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  • Passed away is a euphemism for died.
  • Put to sleep is a euphemism for painlessly killing a pet to end it’s suffering.
  • My paper is on what euphemisms tell us about subjects with which we are uncomfortable.
  • But he has passed away. This is a euphemism, of course.  ... He is dead...
    Kate DiCamillo  --  Flora & Ulysses

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  • "Interesting" was Walter’s euphemism for odd people, and having worked for hundreds of people throughout the county over the years, he’d encountered no shortage of "interesting" people.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Or was now pathetically languishing in a lunatic asylum, so that the use of the past tense is merely sorrowfully euphemistic?
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • A great many were euphemisms.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • Showers, by the way, is a word so polite it’s damn near a euphemism.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • Clary wondered if this was a euphemism for "murdered."
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • Or any of those other stupid euphemisms.
    Gayle Forman  --  If I Stay

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  • Timur’s father had told them that they would have to "maneuver" through the infamously sluggish, ponderous Afghan bureaucracy—a euphemism for "find the right palms to grease."
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented "place" that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village — appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • She knew that men patronized these women for purposes which no lady should mention—or, if she did mention them, in whispers and by indirection and euphemism.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • "Sounds to me like a euphemism for ’freaky cult.’ "
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • If Misery Chastain had been a real person, he knew he might very well have been called upon ’to aid the police in their inquiries’, as the euphemism went.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • Alex had been single for so long; she was practical, resolute, and set in her ways (oh, who was she kidding’those were all just euphemisms for what she really was: stubborn)-she would have guessed that this sudden attack on her privacy would be unnerving.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • I imagined, of course, the bedside scene behind the curtain of that euphemism.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies
  • One day, irritated by the mockery, Fernanda wanted to know what Amaranta was saying, and she did not use euphemisms in answering her.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • The school was what could euphemistically be called a "teaching college."
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • GEORGE: (As MARTHA is not getting up) Martha, won’t you show her where we keep the . euphemism?
    Edward Albee  --  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Even she, who knew nothing of military strategy or journalistic convention, understood a euphemism for retreat.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • In conversation they papered over the grim realities of their jobs with cheery euphemisms.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • And that’s a euphemism, by the way.
    James Patterson  --  School’s Out - Forever
  • There was a lot of traffic, and there were roadblocks, and he could hear the joyous singing of the militiamen, almost as terrible as the actual killing it euphemistically described.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Strength in What Remains
  • Our first morning in Moscow, at breakfast—for him, a euphemism for coffee—he told me, "I’m still biologically deranged."
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Then another was "removed" — a euphemism for disgrace.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • By using euphemisms for death and murder?
    James Patterson  --  Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  • In the complex vernacular of military euphemism, it was an inescapable summons.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • Thus one ARPL group was concerned with electronic pacing of brain function (a euphemism for mind control); a second had prepared a study of biosynergics, the future possible combinations of man and machines implanted inside the body; still another was evaluating Project Ozma, the search for extraterrestrial life conducted in 1961-4.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.
    George Orwell  --  Politics and the English Language
  • He had a reputation for being hot-tempered and tough, which was perhaps a euphemism for the fact that he employed methods that were not quite by the book.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • In growing meekness Babbitt went on waiting till Hanson casually reappeared with a quart of gin—what is euphemistically known as a quart—in his disdainful long white hands.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • The faces of the barmaidens had risen in colour, each having a pink flush on her cheek; their manners were still more vivacious than before—more abandoned, more excited, more sensuous, and they expressed their sentiments and desires less euphemistically, laughing in a lackadaisical tone, without reserve.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure
  • M. Verdurin had been wiser than he knew in not taking his pipe out of his mouth, for Cottard, having occasion to leave the room for a moment, murmured a witty euphemism which he had recently acquired and repeated now whenever he had to go to the place in question: "I must just go and see the Duc d’Aumale for a minute," so drolly, that M. Verdurin’s cough began all over again.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • He could not look at the Diego and Rodriguez families and utter those euphemisms.
    W. William Winokur  --  The Perfect Game
  • The word here has rather the force of euphemism, an entirely different word.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays
  • Such euphemistic written forms as /damphool/ and /damfino/ are also far more common in this country.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • It hurt, and that is not a euphemism.
    John Green  --  Looking for Alaska
  • The ads were full of sunny euphemisms for the types of behavior I knew all too well.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • Bad-mouthing Black English The inner cities of America—the term is often a euphemism for black ghettos—can look very different from one another.
    Robert MacNeil and William Crane  --  Do You Speak American?
  • You’re something of a coward, man, a phony, and if your cousin calls you a civilian, that’s merely a very euphemistic way of putting it.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Enraged at Mukhtar’s continued defiance and outspokenness, Musharraf ordered her kidnapped (or, as he euphemistically put it, brought to the capital).
    Nicholas D. Kristof  --  Half the Sky
  • No one wants to talk about what happened—they just tiptoe around it or concoct euphemisms like ’unfortunate outcomes’ and ’compromised assets.’
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Maelstrom
  • ’Top max’ is the Washington euphemism for maximum-classified security, and where Langley is concerned that’s the director of Central Intelligence.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Holmes denied that he and Julia had ever engaged each other physically, or that she had undergone "a criminal operation," a then-current euphemism for abortion.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City
  • The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • They’d had a stand-up fight in front of the whole office during the course of which Lucy had told Gates bluntly to do what Annie was trying to find a euphemism for in her memo.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • I walked slowly down the hall to our Quiet Room, a euphemism for the place we chose to give bad news, a place with chairs, a table, a sofa, a big picture window, a cross on the wall, but no TV, no magazines, only a solid and soundproof door.
    Abraham Verghese  --  Cutting for Stone
  • She had a genteel refinement which shuddered at the facts of life, she looked upon the bodily functions as indecent, she had all sorts of euphemisms for common objects, she always chose an elaborate word as more becoming than a simple one: the brutality of these men was like a whip on her thin white shoulders, and she shuddered with voluptuous pain.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • "After they put me through the whole interview and everything," Bickel said many years later, "I was brought to [the senior partner], who took it upon himself to tell me that for a boy of my antecedents" , and you can imagine how Bickel must have paused before repeating that euphemism for his immigrant background, "I certainly had come far.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
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