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Unusual Euphemism

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You're talking about screwing, right? Because it actually would've been a lot easier to have just said that.

"I apprehended the accused and advised him of his rights. He replied, 'Why don't you ram it up your pimhole, you fusking clothprunker.'"
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The characters are talking about an embarrassing issue by using a rubber-ducking euphemism that the scriptwriters just made up.

Many Science Fiction shows make up such curse words so as not to offend Standards and Practices, probably because these expressions can pass as Future Slang.

Can sometimes even be the result of censorship: see the Bowdlerization: Film subpage.

Rather than being used to talk about an embarrassing issue, may be used to discuss something of questionable legality without attracting attention. If used to talk about one's personal body parts, the trope is I Call Him "Mister Happy".

Sister trope to Sexual Euphemism and Deadly Euphemism. Contrast Unusual Dysphemism. Compare to Smurfing, Never Say "Die", Foreign Cuss Word, Pardon My Klingon, Gosh Dang It to Heck!, Curse of the Ancients, Hold Your Hippogriffs, Getting Crap Past the Radar and Informed Obscenity. Super-Trope to Gay Euphemism, which is about avoiding directly using homosexuality-related terms.

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A Date with Rosie Palms attracts a lot of them. See also Lampshaded Double Entendre. If a character interprets an innocent phrase as one of these, you have Is That What They're Calling It Now?. Intercourse with You songs and, of course, bawdy ones sometimes have a lot of these.


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    Comedy 
  • Irish comedian Dylan Moran discusses how, even in modern times, topics such as homosexuality are still dressed with euphemisms.
    "Well you know what they say about John, don't you?"
    "Actually, no, I don't. What do they say?"
    "Well, you know, that he's..." (raises right knee into air)
    "...what?"
    "You know, he's still picking up twigs in the springtime... (beat) ...he likes his toast done on all three sides."
  • Any verbified noun is a euphemism for drunk, according to Michael McIntyre.
    "Did you have a drink last night?"
    "Are you joking? I got utterly gazebo'd."
  • Patton Oswalt did an infamous bit combining this with Gosh Dang It to Heck! while telling about how producers for network (as in censored) programming wanted the same material he usually delivered, but in a censor-friendly way. The results were rather disturbing.
    "I'm gonna fill your hoo-ha with goof-juice!" That is fucking horrifying!

    Comic Strips 
  • For Better or for Worse used "boxcar" to represent swearing (for aphasic Grandpa Jim), and "going roadside" to indicate having sex.
    • "Foob."
  • Pearls Before Swine had Pig crying out in pain "Ohhhhhhhh my Oompa Loompas" after taking a hit to the groin.
  • Doonesbury:
    • It is known for substituting inappropriate words with a description of the words in parens, for example (expletive) or (body part)
    • In one example an angry Frank Sinatra lets loose with an "obscene gerund" which puzzles the medium aware target of his rage.
  • In FoxTrot, Paige once told Peter to "eat spit and die".
    • In another strip, when Andy asked Jason how it was like golfing with his father, Jason replied that it was "colorful". Andy then asks whether he meant the color of nature, the ball, the clubs, or his dad's orange plaid golf pants, Jason elaborated to mean that he was actually referring to Roger's language. Cue Roger swearing.
    • Lampshaded in another strip, in which Peter stubs his toe and shouts things like "asterisk" and "dollar sign," and then remarks that "comic-strip curse words leave something to be desired." Jason helpfully suggests he add some daggers and lightning bolts. Oh, *$&!
  • Baby Blues had at least one in the form of "child-safe cuss words".
    Daryll: Dingy-dangy dog-gone heck to phooey!
  • In one Bloom County comic, Opus is writing a personals ad for a woman who is seeking "intense physical affection," but doesn't want to sound crude. Opus suggests "snugglebunnies" as an alternative euphemism, and the woman insists that he use "sweaty snugglebunnies" instead.
  • Pogo: "Rowrbazzle!"
  • The January 4, 2015 Beetle Bailey strip has the base chaplain suggest to Sarge that he use the word "grawlix" in place of profanity. As in the actual word "grawlix".
  • In one of Lynda Barry's Maybonne storyline strips, Brenda refers to an "F.U. and an Elvis", some sort of sexual act, being forced on her. The euphemism use serves as an in-universe Parental Bonus, as she's getting the message to Maybonne via her little sister Marlys, who doesn't know what those things are.

    Films — Animation 
  • Cars: Combined with Thank the Maker, as cars say things like "For the love of Chrysler!" and "Ford Almighty!"
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Bambi: The owl says "twitterpated" as a euphemism for "smitten".
    • Lilo & Stitch: Several times the term "Stupidhead" is used, where in real life a person might use a term with a synonym of "stupid" and a different body part.
    • The Little Mermaid (1989) has "Jumping jellyfish!" as an euphemism.
    • The Princess and the Frog: When Naveen crashes Charlotte's wedding, she exclaims "Cheese and crackers!"
    • Wreck-It Ralph has this on several levels. One of these is Sergeant Calhoun, who you think would swear like the soldier she is, but apparently Hero's Duty has the language filter turned on because her Trash Talk comes out like, "If you wanna go pee-pee in your big-boy slacks, keep it to yourself." Then you have other characters, such as Felix, using odd curses such as "Oh my land!" But the most plot-significant euphemism is universal in the arcade: the phrase "Going Turbo". All the arcade characters respond with dread except for Calhoun because she's new to the arcade and doesn't know its history. Felix explains it to her (and the audience) as their lingo for a game character going rogue.Explanation 
    • Zootopia: Assistant Bellewether comes out with "Oh, muttonchops!" when frustrated.
  • Disney Fairies: In The Tinkerbell Series, much strange fairy slang is used. Including, but not limited to: "Who gives a pile of pebbles?", "Flitterific!", "Splinters!", "Teetering Teapots!", "By the second star!". And from the book: "Fly with you", "I'd fly backwards if I could" and the popular slur for humans: "Clumsies."
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox: All swear words are efficiently replaced with "cuss". People in the audience who catch on shouldn't have any trouble deciphering the uses of "cluster-cuss" and "cussin' with their heads", for example. In the background of one scene, "CUSS" is written in graffiti on a wall.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (1986): The Grundle king tends to say "aw, Grundlemumf!" in situations where profanity would be expected in a work with a higher rating.
  • Penguins of Madagascar: Skipper is not too comfortable in lederhosen, since they're riding up in his "bundesliga".
  • Storks: Hunter orders Junior to "liberate" Tulip and then bluntly and repeatedly makes crystal clear that he means to fire her.
    Hunter: If I'm not being clear, I mean fire her!
  • Toy Story has Mr Potato Head say "Son of a building block" at the sight of Woody.
  • Turning Red: When Meilin is freaking out about turning into a red panda for the first time and trying to hide it from her parents, her mother Ming thinks Mei is freaking out about... something else, asking Mei "Did... did the red peony bloom?"
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • "Applesauce!" This is coming from Baby Herman, an old-timer in a toon baby's body. He uses euphemisms a few times in the movie. To be fair, "applesauce" was a common explicative in the twenties, used to denote frustration or disbelief, the way Herman used it.
      Baby Herman: My problem is I got a fifty-year-old lust and a three-year-old dinky.
      [later in the same scene]
      Baby Herman: The paper said Acme had no will. That's a load o' succotash.
    • It's obvious what is meant by Jessica and Marvin Acme "playing patty-cake". Subverted when it turns out they're playing actual patty-cake.

    Podcasts 
  • Mission To Zyxx uses "juck" in place of the familiar F-bomb and "Rod" in place of all references to a God.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In WWE, Kurt Angle and Booker T once had a Shout-Out to Die Hard when Booker asked Angle, "You really think you have a chance, Mr. Cowboy?" Angle's response: "Yippie-kai-yay, Mother Hubbard."
  • The independent wrestling company CHIKARA promotes itself as family-friendly and discourages foul language. This led to fans chanting "Holy Poop" after impressive moves or dives.
  • The Rock used a lot of these, notably using "pie" as a nickname for vaginas, and "strudel" as a nickname for penises.
  • John Cena, vocabulary constrained by WWE's new PG policy, has recently made "Elimination Chamber" a euphemism for "ass". Runs into Department of Redundancy Department when he starts talking about "kicking people's elimination chambers" and then going to the Elimination Chamber PPV and "kicking more elimination chamber".
    • Double Subverted. Contrary to popular belief, the word 'ass' can be and is said by John Cena and others in the PG era. He only did that in one or two promos Just for Pun... it would have turned into a Cluster A Bomb otherwise.
    And: "BALONEY, FUDGE AND MUSTARD! MY LIFE IS BEING RUINED BY THE INTERNET!"

 
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Ghostbusters (1984)

"The Keymaster" and "The Gatekeeper". It's strongly implied Dana Barrett and Louis Tully, both under demonic possession, have to have sex to open the portal to Gozer's realm and are both shown disheveled and Louis sporting a broken belt buckle after they reunite atop Dana's apartment building.

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