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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 Gallows Humor 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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    Fan Works 
  • An entry on the Homestuck Kink Meme featured a description of masturbation as "FIVE MINUTES POPPING YOuR SICKENINGLY TuMESCENT OBLONG BEEF ZIT". Dirk, who this description was aimed at, responded with: "I... Don't know whether to be disgusted by that metaphor, impressed that I'm disgusted by that metaphor, or insulted by the insinuation that I'd only last five minutes?"
  • Thirty Hs mentions Dumbledore "faggarting a sun or a thousand", which in context seems to refer to sodomy.

  • 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?
  • The Big Lebowski: "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!", Walter says before he bashes in what is (probably) some teen's car. For context, the "fucking" was being cheated out of ransom money.

  • 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 mentally deficient with terminology like "gorked her brain out", "fried her brain", "crapped out" and "went to hell".
  • In The Spiral Wars, the way Hacksaws process information (preferring transmitted data to their actual senses) is compared to the way Autistic people used to think before being genetically engineered out of existence. The characters then proceed to refer to any airgappednote  technology as Autistic, despite that being almost the exact opposite of the original sense they used it in.
  • In one of the Illuminatus! series books, Robert Anton Wilson makes a Running Gag out of using the names of then-prominent feminists, religious censors and conservative Supreme Court justices as euphemisms for genitals, sex acts and swear words, arguing that they can hardly find their own names obscene and censorable. A phrase like ''I want to stick my Potter Stewart right up between your Brownmillers" takes on a whole new dimension.

    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".


    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Bible: In 1st Samuel and the Books of Kings, the term "one who urinates against a wall" is used in reference to males that are considered worthy of slaughter (either by God or by the future King David), equating those men to dogs.
  • There is also the business where a sacred oath is sworn by "touching the thigh" of the powerful man to whom the oath is being taken. As with the battle between Jacob and the Angel, where the Angel only wins by playing dirty and "dislocating the thigh" of Jacob, the "thigh" is a biblical euphemism for the male genitals, specifically the penis.

    New Media 
  • 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 F.A.T.A.L. 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.
  • It's a Running Gag in The Order of the Stick that all dwarves have an Absurd Phobia regarding trees. As such, it's mentioned at one point that an important meeting between the dwarven clan elders must be held around a huge unbroken table "fashioned from the corpse of a tree" (meaning that the table must be made out of one single big piece of wood).

    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?

    Real Life 
  • In Japanese, to be "stripped of one's ass hairs" (ケツの穴の毛までむしり取る) means a person's been fleeced.note 
  • Brazilian Portuguese is also very fond of this trope while associating it with football references. In example, "enrolling Pelé to swimming class" means to defecate, while "went to play on Vasco da Gama" means that someone just died. Of course, Memetic Mutation ensues.
  • In English, using the term "body count" as a way of discussing number of sexual partners relies on the listner knowing the other, more common meaning of number of people killed.