A Cretin is someone with physical and mental underdevelopment. A moral cretin does not understand Morals or their basis. Cretin is a word that has slipped off the Euphemism Treadmill, the reality that the sensitive, the caring like to use soft words for hard things. Then the rest of us take them up so they invent more. It is a treadmill. It is why words like spastic and lunatic have fallen out of favour in some quarters. The rest of us are prone to talk about Lunatics, madmen, Imbeciles, Idiots, retards, spastics or even Morons.
Imbecile ex Wiki
For the common or slang use of imbecile, see Idiot.
Imbecile was a medical category of people with moderate to severe intellectual disability, as well as a type of criminal. The term arises from the Latin word imbecillus, meaning weak, or weak-minded. It included people with an IQ of 26–50, between "idiot" (IQ of 0–25) and "moron" (IQ of 51–70).
The meaning was further refined into mental and moral imbecility. The concepts of "moral insanity", "moral idiocy"," and "moral imbecility", led to the emerging field of eugenic criminology, which held that crime can be reduced by preventing "feeble-minded" people from reproducing.
"Imbecile" as a concrete classification was popularized by psychologist Henry H. Goddard and was used in 1927 by United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in his ruling in the forced-sterilization case Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).
The concept is closely associated with psychology, psychiatry, criminology, and eugenics. However, the term imbecile quickly passed into vernacular usage as a derogatory term, and fell out of professional use in the 20th century in favor of mental retardation..
In recent decades, the phrases "mental retardation", "mentally retarded", and "retarded" initially used in a medical manner, are regarded as derogatory and politically incorrect much like moron, imbecile, cretin, dolt and idiot, formerly used as scientific terms in the early 20th century. On October 5, 2010, President of the United States Barack Obama signed Senate Bill 2781, known as "Rosa's Law", which changed references in many Federal statutes that referred to "mental retardation" to refer instead to "intellectual disability".
Euphemism Treadmill ex Wiki
A euphemism // is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse; while others use bland, inoffensive terms for things the user wishes to downplay. Euphemisms are used to refer to taboo topics (such as disability, sex, excretion, and death) in a polite way, or to mask profanity.[2
There are three antonyms of euphemism: dysphemism, cacophemism, and loaded language. Dysphemism can be either offensive or merely ironic; cacophemism is deliberately offensive. Loaded language evokes a visceral response beyond the meaning of the words.
Euphemism comes from the Greek word εὐφημία (euphemia), meaning "the use of words of good omen", which in turn is derived from the Greek root-words eû (εὖ), "good, well" and phḗmē (φήμη) "prophetic speech; rumour, talk". Etymologically, the eupheme is the opposite of the blaspheme "evil-speaking." The term euphemism itself was used as a euphemism by the ancient Greeks, meaning "to keep a holy silence" (speaking well by not speaking at all).
PurposeFigures of speech
Euphemism use ranges from a polite concern for propriety, to attempting to escape responsibility for war crimes. For instance one reason for the comparative scarcity of written evidence documenting the exterminations at Auschwitz (at least given the scale) is "directives for the extermination process obscured in bureaucratic euphemisms." Columnist David Brooks called the euphemisms for torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and elsewhere an effort to "dull the moral sensibility."
- Ambiguous statements (it for excrement, the situation or "a girl in trouble" for pregnancy, going to the other side for death, do it or come together in reference to a sexual act, tired and emotional for drunkenness)
- Understatements ("asleep" for "dead", "drinking" for "consuming alcohol", "hurt" for "injured", etc.)
- Metaphors ("beat the meat" or "choke the chicken" for masturbation, "take a dump" and "drain the main vein" for defecation and urination respectively).
- Comparisons ("buns" for "buttocks", "weed" for "cannabis").
- Metonymy ("lose a person" for "coping with a person's death", "pass away" for "die", "men's room" for "men's toilet").
Using a less harsh term with similar meaning. For instance, "screwed up" is a euphemism for "fucked up"; "hook-up", "we hooked up", or "laid" for sexual intercourse
There is some disagreement over whether certain terms are or are not euphemisms. For example, sometimes the phrase visually impaired is labeled as a politically correct euphemism for blind. However, visual impairment can be a broader term, including, for example, people who have partial sight in one eye, those with uncorrectable mild to moderate poor vision, or even those who wear glasses, a group that would be excluded by the word blind.Evolution
Euphemisms may be formed in a number of ways. Periphrasis, or circumlocution, is one of the most common: to "speak around" a given word, implying it without saying it. Over time, circumlocutions become recognized as established euphemisms for particular words or ideas.
To alter the pronunciation or spelling of a taboo word (such as a swear word) to form a euphemism is known as taboo deformation, or "minced oath". In American English, words that are unacceptable on television such as fuck, may be represented by deformations such as freak, even in children's cartoons. Some examples of rhyming slang may serve the same purpose: to call a person a berk sounds less offensive than to call a person a cunt, though berk is short for Berkeley Hunt, which rhymes with cunt.
Bureaucracies frequently spawn euphemisms of a more deliberate nature, doublespeak expressions. For example, in the past the US military called contamination by radioactive isotopes sunshine units. A practical death sentence in the Soviet Union during the Great Purge often used the clause "imprisonment without right to correspondence:" the person sentenced never had a chance to correspond because soon after imprisonment he would be shot. As early as 1939, Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich used the term Sonderbehandlung (translated into English as "special treatment") to mean summary execution, most likely by hanging, of persons who proved 'disciplinary problems' to the Nazis even before the Nazis began the systematic extermination of the Jews. Heinrich Himmler, aware that the word had come to be known to mean murder, replaced that euphemism with one in which Jews would be "guided" (to their deaths) through the slave-labor and extermination camps after having been "evacuated" to their doom. Such was part of the superficially innocuous formulation Endlösung der Judenfrage (the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question"), which became infamous to the entire world during the Nuremberg Trials.
A euphemism may often devolve into a taboo word itself, through the linguistic process known as pejoration or semantic change described by W.V.O. Quine, and more recently dubbed the "euphemism treadmill" by Harvard professor Steven Pinker. For instance, Toilet is an 18th-century euphemism, replacing the older euphemism House-of-Office, which in turn replaced the even older euphemisms privy-house or bog-house. In the 20th century, where the words lavatory or toilet were deemed inappropriate (e.g. in the United States), they were sometimes replaced with bathroom or water closet, which in turn became restroom, W.C., or washroom.
The word "shit" appears to have originally been a euphemism for defecation in Pre-Germanic, as the Proto-Indo-European root *skined-, from which it was derived, meant to cut off.
In popular culture
Euphemism Basic word(s) for which substituted adult entertainment, adult material pornography affirmative action preference for minorities, usually in employment or academic admissions, also called reverse discrimination, or in the U.K. positive discrimination. custodian, caretaker janitor (also originally a euphemism: in Latin, janitor means doorman.) challenged, differently abled disabled enhanced interrogation torture expecting pregnant family planning contraceptives making love, sleeping with, getting it on, having it off (U.K.), hooking up, doing it having sexual intercourse; sanitation worker, refuse worker (UK) bin man, garbage man, dustman (UK) underprivileged, economically disadvantaged poor passed away died put to sleep euthanized visit from the stork give birthMain article: Doublespeak
Doublespeak is a term sometimes used for deliberate euphemistic misuse of incorrect words to disguise unacceptable meaning, as in a "Ministry of Peace" which wages war, a "Ministry of Love" which imprisons and tortures. It is a portmanteau of the terms "newspeak" and "doublethink", which originate from George Orwell's novel 1984.
The word euphemism itself can be used as a euphemism. In the animated TV special Halloween Is Grinch Night (See Dr. Seuss), a child asks to go to the euphemism, where euphemism is being used as a euphemism for outhouse. This euphemistic use of "euphemism" also occurred in the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? where a character requests, "Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?"
For a list of words relating to euphemisms, see the English euphemisms category of words in Wiktionary,, the free dictionary.
Look up euphemism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Euphemism.
- Call a spade a spade
- Code word (figure of speech)
- Dead Parrot sketch
- Dog-whistle politics
- Double entendre
- Expurgation (often called bowdlerization, after Thomas Bowdler)
- Framing (social sciences)
- Minced oath
Cretin ex Wiki
Cretinism is a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones (congenital hypothyroidism) usually due to maternal hypothyroidism. It is now rare in Western Civilization.
Idiot ex Wiki
An idiot, dolt, dullard or (archaically) mome is a person perceived to be lacking intelligence, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way. Along with the similar terms moron, imbecile, and cretin, the word archaically referred to the intellectually disabled, but have all since gained specialized meanings in modern times. An idiot is said to be idiotic, and to suffer from idiocy. A dunce is an idiot who is specifically incapable of learning. An idiot differs from a fool (who is unwise) and an ignoramus (who is uneducated/an ignorant), neither of which refers to someone with low intelligence. In modern English usage, the terms "idiot" and "idiocy" describe an extreme folly or stupidity, and its symptoms (foolish or stupid utterance or deed). In psychology, it is a historical term for the state or condition now called profound intellectual disability.
Moron ex Wiki
Moron is a term once used in psychology to denote mild intellectual disability. The term was closely tied with the American eugenics movement. Once the term became popularized, it fell out of use by the psychological community, as it was used more commonly as an insult than as a psychological term.