Odd Euphemisms

Watching the ball game when a commercial came on for tampons. It stood out only because they used a thin red liquid to show their product’s absorbency rather than the puzzling turquoise one.

The next commercial featured soft toilet paper and urged viewers to “enjoy the go”. I’m not saying it would have been better to call spades spades. But are they any other odd euphemisms you have noticed recently?

This one isn’t recent as I coined it years ago when some friends and I were in Oakland, Calfiornia and a funeral procession went past us. The procession was definitely not a typical funeral and it was for the leader of a small arcane religious group. My friend, new to California, asked me what was happening. I responded with the guy’s name and added, “is off to check the validity of his claims.”

Here’s a recent one, from yesterday’s government newspaper in Beijing:

China: Democracy That Works.

I never thought about it before, but the weird conceit of using blue liquid to show absorbency could really freak out a pubescent girl if she imagined that color is what is supposed to come out!

Isn’t Democracy that works an incomplete sentence?

Blue Buffalo pet food.

Not sure I want my jerkish Siamese cats to be like Bobcats.

It works so well that diplomatic officials in actual western democracies are boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over China’s human rights abuses, though athletes will still be allowed to attend. Also, anyone in China who depicts Xi Jinping as a Winnie the Pooh caricature will be severely punished (that’s not a joke, BTW). Apparently Xi finds the uncanny resemblance unsettling. :wink:

Here’s a sick old one from the 1950’s era when contraception was illegal:

“Feminine hygiene” was a euphemism for contraception. Old Lysol ads were gruesome (and hideously sexist, both misogynist and misandrist) pitches to use Lysol douches for “feminine hygiene”. Lysol was a much stronger formula in those days and, according to this article, would typically be dangerous for the purpose. Note the awfulness of the ads shown here.

The cute bears selling Charmin toilet paper from their home in the forest seem to be a coy reference to the old joke, “Does a bear shit in the woods?”

Yes, and the cool ones wipe with Charmin,!:smile:

That had never occurred to me, but I’m sure you’re right.

(And some of the Charmin bears seem to have been drenched in that bright blue menstruate.)

I recently saw that guy who burned the Fox Christmas tree called “unhoused”. (When that becomes unacceptable, the euphemism will be “differently domiciled”.)

Possibly an auto-correct of “unhinged”? :wink:

Or maybe “mobile citizen” (MC).


The Charmin Bears tell you that your shit doesn’t stink. Look closely: They have no nostrils!

I knew a man who had no nose.

How did he smell?


Body functions are a rich source of euphemisms. “Spend a penny.” “See a man about a dog.” and many more.

But what about legalisms? I heard of an instance where something blew apart (from entrapped hydrogen) and the defendant’s lawyers told everyone to refer to the event as “energetic disassembly”.

Do bears “drop a couple of kids off at the pool”?

In my vernacular (British English, London) this is not a euphemism for going to the toilet. It’s a way of announcing your departure without saying exactly what you’re going to do, with the implication (usually meant jokingly) that you’re off to do something dubious that you cannot talk about. In principle I suppose that could include going to the toilet. But in my experience it’s used more when you are announcing your departure and not coming back, not to excuse yourself temporarily to go to the toilet.

That’s a tongue-in-cheek euphemism that seems to come from the engineering world, with perhaps some bleed-over into physics. Why a lawyer in a court proceeding would think it appropriate, I have no idea.

Was someone being sued for liability for people getting hurt? I would assume that it’s a half-assed attempt to make an explosion sound like something less sensational.