168: Reverse Euphemisms

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Reverse Euphemisms
I'm still waiting for a chance to use 'I have to see a man about a horse'.
Title text: I'm still waiting for a chance to use 'I have to see a man about a horse'.


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Euphemisms are figures of speech often used in place of more offensive terms. In this comic, Cueball uses gratuitous swearing as an "euphemism" for a benign term, inverting the typical usage of euphemisms to lessen shock by inserting offensive language into what would normally be a benign statement.


My Hobby: Reverse Euphemisms
[Two people talking.]
Cueball: Oh, hey, school just let out and it's YMCA night, so I've gotta go take a shit.
Friend: What?
Cueball: I mean I actually have to drop the kids off at the pool.

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It should probably be noted that 'dysphemism' is a real word. Though it usually applies to using derogatory terms as opposed to politically correct ones. 20:03, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I bet people who make Swiss cheese enjoy saying 'this year's batch of cannabis was below par'. BlueRoll18 (talk) 01:52, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Why is this not a good example of a reverse euphemism? His kids are shit. The toilet bowl is basically a pool for shit. "Take a shit" translates directly to "Drop kids off at the pool". In a true euphemism, "pass away" translates directly to "died". The two seem similar.

Flewk (talk) 11:57, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

One day I want to be able to really confuse someone by saying "we had to buy some more paint the other day because my dad died" 14:48, 28 January 2016 (UTC)Dream

I am unfamiliar with "seeing a man about a horse" meaning "taking a piss". Is there any reason why man and horse are related to urination? 16:30, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

"Going to see a man about {something / an animal}" is a way of giving a reason for your absence, rather than announcing an intent to perform a bodily function, or simply a polite way of saying "Where I'm going is none of your business". 22:01, 30 May 2016 (UTC)