Me for You and Euphemism

Last night, a tough-talking investigator on CSI told another cop who was hassling him:
"Hey, don't bust my friggin' onions."

I realize there are network censors to circumvent, but it seems quaint that CBS has a problem with "balls," even with the Ms.-Jackson-if-you're-nasty debacle. I think it's a couple of writers having fun with euphemisms, wistfully thinking of the quaint days before Dennis Franz's butt changed everything. Days when they had to make characters say things like "backseat mambo" to keep it clean.

I remember a Moonlighting where Dave and Maddie are sitting at the kitchen table. Dave has, as is his wont, upset Maddie:

MADDIE: I don't give a flying fig!
DAVID: [beat] Flying fig?
MADDIE: [to camera] They know what I mean.

Euphemisms are fun. Even the unsavory ones require a modicum of wit. It is unseemly to announce to a group:

YOU: Everyone! I am about to poop!
EVERYONE: My, what a disgusting character.

But with nod and a wink, this statement is transformed:

YOU: I'm going to watch the Browns play in the Super Bowl.*
EVERYONE: What a subtle wit... such a way with words!

I remember an old-timer who frequently told me he was going to "see a man about a horse." I had no idea what he meant. I'd just say "OK, then!" and assume it was early onset Alzheimer's. Of course, he was going to pee. This is a euphemism that truly has no connection to its meaning, a nonsense phrase constructed to get one out of a room.

In that spirit, we at SPASTIC would like to open a forum for EMUs (Euphemisms Made Up). We begin with some of our own, and look forward to your additions:

Flaunting the Weasel Cake
Canoodling With Fishes
Spicing the Sausage
Racing Up Bald Mountain
Prancing the Fancy Dishes

I would write more, but I'm overdue for my Swing into the Mother Land.

*The official SPASTIC poophemism is "completing a download."


Durandkid said...

I'm quite sure this reminds me of a Slade song... But I'm not sure why...

qflux said...

Your list of euphemisms made me think of making a Euphemism Generator Matrix (EGM) where, like a Chinese menu, one chooses a verb, adjective, and a noun (specifically in this small example all nouns are animals)

verb the adjective animal
crunching the bloody ferret
cleansing the French monkey
stealing the purple flounder
checking the twisted aardvark
touching the technicolor donkey
slicing the lively snake
rubbing the sticky pony
feeling the chunky poodle
beating the blistful tarantula
smoking the tremendous parakeet

Although this doesn't show as a table, the idea is that you would mix and match to create new eupehmisms with very nebulous meanings.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

d-kid & qflux: Thank you for visiting the site. dkid: I can't come up with a Slade reference, but they TOTALLY ROCK!
qflux: Love the EGM. BTW, the "Johnny and the technicolor monkey" was a scrapped Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. I think.

ACoolKid said...

For Baseball Season:
Going #1? Making a call to the bull pen.
Going #2? Rounding out the Roster,
Filling up the Dugout,
Going Both? I think that's a Double Play.

Just make sure you wash your hands before getting me the Cracker Jacks...Whatever that means...

BP said...

One may be:

winking at the robins.
scratching the blue kazoo.
leaning on better trimmings.
up with the field mice.
making crunchy fettuccini.
swimming through a dollhouse.

Abie said...

Some friends of mine enjoy looking for strange euphemisms, and they once came up, while experimenting new names for male genitalia, with "Charles le chauve" (an old french king, mainly remembered because of his ludicrous name). It can be translated as "Baldy Charly", and semms pretty accurate.

some ocmmon French expressions are pretty funny too. I've heard
"squeezing the leek" (faire d├ęgorger le poireau)
"making johnny weep" (faire pleurer popaul)
and many others that elude translation at the moment.

As for your others posts, keep up with the good work!

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Thanks for the additions, Abie!

Barefoot Andy said...

EGM is a dangerous thought. I now can't think of even sensible and clean "verb the adjective animal" phrases withought them sounding rude.

.riding the graceful horse (time of month)
.stroking the fluffy bunny (act of copulation)
.feeding the hungry puppy (bowel movement)
.shooting the thieving fox (solo sex)
.observing the blue-crested warblers (attempting to find suitable bedfellows for mutual copulation)
.fleeing from a raging tiger (OK maybe not that one)

"squeezing a leek" while I can see (assuming they're often damp), but to squeeze the leek, you may have to take it first.

Love the blog Eric!

stella estrella said...

Rubbing the sticky pony!!! LOL....I love that one. one of my personal favs for guys jacking off is "roughing up the suspect"

On another note, my sister kept saying how Tommy came to pick her up, or Tommy was going to be picking her up next week...and finally I asked and she said, "you know...T-ime O-f M-onth...Tommy."...

trabalhocomlengua said...

Some of my favorites & their origins:

a technicolor yawn = vomit, Australia
passar um fax (send a fax) = bm, Brazil
plantar um pino, (plant a pine) = bm, Spain
touching cloth = in desperate need of a bm, Scotland

jeanne said...

got to go change my rear tire = poop. i thought everyone knew that! :)

Anonymous said...


On a good day I would sit here and fillet the wild dingoes with you guys, but I've been consistently inflating the peristaltic inner tube, and now I'm dealing with a turtle head... time to go log off!!

Count Monitor said...

One time while I was watching the Browns play in the Superbowl, from the other room this guy yelled in and asked me did I pal yet? I said did I what? He said PAL, you know, pinch a loaf.

john@ROCKNTV1 said...

I'm watching youtube videos
and smiling.."your killing me".
I make videos for the internet...
"sometimes I kill myself"..:-)

ROCKNTV1 said...

I must write while im still here..
My GF says she does'nt understand what I'm talking about ..I reply
"I'm not trying to be long in the tooth , just trying to communicate
babe, is that ebonics".Sometimes I kill myself.

yurake said...

ok lets follow the disscussion here women's place