Saturday, December 26, 2015

WTF? Euphemisms and TLAs

We rarely say exactly what we mean until we are sure the the other(s) are going to understand us. To test the waters we use euphemisms and TLAs (three letter acronyms).

One of the more modern commonly, or overly, used TLAs is WTF. If I were a proper Brit I might think someone is referring to William The First. I would likely be wrong. Maybe a writer of love poetry would mean Warm Tender Feelings. No? Maybe describing a politician as Way Too Feckless. How about Wafting Tiny Farts, Waiting to Fart, or Way Too Flatulent after eating too many fruits and vegetables? Student pilots Wanting To Fly, refugees Walking To Freedom, fire dancers and the rest of us sometimes Walking Through Fire, Cubans Wading To Florida, silk manufacturers Wildly Torching Flannel, plumbers Wanting To Flush, tugboat drivers Winching The Frigate, trying to find love in the retirement home by Wooing The Fossil.  I am sure there are more so use your imaginations.

Euphemisms can be gentle or more direct, depending on how well you know your conversational partners and how formal is the setting. Pregnancy has always been a personal favorite recipient of round about descriptions. For example, when you are with your more proper and straight laced friends you might refer to someone's pregnancy as "being with child." Among your peers or fellow low lifes you may say "knocked up". Off the top of my head I came up with two lists. The second one is for nice people and the first is for people more like me.

A bun in the oven,
Bat in the cave,
The rabbit died
Pea in the pod
Up the spout (Brit.)
Pillow smuggling
On the nest
Harboring a fugitive
In trouble
On stork watch
Hosting a parasite
Pirate in the brig
Gut full of human
Carrying (insert name here, Joe's, e.g.) spawn

In a family way
In a delicate condition
Eating for two
Baby bump
Far along
Having a baby

Note that we can also use our WTF here, as well. How about "with two fetuses" or "way too fertile" as examples.

All that lives is born to die and while death is sometimes tragic, painful for the survivors, and sometimes a relief for suffering, it is surrounded by euphemisms. Like pregnancy there are some nice ones and a lot of coarse ones. We can count on not getting out of this world alive and at this age we may start to see the end of the road. It is a natural process not to be feared and while it is happening in horrible ways in many parts of the world I am going to look at it in a humorous way in order to keep from crying. I like to look at it like Jimmy Durante does in It's a Mad Mad Mad World.

 Or Vizzini in The Princess Bride.
You have no doubt heard  many of them, so I won't list them here, but remember it is important not to get dragged down by talk of death. And we always have WTF so we can laugh at it. Worm's Tasty Food.

There are terrific euphemisms for sex. Bisecting the triangle, checking the oil, disappointing the wife, the horizontal hokey-pokey, gland to gland combat, oscillating the unmentionables, putting ranch dressing in Hidden Valley, taking ol’ One-Eye to the optometrist, and hundreds of others. Again, we have WTF, Watering The Forest. That also works as a TLA for urinating.

The medical field has needs for both euphemisms and TLAs sometimes used in tandem. Some euphemisms are Cranial-rectal synostosis, Chronic donut toxicity, Transferring patients to the ECU (eternal care unit), Testosterone poisoning for certain trauma cases, faecal encephalopathy (shit for brains), Code Brown, Hazardous spill, harbour tour: rectal exam, BATS Fracture - Broke All To Shit,
Recreational miscalculation, PTT = pillow therapy treatment. Then the familiar TLAs such as MRI, ECG, LVA, ABG, CNS. But wait! There are actual WTFs! Somewhat obscure, but there is wall-thickening fraction and weight transferal frequency. Maybe Whirly Tingly Feelings should be one, too!

I must be getting tired. I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about any more.


  1. Hahahahaha, this post is great! After all those pregnancy euphemisms, have you ever heard anyone refer to the baby as a Fuck Trophy?

  2. These are hilarious. I learned a few new euphemisms I didn't know about before.

    I thought testosterone poisoning was slang for an obnoxious, uber-macho man. It's medical slang too?

  3. Debra, Never heard that one, but it will be in my arsenal now!

    Ahab, Yes, generally referring to stupid injuries (fights, "accidents") often in congruence with, "here, hold my beer and watch this."

  4. I have a friend who thought BTW meant "back to work." So she'd close her texts with BTW and her recipients would be left hanging. By the way ... what?

    Great post Jono.

  5. Bahahaha!!! You've accomplished something truly impressive here: You've managed to create a brand-new euphemism out of an existing TLA. 'Winching the frigate' sounds a lot like 'yanking the crank' to me... ;-)

  6. Gut full of human. Oh thank you for that.As a committed non breeder I now know exactly what to say if anyone I'm bisecting the triangle with in future begins to speak of brigging a pirate.

    As long as it isn't a Somali pirate. Because, WTF (water too far).

  7. Donna, If used incorrectly often enough a TLA can take on new meaning. Remember when gay meant happy? As a TLA I think it means Gawd Awful Yiddish to some Hasidic groups.

    Diane, I wonder if anyone has used Walking The Flank has any nautical meaning? Or Whipping The Flounder?

    Bill, I also removed myself from the population growth equation so my understanding of pregnancy and birth is limited. Living near a large body of water and having had several parrots over the years I am keenly aware of the presence of pirates. I can Whiff The Freebooter a nautical mile away.

  8. Big, big smiles.
    Such a clever post.
    Add 'up the duff' to the pregnancy list.
    And 'hiding the sausage' to another list.

  9. Jono, thank you for the laughs; I so needed this today.
    To the naughty list add: 'making a rug rat."

  10. Jono--I know one of the "Cranky Old Men" movies begins with lots of euphemisms for sex. The ones you included were all new to me.

    I'm sure "bumping uglies" is on your list already...

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Read it twice.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  12. I laughed at your last line. :) Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  13. Hahah, this post made me laugh!

  14. LOL ... you've certainly expanded my vocabulary today. I've printed this out and will no doubt refer to it often in 2016!

  15. Crikey, that was bloomin' funny! I'll have to remember some of those creative expressions and bring them out in appropriate (or inappropriate) moments and shock everyone.

  16. Elephant's Child, Glad you liked it and I will add those to the arsenal.

    Dixie, Glad I could help. Also, along the same lines, "making a yard chimp."

    Sioux, Taking one-eye to the optometrist was one I remember from those movies. There are so many ways not to say it directly. I wonder if George Carlin did a routine on it?

    Buzz, I somehow knew you might appreciate this.

    Linda, Glad you enjoyed. I hope you are having a great holiday season.

    JACKIESUE, It's the least I could do considering how much fun I have gotten from you.

    Thethoughtandlifeofme, I hope I did not pervert your English vocabulary.

    Tom, I expect you will be able to make additions throughout the new year.

  17. along with "fuck trophy", there is also "vagina turd", "crotch dropping", "howler monkey", "screaming mee mee" (one of my grandmother's sayings), "evil succubus", "spawn from hell".

  18. And they say you don't learn anything on the Internets...

    Thank you for the education. And the laughs.

    And so many options for WTF...I always thought that after a horrible Monday and a terrible Tuesday, the rest of the week is just WTF.

  19. I didn't realize there were this many ways to refer to a pregnancy, haha

  20. anne marie, Those terms take me back to my childhood memories of the colorful language of my home stompin' grounds.

    PP, Doesn't say much for the typical work week does it?

    Sharon, Almost as many ways as it takes to make a pregnancy happen in some circles.

    Agi T., FAQ (fricassee all quackers), FYI (False Yeti Intonations) which I hear in the woods regularly.

  21. Happy New year old bean , hoping 2016 will be a cracker xxxxxxx

  22. I've never been pregnant, though I've often eaten for two or more.

    Have a healthy, safe, warm and warm-loving 2016, Jono.
    I appreciate you. xo

  23. Happy New year old bean , hoping 2016 will be a cracker xxxxxxx

  24. You missed "Up a stump" but lots of new ones for me. A Russian once said that English had so many euphemisms for vomiting, he was amazed.
    Love the post.

  25. John, And a double Happy new year to you!

    Robyn, Ive never been pregnant either. That I know of.

    Blog Fodder, I'll have to make a list of vomit words. Sounds like fun!