The Origins Behind Worldwide Euphemisms for Death

In a circumlocutive episode of the PBS series Otherwords, host Dr. Erica Brozovsky, PhD of the University of Texas at Austin analyzed the origins behind worldwide euphemisms for the concept of “Death”. Brozovsky explains how these very colorful terms and phrases help individuals address the topic in a way that will allow them to emotionally accept the scary but universal truth of life.

When discussing topics that are sensitive or taboo,people often employ euphemisms, or phrases that replace direct terms in order to spare feelings, avoid embarrassment, or even out of superstition. And when it comes to sensitive or taboo topics, nothing is as universally avoided, yet universally unavoidable, as death.

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