Euphemisms in animal-fixed expressions in Mandarin Chinese

Ada Ya ying Yang, Shelley Ching yu Depner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate taboos and euphemisms in AFEs in Mandarin Chinese. After the analysis of AFEs in the previous chapter, this chapter discusses the self-administered Likert-type five-point scale questionnaire, which was completed by seventy-five subjects, rating the degree of offensiveness of AFE taboos. The subjects were asked to give euphemisms that replace taboos. Finally linguistic strategies underlying euphemisms are analyzed. The outcome showed that: (1) the most offensive AFEs are sex-related expressions, followed by expressions regarding occupation, appearance, ability, expletives, characteristics and eating habits; (2) youth’s innovative strategies for creating euphemisms are found, such as eschewing negative comments but stating unrelated compliments resorting to celebrities’ names to replace undesirable addressing expressions neologism, loanwords, morphological reduplication, slang, and deixis. With the realization of euphemisms, the underlying strategy for euphemism is understood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbodiment in Language (II)
Subtitle of host publicationFood, Emotion and Beyond
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811017995
ISBN (Print)9789811017971
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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