However, a word or expression is not euphemistic or dysphemistic
per se, but rather depends on the context and the speakers' intentions and, as such, "the euphemistic or dysphemistic
quality of a word can never be considered as an intrinsic quality of the word regardless of context" (Crespo-Fernandez 2008, 107).
"What is PC in one context may be non-PC in another, just as what is euphemistic in one context may be dysphemistic
in another" (Allan & Burridge, 2006, p.
Further areas of currently active verbal taboos in our culture include race, sex, religion, and bodily functions, all necessitating euphemisms (called "fig leaves for a thought that can be castigated as dysphemistic
" by Allan & Burridge, 2006, p.
As to working girl and call girl, we may--with a fair amount of certainty--postulate that the naming units are euphemistic rather than dysphemistic
in their illocutionary force.
addressing Jesus Christ when praying (orthophemistic) versus when swearing (dysphemistic
Similarly, "Egotism; or the Bosom-Serpent" is read as an implicit "containment of Fourierist communitarianism" (58) on the mere basis of blatantly dysphemistic
associations of Fourierism with unbridled self-interest.
The process of generalization may have been collectively applied for three reasons: because speakers sought (1) an original, or (2) a new and less direct, that is, euphemistic, or (3) a more direct, dysphemistic
, way of talking about mental hospitals.
Viewed neutrally, your (elderly, old, or mature) aunt may have been said to have died; your kindly mother might euphemistically say she passed away; and you, you insensitive - or dysphemistic
- lout, might say the old lady kicked the bucket or croaked.
Euphemistic and Dysphemistic
Metaphors in Internet Forums addresses the ever-fascinating topic of the expression of sexual concepts.
As mappings are always partial, that is, they highlight some aspects of the source domain while hide or disregard others (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 10), metaphors are readily accessible for euphemistic (and dysphemistic
This seems to prove a worthy enterprise, because whilst there is a substantial body of research on the metaphorical conceptualization of the taboo of sex (Lakoff 1987; Pfaff, Gibbs and Johnson 1997; Murphy 2001, among others), to the best of my knowledge relatively little attention has been paid to conceptual metaphor as a purely euphemistic or dysphemistic