Euphemisms

27 Feb

I hate euphemisms. I always have – I viscerally rejected them as an uptight little girl; they made me feel sick and angry and I tried to wish or ignore them out of existence.

Some examples that get under my skin are ‘partner’ in the sexual or spousal sense, ‘spiritual’ for religious, any inane replacement for genitals that people will tell children, claims that a baby is in a ‘stomach’ – or that stork story, and one that has come to my attention more and more is the use of the word ‘protein’ when what one means is meat. Protein is a macronutrient that is in all foods for one thing, and not at all synonymous with meat. But for another, it feels euphemistic to me in the sense that one is trying to disguise one’s desire to eat meat as a biological necessity (for protein). Now, I eat meat, and I even believe it is the most nutritionally-sound choice, but I don’t pretend that it is for my survival, and I don’t pretend that it is something it ain’t. Beef is cattle and it is not ‘protein’ incarnate. It was alive, but I chose to ask for it to be killed so I could eat it.

I tend to find euphemisms for swearing or blasphemy funny. Because, well, if you say, ‘that really f-ing hurt,’ everyone knows that you mean fucking and therefor the meaning is exactly the same, but it actually draws more attention to the word you left out, making it more silly. Like if you say, ‘He called me the p word!’ One starts going through one’s head trying to think what word might start with P, which is a lot more thinking about it than you would have done if she had just said ‘pussy’ or ‘policeman’ or whatever word it was to represent. And that is why I like to do it. I like to dress up my swear words and make them pretty and stand out, while making a silly joke at the same time. Like saying ‘Frig you’ is so silly – so serious with such a funny word.  Aand I say, ‘Oh my goodness,’ instead of, ‘Oh my god,’ not for this reason, but because i am an atheist and don’t like to acknowledge anything to do with a god. Therefor it’s not a euphemism. Anyway, it finally occurred to me that a lot of other people use these same swearing and blasphemy euphemisms…it’s hard to even say, because it makes no sense, but…they use them to…pretend they’re not swearing? But they clearly are, so it is completely inane. The meaning is exactly the same. It is understood by the listener,  and like people are so fond of telling us, it’s the thought that counts.

Making some words ‘bad’ and off limits is the most ridiculous thing and how did that even get thought up? Just use the words that mean what you want to say. Say sex, say girlfriend, say cunt, shit, fuck. It will be liberating, I promise.

 

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