The euphemism……

Is the euphemism dying out? Growing up in the 1960’s there was an entire sub-lexicon of phraseology to cover this.

It was the Golden age of euphemisms. Nobody died of pneumonia, diphtheria or tuberculosis, they were peaky, then poorly, then passed over. Some adults had to be watched because they could turn funny. The bloke around the corner had become less of a man after the war. The boy in the next street had been interfered with on the bus. You would have needed an Enigma machine to decode some conversations.

Such as :

Delicate’ meant pregnant or queer, depending on its use.

‘Funny’ meant queer or mentally ill.

‘Fallen’ meant that a girl slept around or had become pregnant.

‘Simple’ meant Down’s Syndrome.

‘Fast’ meant sleeping around.

‘More than her fair share of trouble’ meant that her husband had run off with the girl from the building society.

‘On edge’ meant suffering with nerves.

‘Suffers with her nerves’ meant hysterical.

‘Difficulties’ meant their oldest boy had been inside.

‘Doings’ or ‘Bits and bobs’ meant having a hysterectomy.

‘Poor love’ was used after a neighbour had lost a breast.

‘A bit niggly’ meant PMT.

‘Trouble downstairs’ could mean anything from your womb drying up to Siamese twins.’

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