We may enjoy freedom of speech but when dealing with certain subjects – for instance death poverty physical appearance – we are rarely free to express ourselves directly. Personal shame the frailty of those we speak to and society’s politically correct standards have all contributed to the ever-growing collection of descriptive and often hilarious expressions created to circumnavigate the unmentionable. This is a guide to the use of euphemisms and art of polite conversatiion. Over 3000 euphemisms are presented in contextual essays under such headings as funerals male genitals gambling and employment. These essays are supported by an alphabetical index for accessibility and the book is suited for either close reading or reference use. The guide also examines the origins of euphemisms and includes popular and humourous examples including houses of accomodation containing ladies of the night and the filth arresting liberators of readies .