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What is the difference between an innuendo and an euphemism?

4 Comments

  1. Tea C. Her says:

    Yes, they seem similar. But in a very distinct way they are not similar at all. An innuendo is an indirect implication about something. It’s usually derogatory — implying something bad. "That’s what she said" alone is not really a good example of an innuendo. In the context of a conversation, with the proper stress of "she" and an accompanying roll of the eyes, it could be an innuendo implying that she lied. A better example of an innuendo might be something like: "Gosh, James seems to get sick only on Fridays." It’s an indirect, though not so subtle, implication that James is not really sick. An innuendo should be more subtle though.
    Conversely, a euphemism (which comes from a Greek root meaning good words) is an expression used to soften something that is harsh or blunt. For example, big-boned is a euphemism for fat. "Mature" is a euphemism for old. "Passed-away" is a euphemism for dead.

  2. Who goes there? says:

    To my knowledge, an innuendo is like something implied in a subtle manner. It is more indirect than direct. Do you understand?

    Euphemism are mostly words that take the place of other words. For instance, a woman has a *censored*, but if I were to use an euphemism to replace *censored*, I would say a woman has a kat or choochie. Kat and choochie are euphemisms. It’s similar to innuendos because it is indirect.
    Both are also similiar in a way b/c most of the time they are meant to be derogatory or harsh but in a subtle way.

    Sorry, I just can’t think of an example of an innuendo even though I understand what it is. I guess it is hard for me to explain in words.

  3. Thomas P says:

    The words are not at all similar. You were right about the innuendo. It is a remark, (hidden) hint, a bit suggestive or diparaging: "She is always making these sly innuendos."
    A euphemism is something totally different. It is a positively-sounding word for a bad thing, so as to make it look less dangerous or negative: speaking of "collateral damage" is a euphemism for killing civilians in a war.

  4. jigokusabre says:

    Inuendo is anything that is ostensibly about one subject, but is really suggestive of another. A euphamism is a word or phrase that directly refers to some object or act.

    An example "How about you come home with me, and I’ll show off my collection of Giant Sized Man-Things." What am I talking about? Well, if I’m talking about what you think I’m talking about, that’s innuendo. (I actually have a series of DC comics called "Man-Thing," aome of the issue are "Giant Sized").

    A euphamism implies that everyone knows what’s being referred to, both the speaker and the listener… but for reasons of propriety or general discomfort with a topic, they prefer not to spell out it. "the situation in Iraq" is often used to refer to the War, but people trying to portray it in a positive light don’t want to use a word with such glaringly negative connotations. It’s like the Guantoanamo Bay issue… what’s the issue? Torture.

    "That’s what she said" is not an innuendo itself, but rather a verbal confirmation of a stated innuendo. So, if someone says "that’s what she said," what they’re saying is "the previous statement could be taken as *censored* innuendo.

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