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Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
Commonly used idioms, expressions, sayings, maxims, adages, cliches, and proverbs - PART 5


1. A euphemism is a polite, vague word or phrase that is used in place of a word or phrase that might be considered offensive, harsh, unpleasant, hurtful, or inappropriate to say.

An example of a euphemism is someone saying "passed away" instead of "died."

2. Euphemisms are used regularly, and there are many examples in everyday language.



- “Passed away” instead of died

- “Correctional facility” instead of jail or prison

- “Departed” instead of died

- "Passed away" instead of died

- "Deceased" instead of dead

- “Ethnic cleansing” instead of genocide

- “Collateral damage” instead of accidental deaths

- “Letting someone go” instead of firing someone

- “Au natural” instead of naked

- “Big-boned” instead of heavy or overweight

- “Use the rest room/washroom/ water closet / lavatory / or loo, instead of go to the bathroom

- “Break wind” instead of pass gas/fart

- “Powder your nose” (for women) instead of use the rest room

- “Between jobs” instead of unemployed

- “Sanitation engineer” instead of garbage man

- “Sleep together” instead of have sex

- “Capital punishment” instead of the death penalty

- “Substance abuse problem" as opposed to drug addiction

Aug 21, 2016 2:27 PM
Comments · 4
These are good expressions that as learners we do not always know. As learners sometimes we might sound too direct or rude when talking but it we do not mean intentionally to be unmannered,  it is just the lack of knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing with us this expressions, which are not easy to know.
August 22, 2016

Thank you very much @Richard for such a nice explanation.Now I'm quite clear about the two terms.

Thank you once again for your effort:)

August 21, 2016


You often ask very reasonable, probing questions and I find that impressive.

Here is a small excerpt from Oxford;

"Since the 1990s, ethnic cleansing has become one of the most widely known forms of violence directed against groups. Ethnic cleansing is related to genocide, but ethnic cleansing is focused more closely than genocide on geography and on forced removal of ethnic or related groups from particular areas. The greatest overlap between ethnic cleansing and genocide takes place when forced removal of population leads to a group's destruction."

You may read more of the article at:


Google search using the search terms "ethnic cleansing or genocide".


August 21, 2016

Thank you,@ Richard for another interesting and useful lesson:)I've come across some euphemism like passed away,departed,deceased,ethnic cleansing,sleeping together,capital punishment,substance abuse problem and sanitation engineer  but I had no idea that they are the euphemism.But there are many words that I knew today like Au natural,powder your nose and break wind:).Hope I will be more polite next time when I use some euphemism instead of the specific word.

But I have a doubt regarding a Euphemism i.e, Ethnic cleansing---Genocide.

As far I know, Ethnic cleansing is something like killing the people belong to the same ethnicity like the Holocaust.But Genocide is something like killing people in a mass irrespective of their ethnicity.But most of the time we say the mass killing as Genocide rather than Ethnic cleansing.

So my doubt is whether can we use both the term interchangeably or will it be more polite to go with Ethnic cleansing whatever the case may be??

Please enlighten me in this regard.Thank you:)

August 21, 2016
Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language