A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk by Crown

By Crown

Hardcover variation of this linguistic choice of euphemisms and different figures of speech by means of Hugh Rawson

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See also ALTER, FIX, MUTILATED, and TESTICLES. birthday suit. Without a suit or other clothes, naked, NUDE. People have been going about in invisible birthday suits at least since 1771, when Winifred Jenkins told Mrs. Mary Jones how she and a housemaid had been surprised by Sir George Coon while they "bathed in our birth-day soot" (Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker). Variations of the period included birthday attire, birthday clothes, birthday finery, and birthday gear. birthparents. A new euphemism for unwed parents,- specifically, those who have given up their bastard, or LOVE CHILD, for adoption.

In the nineteenth century, even farmers used alter, as well as the similarly bland change and arrange, in preference to "castrate. " See also BILATERAL ORCHIDECTOMY. altogether. Naked,- in one's BIRTHDAY SUIT. "Altogether" is an example of Reverse English, its euphemistic meaning, "without clothes," being almost precisely opposite its formal dictionary definition, "Completely . . With everything included, all told. " See also NUDE. ambidextrous. The dexterity is sexual, both hetero- and homo-.

G. : "The antipersonnel mine . . was dramatically introduced by the Germans in the fall of 1939. . Its chief feature was an arrangement whereby the mine, on being tripped, was boosted out of the ground to about the height of a man's waist before exploding. It was really a bomb, which sprayed a wide area with shrapnel" (Reader's Digest, 12/42). "Antipersonnel mines" have earned themselves such loving sobriquets as Bouncing Betty, Hopping Sam, and Leaping Lena. See also SELECTIVE ORDNANCE and the basic military CASUALTY.

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