Euphemisms & Mary Archer

I was amused to read the following and wonder if the writer had Mary Archer in mind or is there another slant to “fragrant?”

(Non UK readers may not be aware that a judge during a famous UK libel trial referred to the plaintiff’s wife as “fragrant.” She was later found to be less than fragrant.)
“Actually there are two rough opposites of euphemism, “dysphemism” and “cacophemism”. The latter I think is generally used more often in the sense of something deliberately offensive, while the former can be either offensive or merely humorously deprecating. And yes, there is necessarily a lot of subjectivity involved, because connotations eaily change over time. “Idiot” was once a neutral term, and “moron” a euphemism for it. As is usually the case with evolving languages, negative usages win over neutral ones, so we had to come up with “retarded”. Now that too is considered rude, so we have “challenged”, and so on. A similar progression occurred with “reek/stink/smell/odor/fragrance”…I’m sure 40 years from now “fragrant” will be the vilest insult”

You could always email the author of the comment* and ask:
*The comment after the ellipsis, “I’m sure 40 years…,” is written by “LDC”, the part before is Wikipedia’s entry.

I wouldn’t read too much into that comment. “Moron” was never a euphemism for “idiot”; they were originally medical/psychological terms for specific (and different) degrees of mental retardation. Neither have I ever run into this claimed “reek / stink / smell / odor / fragrance” progression of euphemisms.

Actually Raygirvan, idiot has always been an insult of sorts in the English language, though in its ancient Greek root it meant basically someone who wasn’t involved in poltics (a private person). Moron in it’s Greek root simply means a stupid person. So the two have always been euphemistic in the English language in a non-techincal way.