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Unusual Dysphemism

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The opposite of Unusual Euphemism, a character replaces an ordinary phrase with an unnecessarily harsh, obscene, or crude one, either as an expression of disrespect or merely for the Rule of Funny. There are several examples in ordinary usage, see The Other Wiki for examples, but this trope is for particularly imaginative ones.

Truth in Television for members of high-stress professions like emergency medicine, police work, fire fighting, and other first responders. Medical slang in particular is loaded with harsh terms that patients might find offensive and inappropriate, though doctors and staff claim that Black Comedy helps them to cope with the reality of their jobs.

Related to Black Comedy. Always takes Refuge in Audacity, and often a case of Vulgar Humor.



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  • Costello's mistress in The Departed lampshades the potential unwanted implications of this kind of dialogue. After he makes several references in a phonecall to giving a detective "a whiff of my ass" so that he'll "crawl right in", he hangs up and turns to his girlfriend, who is reading a book on getting pregnant;
    Costello: Sweetheart, you're givin' me a hard-on...
    Gwen: Are you sure it's me? Not all that talk about whiffin' and crawlin' up asses?


  • Near the beginning of John Dies at the End, John calls Dave and says, "Your pimp says bring the heroin shipment tonight, or he'll be forced to stick you. Meet him where we buried the Korean whore. The one without the goatee."note 
  • In the nonfiction book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a couple of doctors are mentioned as referring to someone who's become a vegetable with terminology like "gorked her brain out", "fried her brain", "crapped out" and "went to hell".

     Live Action TV  

  • The Wire is full of them, usually avoiding the simple word "screwed" when graphically detailed homoerotica is an option, and re-instilling the evocative power of usually-cliché sexual metaphors by dragging them out.
    McNulty: You know why I respect you, Bunk? 'Cause when it came time to fuck me... 'least you were gentle.
    Bunk: Yeah, well, I knew it was your first time. Wanted it to be special.
  • The first episode of Coupling has Jeff (true to form) describing the girl Steve is struggling to dump as "unflushable".
  • Scrubs has mentioned a few Real Life examples of doctors' acronyms, like "Get Out of My Emergency Room", and QI described a few more creative ones.
  • Dr. Gregory House gets very creative with these — except that unlike most doctors, he uses them to the patient's faces.
    House: You have a parasite.
    Patient: Like a tapeworm or something? [...] Can you do anything about it?
    House: Only for about a month or so. After that it becomes illegal to remove, except in a couple of states.
    Patient: Illegal?
    House: Don't worry. Many women learn to embrace this parasite. They name it, dress it up in tiny clothes, arrange playdates with other parasites...
    Patient: Playdates..?
    House: (showing her sonogram) It has your eyes.
    • This facility with words actually came useful in another episode, where a 13-year-old girl was experiencing complications after getting pregnant. House was legally obligated to get her parents permission to end the pregnancy, so he carefully phrased it as "she has an abnormal growth in her abdomen" and described the abortion as "a simple procedure we do here in the hospital all the time".



     New Media  

  • On the website and the production based on its culture, The Series, Wikipedia is nicknamed "The Armenian Genocide" due to the fact that a lot of arguments have focused on the fact that it is often subject to vandalism by ultranationalist trolls on that issue. This has in turn led to further Unusual Dysphemisms such as "genocide" being used as a substitute for any and every other verb when describing a news story involving Armenians.
  • It isn't enough for The Angry Video Game Nerd to simply call a game bad - he has to call it things like "a steaming pile of goat shit" or "a bunch of putrid anal shit coming out of a rhinoceros's asshole."
    "It fucking sucks, it sucking fucks, it fucking blows, it's a pile of shit — and I didn't like it."

     Tabletop Games  

  • The notorious FATAL would be bad enough without gems such as "fucksticks" and "cunt-pipes". The former appears to have been removed in most of the circulating versions, but the latter is present in all editions.


  • xkcd comes up with the idea of "reverse euphemisms", where "taking a shit" actually means "dropping the kids off at the pool."
  • Dave from Homestuck's dialogue consists mostly of creative and obscene metaphors. Then later on Karkat is introduced, and he's just as bad, if not worse.

     Western Animation  

  • Teen Titans:
    Starfire: (pinning a flower on Robin's lapel) I believe on such occasions, it is customary to wear a dead plant?