Pardon my French!

Pardon my French!

Lesson overview

In this lesson, the student will learn what euphemisms are and how they are used in everyday communication.


Do you know what euphemisms are? Even if you haven’t heard this term before, you probably know them very well. I bet you use them in your native language and English without even realizing it. Euphemisms have a very important communication function. Let’s learn some English euphemisms and find out how they can modify our message to the world.



The lesson starts with an explanation of what tact is and discussion why tact is important. The student also gets familiar with the meaning of the word euphemism and some examples.


Euphemisms and their meanings

The student matches the underlined euphemisms with their meanings. After that, their understanding of euphemisms is checked in a sorting exercise, where they need to distinguish between euphemisms and ordinary phrases with no hidden meaning. The student puts their knowledge into practice by rewriting sentences using euphemisms they learned (e.g. gentlemen’s club, senior citizens, friends with benefits, etc.).

In another exercise, statements about euphemisms need to be marked as true or false.

Euphemisms related to bodily functions are introduced through ‘fill in the gaps’ exercise, which is followed by a matching exercise in which the student matches sex-related euphemisms to their meanings.


Video time

In this part of the lesson, a video is played about why euphemistic swear words can be dangerous. The task is to note down examples of euphemistic swear words mentioned in the video.


Death euphemisms

The student needs to decide which expressions on the list are euphemisms related to death and dying. After that, they find and correct the mistakes in sentences containing different types of euphemisms. The last exercise in this part of the lesson is guessing meanings of new euphemisms based on the context.



The lesson ends with a discussion related to the use of euphemisms in different cultures and languages.

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