[Ads-l] cuss word euphemisms

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 2 03:39:17 UTC 2016

BM: << 'Shut the front door!' <-- "Shut the f--- up". >>
WB: Cf. <shaving cream> (Benny Bell, 1946).
Were I to coin *<Shut the flock up!>, it sounds too strong, despite the
incredibly punnish ring it has. Which reminds me of a time in 1969 when I
learned <Let's make like shepherds & get the flock outta here.>. When I
took this {f-word > flock} expression home & used it, my mother was
horrified & offended. While for me it was funny & inoffensive, & worthwhile
repeating in male company over the decades, the euphemism evidently wasn't
eu- enough for Mom, because the connection of the paronomy & phrasal frame
of dysphemism & euphemism was too strong. There needs to be a Goldilocks
balance to separate offensive from cute.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list