Euphemism corner

15 December 2009 0

Is condom a rude word? If I go into Boots to buy condoms, I have to go to the “Family Planning” section, then when I get my receipt it lists them as “Chemist Goods”.

“Family Planning” is a particularly interesting euphemism. The point of condoms is quite the opposite of family planning, surely? It should say “Family Not Planning”.
Mind you it’s worth remembering that even “toilet” is a euphemism, it’s just one that’s been with us so long that we understand it to mean “place we go to poo and wee” rather than as a verb meaning to clean oneself up. But even with its original sense it’s still closer to the truth than the US English “rest room” – even cleaning oneself up is too risque for the Americans, apparently.

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