How not to say what you mean

People on the heavier side are no longer ‘fat’ but ‘generously proportioned’ and those in extra-martial affairs are actually ‘emotionally close’, according to a new dictionary of euphemisms that has come up with new entries compiled over a span of 30 years. Euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression.

The dictionary How Not To Say What You Mean is a result of author Robert Holder’s efforts. Holder, who updated the dictionary five years ago, rummaged several newspapers and magazines for three decades to come up with an astonishing 11,000 euphemisms. A quarter of the number has made it to the latest edition.

"Euphemisms are a very important branch of language because they are the way it develops," the Daily Mail quoted him, as saying. "Take orphan-hugging, for example. That started off with bunny-hugging, which was connected to animal rights, was followed by tree-huggers, who were ecologists, and now we have got people like David Cameron and American politicians who dash off to Africa with lots of cameramen in tow," he added.

Holder, who last updated the dictionary five years ago, says the latest update has brought in many terms to do with housing "People who really have to be inventive with their terminology are estate agents and this is very much evident in the additions to this edition — they use very odd phrases," he said. Along with traditional terms like ‘pushing up daisies’, the new edition will also have euphemisms like ‘New Labour’, defined as ‘a non-socialist political party’ and ‘wardrobe malfunction’. — ANI