A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk by Crown

By Crown

Hardcover version of this linguistic number of euphemisms and different figures of speech via Hugh Rawson

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Edward M. , Massachusetts) for the Democratic presidential nomination (6/14/79). Just when people began dropping the "r" out of "arse" (the aural equivalent of a written euphemism) is not known, but "ass" already had acquired low connotations by 1751, when Capt. Francis Grose defined "Johnny Bum" as "A he or jack ass,- so called by a lady that affects to be extremely polite and modest, who would not say . . ass because it was indecent" (A Classical Dictionary oj the Vulgar Tongue, 1st ed. ). The sudden and mysterious appearance of DONKEY upon the lexicographical scene in the eighteenth century is another indication that the four-legged "ass" was being avoided by then because it sounded exactly like the r-less two-legged word.

Originally a place of refuge, or sanctuary, from which debtors and criminals could not be removed without sacrilege, the meaning of "asylum" was gradually broadened, starting in the eighteenth century, to include institutions for the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the orphaned, and the mad, or lunatic (in effect, the "moonstruck," from Luna, Roman goddess of the moon). "Asylums" for the demented appeared on both sides of the Atlantic practically simultaneously. In 1828, Sir A. Halliday prepared a report, entitled A General View oj the Present State of Lunatics, and Lunatic Asylums, in Great Britain and Ireland.

See also DAD. blanket, born on the wrong side of the. Bastardy. "Frank Kennedy,' he said, 'was a gentleman, though on the wrong side of the blanket'" (Sir Walter Scott, Guy tAannering-, or The Astrologer, 1815). By the same token, "blanket love" also was a euphemism for what the Oxford English Dictionary terms "illicit amours. " See also AMOUR, BASTARD, a n d LOVE CHILD. blazes. " (Best of Saturday Night Live, WNBC-TV, 11/14/79). "Blazes" was especially popular in the nineteenth century when it appeared regularly in such combinations as hot as blazes, cool as blazes, blue as blazes, black as blazes, and by blazes.

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