Free Online English Lessons Euphemisms

Vocabulary, Level B2+

The dictionary definition for euphemism is this: "a word or expression we use when we want to talk about something unpleasant or something which we find embarrassing and we try not to mention the word itself". Here are some common ones in English for you to try.

Exercise 1

Let's see if you can guess the meaning of these!

1. to be economical with the truth
 
2. armed intervention
 
3. ethnic cleansing
 
4. to put something/someone to sleep
 
5. to pass away
 
6. between jobs
 
7. big boned
 
8. Dear John letter
 
9. fall off a back of a lorry
 
10. to have one too many
 
Exercise 2

Now see if you can put one of the above expressions into the correct gap in these sentences. Don't forget you may have to change the tense.

1. All politicians are accused of .  
2. A: How much did you pay for your flat screen telly? B: It was really cheap. I think it .  
3. A: Is your grandfather any better? B: Oh didn't you know? He last Monday.  
4. The USA is threatening in Iran unless they agree to cease developing nuclear power.  
5. She's a very nice girl, but really quite .  
6. John is at the moment so I don't think he can afford to come on holiday with us.  
7. Paul looks dreadful this morning. I think he may in the pub last night.  
8. I'm afraid that Dennis will have to be . His kidneys aren't working and he seems to be in pain all of the time.  
9. Instead of telling David face to face that she didn't want to continue the relationship she wrote him a .  
10. One of the many horrors of the recent Bosnian conflict was the policy of which displaced a great many people.  

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