Example 1. Euphemisms are a common form of circumlocution. Euphemism is when someone wants to use a “nicer” term for something rude or taboo. And when that euphemism is also a long, roundabout explanation, it’s also For example, “passed on from this earth” is a euphemism and a circumlocution for “died.”
What does circumlocution mean?
Circumlocution (also called circumduction, circumvolution, periphrasis, kenning or ambage) is a phrase that circles around a specific idea with multiple words rather than directly evoking it with fewer and apter words. Most dictionaries use circumlocution to define words.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.