the new "euphemism"

John Doe hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 22 06:21:48 UTC 2013

On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 12:28 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:

> I would maintain, though, that "euphemisms for the vagina" are not the
> same as "euphemisms for 'vagina'".  (By deleting the article, you're
> turning a reference to the body part into a reference to the word for it.)
>  The latter is, I agree, odd, although it might be argued that that's
> precisely the much-needed gap that 'va-jay-jay' fills.  But "euphemisms for
> *the* vagina", interpreted as 'euphemistic expressions to refer to (or
> avoid referring directly to) the vagina', is not (as) odd.  Modulo the fact
> that we're often not talking about the vagina here but rather euphemistic
> expressions for referring to the vulva.

It's spreading to the womb, which is already battling "uterus" for the
attention of the polloi" "Careful! I have a baby in my vagina!" et sim. in
chains of sitcom dialog with no reference to birth.

Clearly, it's a case of the part for the whole.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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