A Tentative Study on English Euphemism

Abstract

The word “euphemism” comes from the Greek, eu--means “good”, and –pheme-, “speech” or “saying”, and together it means literally “to speak with good words or in a pleasant manner”. Euphemism, as a cultural phenomenon as well as a linguistic concept, has attracted people’s attention for a long time. It has long been a topic of much interest. In every society there are certain things that are supposed to be unspeakable. Many words make someone embarrassed, unhappy, dislike or fear when used in communication. If we express the meaning directly, we will make such impression which is vulgar, frivolous, and impolite. In order to avoid the embarrassment or ease the sting of harsh words, man has created euphemisms.