Idioms title

The Idiom Attic - a collection of hundreds of English idioms, each one explained.

"euphemism" idioms...

See also, the Phrase Thesaurus list of phrases that contain the word euphemism

and, a list of phrases that relate in some way the word euphemism

" A fate worse than death "
Meaning:
The reputed opinion of sexual intercourse by prim Victorian ladies.
Example:
Lord Carruthers dragged me to his bedroom and left me in no doubt I was to suffer a fate worse than death.
Where did it originate?:
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but now considered rather old-fashioned and used mainly by the older generation.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   sex   death   hyperbole  
" All the way "
Meaning:
Referring to something that is done fully, especially as a euphemism for full sexual activity.
Example:
I hear Jill's parents were away for the weekend so she and Jack took the opportunity to go all the way for the first time.
Where did it originate?:
USA, mid-20th century (with the sexual connotation)
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   sex  
" Baby snatcher "
Meaning:
Someone who enters into an amorous relationship with a much younger person.
Example:
Jerry Lee Lewis never really recovered from being labelled a baby snatcher after he married his 13 year old cousin.
Where did it originate?:
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   slang  
" Bat from the pavilion end "
Meaning:
Slang term for a homosexuality.
Example:
If Julian didn't want us to know he was batting from the pavilion end he shouldn't keep wearing those lilac loafers.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 20th century. An allusion to the game of cricket.
More idioms about:   sport   location   sex   slang  
" Bought the farm "
Meaning:
Died, especially in a violent way which may give rise to an insurance claim.
Example:
Henry's parachute failed at 20,000 feet - he really bought the farm.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 20th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   death  
" Chasing tail "
Meaning:
Of a man pursuing women.
Example:
Jack is a borderline sex addict. He's certainly always chasing the tail.
More idioms about:   sex   slang  
" Comfort women "
Meaning:
women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese in WWII.
Example:
The Japanese called their prostitutes comfort women - nothing comfortable for them I think.
Where did it originate?:
WWII
More idioms about:   sex   slang  
" Discussing Uganda "
Meaning:
Euphemism for sex.
Example:
Julie and Jack have been all over each other all evening and have gone upstairs. I expect they'll be discussing Uganda.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 1970s. Popularised in the satirical magazine Private Eye.
Where is it used?:
Britain.
More idioms about:   sex   country  
" Enhanced interrogation techniques "
Meaning:
Euphemism for torture.
Example:
The CIA might call water-boarding an enhanced interrogation technique - most people call it torture.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 20th century.
" Excuse my French "
Meaning:
Please forgive me for swearing.
Example:
Bugger - excuse my French.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, mid 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Britain, mostly by the older generation.
More idioms about:   language  
" Hobson's choice "
Meaning:
1. A choice forced upon someone. 2. Cockney rhyming slang for voice.
Example:
1. There was only one room left in the hotel when we arrived, so we got Hobson's choice. 2. I've had a sore throat for a couple of days - now I'm beginning to lose my hobsons.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 17th century. Derived from the name of the carrier Thomas Hobson.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, although mostly amongst the older generation.
More idioms about:   the_human_body   name   cockney_rhyming_slang  
" Kick the bucket "
Meaning:
Die.
Example:
Grandad kicked the bucket last week. No real surprise - he was 96.
Where did it originate?:
Britain - 18th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   death   household_items   slang  
" Mellow yellow "
Meaning:
Dried banana peel, used as an intoxicant.
Example:
He's tried everything else - grass, acid, speed, magic mushrooms. Now he's started on mellow yellow.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 1960s. Referred to in the Donovan song of the same name, as 'electrical banana'.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, as the song title although few are aware of the drug connection.
More idioms about:   colour   reduplication  
" Silver threads amongst the gold "
Meaning:
Blonde hair that is turning grey.
Example:
Thirty years ago Janine had strawberry blonde hair. These days she's going grey, or as she prefers to say silver threads among the gold.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but rather old-fashioned.
More idioms about:   the_human_body   colour  
" The bull in the bowler hat "
Meaning:
Jokey term for artificial insemination.
Example:
Leaving things to nature hasn't worked down here on the farm - only 10% of the cows are pregnant. We need a visit from the bull in the bowler hat.
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
More idioms about:   animals   sex   clothes  
" Winter drawers on "
Meaning:
British euphemistic joke.
Example:
Autumn is over and these summer clothes aren't keeping the cold out - winter drawers on I suppose.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, early 20th century. A pun on the expression 'winter draws on' (that is, winter is approaching). 'Drawers' is a British slang term for knickers.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   weather   date   clothes  

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