Synopses & Reviews
This thoroughly updated paperback marks 20 years of R. W. Holder's popular and successful dictionary of euphemisms, offering a delightful collection of jocular and evasive expressions for sex, death, murder, crime, prison, and much more. Here are almost five thousand euphemistic expressions listed in alphabetical order, ranging from well-known favorites to less amusing expressions from the bureaucratic and military world. For each word or expression, Holder includes examples from real authors, along with entertaining explanations of the word's origins and meaning. New to this edition are over 250 new entries and fourteen introductory articles on major themes in euphemistic language, such as business, sex, death, and the human body. The book includes an extensive thematic index which groups words together under topics such as Age, Bankruptcy, Bribery, Copulation, Funerals, Killing and Suicide, Low Intelligence, Politics, and Warfare. From "five-fingered discount" to "surgical strike," here is a wonderful collection of colorful words and phrases that allow us to avoid life's unpleasantness, as well as add spice and humor to our everyday speech.
Now in paperback, this brand new edition of A Dictionary of Euphemisms: How Not To Say What You Mean is still as lively a guide to the language of evasion, hypocrisy, prudery, and deceit as you could wish for. Packed full of the old favourites, such as 'early bath' or 'push up the daisies', as well as euphemisms from modern times, like 'human sacrifice', 'coffee-housing', and 'tuft-hunter'.
Definitions include examples from literature and the press, along with historical explanations of origins, and now obsolete euphemisms like 'leaping house', 'nightingale' are signposted as such. And to prove that the use of euphemisms is not just a British speciality, there is widespread coverage of American euphemisms too: 'English' (pertaining to sexual deviance), 'watermelon' (an indication of pregnancy).
About the Author
Having seen something written by Bob Holder as a schoolboy, T. S. Eliot remarked 'That boy loves words'. This love of language underlies this new edition of A Dictionary of Euphemisms.
Bob has lived in West Monkton, near Taunton, since 1951. He has worked for manufacturing companies in Ireland, Belgium, and North America in addition to those in the United Kingdom and has also held a number of public appointments. From 1974 to 1984 he was Treasurer of the University of Bath and remained a Pro-Chancellor until 1997. He is also the author of Thinking About Management (Warner, 1994).
Table of Contents
Dictionary of Euphemisms