Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$1.61
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: [Solid Condition Hardcover. Cover may have wear and possible small tears. May contain writing/markings. May be ex-library copy. Any CD/DVD may have been removed by previous user.]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 14, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 14, 2010
$3.61 $1.59

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Barron's
Navigate global markets with Barron's digital membership Learn more
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

Review

"If 'Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne,' as Quentin Crisp once said, then Ralph Keyes has given word and language lovers a deeply fragrant-and thoroughly enjoyable-book." (Dr. Mardy Grothe, author of Oxymoronica and other quotation anthologies )

"Whether you're looking for information or just browsing, Euphemania is a classic. It is beautifully written, uniformly delightful, and a pleasure to read. Keyes has spread a broad net and offers the tastiest morsels to his readers. I love this book!" (Rosalie Maggio, author of How to Say It and The Art of Talking to Anyone )

"Fascinating! If you think you already know how we human beings shape language to create the kind of relationships we want, wait until you read Euphemania. Ralph Keyes opens the reader to a new world of thoughtfulness, embarrassment, manipulation, and even criminality through euphemisms. While much of the book is just plain funny, one cannot help but develop a new respect for the complexity of our language and for our amazing inventiveness as we cope with every imaginable situation by avoiding the truth. An engrossing, amusing and highly informative read." (Richard Farson, author of Management of the Absurd )

"Keyes' treatment of our everyday attempts to ameliorate through language the unpleasantries of life is brilliant-and a great read." (Tom Dalzell, author of The Slang of Sin and Flappers 2 Rappers )

"The title of this smart new book, Euphemania, is no euphemism. Author Ralph Keyes is right: We are crazy about euphemisms. For good reasons and bad, euphemisms help us speak the unspeakable, describe what cannot, in decent society (if only we lived in one!), be described. Those are not rings of fat around my waist; that's my spare tire. Or, should you want to know me better, just grab my love handles. Hang on tight and we'll ride through the wise and witty work of a writer who handles his love for the language on every page." (Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar )

About the Author

Ralph Keyes is the author of 15 books, including The Courage to Write and I Love It When You Talk Retro. He has written for Esquire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Newsweek, and Harper's. Keyes lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he writes, lectures, and is a Trustee of the Antioch Writers' Workshop.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316056561
  • ASIN: B005ZO52HW
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,001,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ralph Keyes has delved into our human nature here. We use euphemisms to soften our words. To disguise them. To wrap them in pretty distracting language. We say what we mean on occasion but mostly we dissemble. We euphemize. We hide behind words that are seemingly less offensive than what we could say if we didn't resort to euphemisms.

Fascinating stuff here. Keyes explores the things we get uncomfortable discussing; sex, our bodies, our bodily functions, money. You name it-we have the euphemisms for it. Keyes employs a distinctive punchy style here that will have readers spinning and laughing as he keeps those euphemisms pouring non-stop.

It's terse. It's pithy. It's succulent. Try it, you'll like it.
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you are a word freak like me, you are going to love this book. Euphemania explains where we get common turns of phrase like "pushing up daisies" and other obscure references. The book is very entertaining and gives insight to historical references. I really enjoyed reading this one and it would make the perfect gift for that closet wordy in your life.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
A great title for a well researched (check the complete bibliography) and enjoyable book that, anyone who likes language, and the way it evolves will read in a day.
Keyes draws almost all of his examples from the anglo-saxon culture, switching from England to the USA. He mentions a few Spanish words but as a French native, I especially enjoyed the references he makes to my heritage.
From "manger les pissenlits par la racine" or eating dandelions by the root when the French talk of death, to the frequent use of French mouth-watering words in the American cuisine, Keyes show that euphemisms vary from one culture to another.
When I moved from Paris to California with my baby daughter I had a hard time to understand what her new pediatrician meant when he asked me about her BM. French aren't embarrassed when it comes to body functions and it took me a while to refer to the contents of my baby's diaper as a BM. After many years in the USA, I also say UTI, PMS and IBS, and have learned that stomach in American covers a much larger territory than the organ used in the human digestive system.
However I still favor the word the French use when they want to wish good luck. In American, its polite version is shoot.
Thank you, Mr. Keyes for a fun, well researched and engaging book.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
It's unusual to call a non-fiction book a "page turner." Yet Ralph Keyes' EUPHEMANIA fits the bill. Once I started reading his exploration into the many facets of euphemisms, I was enthralled. Keyes has struck a rich vein with the subject of his latest book. Euphemisms reveal a great deal about a time and culture by the very subjects they seek to disguise. In clear, straightforward prose that contrasts the intentionally vague nature of euphemisms, Keyes lifts the veil on our ever-changing hang-ups with sex, death, money, religion and bodily functions. Keyes also examines the corrosive side of euphemisms: the dodgy doublespeak of corporations, politicians and the military. Laced with anecdotes, scholarly references and humor, EUPHEMANIA is an enlightening and enjoyable read.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank heavens for euphemisms; they soften the harsh realities of daily existence. As Keyes deconstructs each euphemism, however, the words get grittier and uglier and..... What should I have been expecting? I actually learned a lot of new phrases -- euphemisms within euphemisms within euphemisms -- that, had they been spoken on the silver screen -- would have garnered at least an "R" rating, if not an "X". The word lover in me enjoyed the book; the mom and grandma in me winced.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this short history of euphemisms. It provided just enough information to keep me interested without going into too much background detail. It also provides a glimpse of our society in relation to others, especially in terms of what we find "mentionable" in public vs. private. Additionally, the origins of the euphemisms we use are discussed, with some surprises! Recommended for high-school readers and up (although there might be an occasional middle-school reader for whom this book would be more than a source of scatological mirth!).
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Before I picked up Ralph Keyes' latest book, Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms, I admit, my understanding and appreciation of the role and breadth of euphemisms in our society and language was merely skin deep. As someone interested in the intricacies and nuances of language, I wanted to dig deeper. Keyes, an author with a prolific list of titles to his name and who has delved into topics including the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of language, surviving high school and the role of success and failure in our lives, once again delivers a rich exploration of a topic most of us have spent scant time even thinking about.

According to Keyes, "Euphemisms are the verbal equivalent of draping nude statues." Another way of saying we have spent centuries going to great lengths to find other ways of saying what we mean. Some of the areas that Keyes touches on where euphemisms have provided fertile ground are of course, sex, anatomy, money, death, and war. Keyes contends that euphemisms are a useful barometer of changing values and that there is no better way than to determine what concerns a culture at any given moment than by examining its verbal evasions. For example, when children of unmarried parents were referred to as `bastards' or `illegitimate children' it indicated society's level of discomfort with this issue, while today it would barely be considered worthy of a euphemism.

The book is a fascinating journey all the way from Shakespeare's ample usage of euphemisms in Elizabethan England to verbal dodges for all manner of bodily excretions and secretions, as one chapter is fittingly named. It was interesting to learn that a culture's level of discomfort with something has not always traveled a predictable trajectory. As for example, when discussing death.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: thesaurus, cambridge dictionary, first dictionary