30 October 2009


I love euphemisms. They really have a way of glossing over the ugly stuff.

I write this because I recently had the pimple that ate my face. (Luckily it has since spit my face back out and gone back into its cave.) However, rather than calling it a pimple, the lovely lady at the cosmetics store referred to it as a "blemish." When she said that, I thought to myself, lady, this is way more than a blemish, but whatever. Just give me what you've got to get it gone.

That little word blemish got me thinking about other famous euphemisms. Some of my favorites are:

Restroom. As a child I always found that one confusing because, well, there aren't any beds or couches in a restroom unless you go to one of the really fancy departments stores, of course.

Lavatory. This was even more confusing because just when I figured out what a restroom was, I got to school and they called it something else. Something that sounded a lot like laboratory.

Pro Life or Pro Choice. They are pretty meaningless when you think about what they really mean.

In a family way. There are so many more good ones for pregnancy, but that is my favorite.

Period. This is a good one. No one likes to think too much about this.

First Base, etc. Silly, but important to know.

Gay or Straight. I don't get it.

Concentration Camp. The prime example of how dangerous a euphemism can be. Its name says nothing about what it really is.

Toasted, buzzed, and any of the other 5,000 terms of that sort.

The list could go on for days, but I'll stop here.

So when I asked the nice lady to help me with my blemish I was hoping for magic, but instead was offered a product I already owned. I was SOL.


Charlotte said...

Oh, blemish. That's too beautiful.

sarawithnoh said...

Spot! I had a co-worker that was from Oklahoma and she got "spots" instead of zits - it was lovely. When the spot has you - I don't know what that term is except...familiar.