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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Comparison of usage frequency between the noun dysphemism and its most common antonym:


Definition of the noun dysphemism

What does dysphemism mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: dysphemisms

  1. an offensive or disparaging expression that is substituted for an inoffensive one
    • example: his favorite dysphemism was to ask for axle grease when he wanted butter
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • antonym: euphemism
    • more generic words: expression / locution / saying = a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
    • more specific terms:

Alternative definition of the noun dysphemism


  1. [uncountable] The use of a derogatory, offensive or vulgar word or phrase to replace a (more) neutral original.
  2. [countable] A word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.


Dysphemism: A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum or to the audience, or both. Dysphemisms contrast with neutral or euphemistic expressions. Like euphemism, dysphemism is sometimes motivated by feelings such as fear and distaste, though it may also be motivated by hatred and contempt.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Dysphemism

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSex in Language (2015)

Euphemistic and Dysphemistic Metaphors in Internet forums by Eliecer Crespo-Fernández

Whereas through euphemism the taboo is stripped of its most explicit or offensive overtones, thus providing a way to introduce delicate or distasteful topics in polite conversation, dysphemism is the process whereby the most pejorative traits of ...

Google previewForbidden Words (2006)

Taboo and the Censoring of Language by Keith Allan, Kate Burridge

Roughly speaking, dysphemism is the opposite of euphemism and, by and large, it is tabooed.

Google previewInterdisciplinary Studies in Pragmatics, Culture and Society (2015)

by Alessandro Capone, Jacob L. Mey

A dysphemism is a word or phrase with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum and/or to people addressed or overhearing the utterance (cf . shit and cunt). Like euphemism, dysphemism is sometimes motivated by fear and ...

Google previewCritical Thinking (2016)

Communication, Human communication by CTI Reviews

Dysphemism: A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum ortothe audience, or both, and it is substituted for a neutral or euphemistic expression forjustthat reason. Like euphemism ...

Google previewAncient Israel (2006)

The Old Testament in Its Social Context by Philip Francis Esler

"A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum or to the audience, or both, and it is substituted for a neutral or euphemistic expression for just that reason"9 Euphemisms are employed in all ...

Google previewWorld Media Ethics (2017)

Cases and Commentary by Robert S. Fortner, P. Mark Fackler

A dysphemism is a harsher or more direct way of referring to something that is otherwise inoffensive. fetish A cultural term that refers to objects that are believed to have supernatural powers. Fetishes are usually human-made items that have ...

Google previewTheories of Lexical Semantics (2010)

by Dirk Geeraerts

Dysphemism is the use of a more negatively connoted, harsher, more offensive word, like calling a cemetery a boneyard. Now, note that euphemism presupposes a particular emotive value in the euphemistic expression, but does not as such ...

Google previewCaged in Our Own Signs (1996)

A Book about Semiotics by Kyong Liong Kim

Dysphemism is the opposite of euphemism.

Google previewUnpopular Culture (2004)

The Ritual of Complaint in a British Bank by John Weeks

Like euphemism, dysphemism is a ritual of politeness. If euphemism is the use of a mild, comforting, or evasive expression in place of one that is taboo, negative, offensive, or too direct, dysphemism is "the use of a negative or disparaging ...

Google previewThe Columbia Guide to Standard American English (2005)

by Kenneth Wilson

Dysphemism is an antonym of euphemism. each (adj., pron.) Usage problems concern agreement of each with verbs, antecedents, and subsequent pronouns. As pronoun and subject, each takes a singular verb and can take a singular ...

Google previewFuck (2009)

Word Taboo and Protecting our First Amendment Liberties by Christopher Fairman

While the euphemism concept is likely familiar to you, its two siblings, dysphemism and orthophemism, are probably not. If a euphemism is a “sweet talk” substitute, a dysphemism is an offensive substitute. Words we might consider as taboo ...

Google previewA Journalist's Guide to Live Direct and Unbiased News Translation (2010)

again define dysphemism as follows: A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum or to the audience, or both, and it is substituted for a neutral or euphemistic ...

Google previewLove, Sex, and Marriage (1999)

A Historical Thesaurus by Julie Coleman

Dysphemism is the use of stark or shocking terms in order to offend or amuse.

Google previewAn Encyclopedia of Swearing (2015)

The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-speaking World by Geoffrey Hughes

Although this linguistic mode has been established for centuries and the term dysphemism was first recorded in 1884, it has only recently acquired even a specialist currency, being unlisted in many general dictionaries and reference books.

Google previewThe Oxford Dictionary of Pragmatics (2012)

by Yan Huang

dysphemism 98 explanation for the interaction between language and context, thus having a pragmatic flavour. Discourse Representation Theory, file change semantics, and Dynamic Montague Grammar, for instance, are typical examples of ...

Google previewThe Wordsworth Dictionary of Modern English Grammar (2001)

Grammar, Syntax and Style for the 21st Century by Ned Halley

dysphemism them usually mildly obscene. A device very much favoured by comedians. draft and draught Here is a phrase from the first sentence of an article about shopping for books in Britain in The Daily Telegraph of 1 3 December 2003 : ...

Google previewThe Sterling Dictionary Of Literary Terms (1998)

by Amrita Sharma

DYSPHEMISM The substitution of an unpleasant, rude or offensive word for an agreeable or pleasant one is called dysphemism, such as 'gone to hell' for 'dead'. lt is the antonym of euphemism. DYSTOPIA A modern term invented to describe ...

Google previewDictionary Of World Literature - Criticism, Forms, Technique (2013)

by Joseph T Shipley,

dysphemism. Rh. (cp. euphemism). The use of a term (or the term so used) to emphasize a failing or blemish, instead of glossing it over ; ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Humor Studies (2014)

by Salvatore Attardo

Dysphemism and insults. In No laughing matter: Rationale of the dirty joke (Second series, pp.

Google previewDictionary of Lexicography (2002)

by R. R. K. Hartmann, Gregory James

dysphemism Awordor ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Psychology (2016)

by Ray Corsini

dysphemism 1. Communications, verbal or expressive by gestures or facial expressions, that hurt another person«s self- esteem.

Google previewThe Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2017)

by Clive Upton, William A. Kretzschmar, Jr.

o dysphasic BR dis'feizik AM dis'feizik dysphemism BR 'disfimizm, ...

Google previewNew American Roget's College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form (Revised &Updated) (2002)

by Philip D. Morehead

metonymy, metalepsis, enallage, antonomasia, catachresis; synecdoche, euphemism, dysphemism. c.(roundabout wording) ambages. d.(use of opposites) antiphrasis, antithesis, oxymoron; syllepsis, zeugma, apophasis; irony, ...

Google previewThe Chambers Crossword Dictionary, 3rd edition (2012)

by Chambers,

hendiadys, hypallage, hyperbole,increment, prolepsis, syllepsis, tautology 10abscission, anastrophe, anticlimax, antithesis, apostrophe, dysphemism, enantiosis, epanaphora, epiphonema, epistrophe, metalepsis, synchrysis, synecdoche 11 ...

Google previewA Lexicon of Lunacy (1993)

by Thomas Szasz

Each new term starts out life as a euphemism, and expires as a dysphemism.

Google previewDictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (2012)

by J. A. Cuddon

dub poetry dumb show duodecimo duologue duple meter duple rhythm duration dysphemism dystopia ebook echo echo verse Eckenstrophe eclipsis eclogue eco -criticism école parnassienne.

Google previewA Dictionary of Literary Devices (1991)

Gradus, A-Z by Bernard Marie Dupriez

dysphemism (in opposition to euphemism); 'cacophemism' (Redfern, pp. 91-2) Other definition: parody* (Littre, Robert) Other meaning: a cartoon as in Punch ...

Google previewBob's Dictionary of Big Words (2016)

by Robert Sungenis

dysphemism, n. the use of a harsh expression instead of ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Dysphemism

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Photos about Dysphemism

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Video about Dysphemism

Dysphemism Meaning

Video shows what dysphemism means. The use of a derogatory, offensive or vulgar word or phrase to replace a (more) neutral original.. A word or phrase that is ...

Scrabble value of D2Y4S1P3H4E1M3I1S1M3

The value of this 10-letter word is 23 points, but it's not an accepted word in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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