember that old show the Newlywed Game? (ok, here I’ve gone off the deep end.  That show is before my time.  There’s no way a 13 year old is going to know what I’m talking about)  They used to call it “making whoopie”!

(Do you know what is sounds like when 20 adolescents simultaneously slink down in their seats and wish they were dead?  I do.)

Do you have a favorite euphemism?



2 thoughts on “Euphemistically speaking”

  1. i can not think of a favorite euphemism. though various names for female and male genitals are always horrific and/or funny.
    all that keep coming to mind are comments from my father that make me slink down in my proverbial seat — the latest (in reference to his upcoming visit to houston) – i want to learn about billy’s passions… “passions”? really dad? in any case – i LOVE this post

  2. Ha! Probably would have gotten fired for bringing up genitalia euphemisms! Personal favorites though: My friend Linda grew up calling it her “chicken”!!!! Yup, as in don’t forget to wash your “chicken” when you’re in the bath.
    Imagine the confusion at the dinner table?!

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