A euphemism is a substitution for an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver, using instead an agreeable or less offensive expression,[1] or to make it less troublesome for the speaker.

Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others are created to mislead.[citation needed]

    * 1 Usage
    * 2 Etymology
          o 2.1 Categorizing euphemisms
    * 3 Evolution of euphemisms
          o 3.1 Euphemism treadmill
    * 4 Euphemisms for disability and handicap
    * 5 Euphemisms for the profane
          o 5.1 Religious euphemisms
          o 5.2 Excretory euphemisms
          o 5.3 Sexual euphemisms
          o 5.4 Euphemisms referring to profanity itself
    * 6 Euphemisms for death and murder
    * 7 Euphemisms in job titles
    * 8 Doublespeak
    * 9 Common examples
    * 10 See also
    * 11 References
    * 12 Further reading

[edit] Usage

When a phrase is used as a euphemism, it often becomes a metaphor whose literal meaning is dropped. Euphemisms may be used to hide unpleasant or disturbing ideas, even when the literal term for them is not necessarily offensive. This type of euphemism is used in public relations and politics, where it is sometimes called doublespeak. Sometimes the use of euphemisms is equated to politeness. There are also superstitious euphemisms, based (consciously or subconsciously) on the idea that words have the power to bring bad fortune, and there are religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are holy, or that some words are spiritually perilous (taboo; see etymology).
[edit] Etymology

The word euphemism comes from the Greek word ευφημία (euphemia), meaning "the use of words of good omen" which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eu (ευ), "good/well" + pheme (φήμι) "speech/speaking". The eupheme was originally a word or phrase used in place of a religious word or phrase that should not be spoken aloud; etymologically, the...