To call a spade a spade is to be very direct and to the point, even if what you say is unpleasant or impolite. In other words the exact opposite of a euphemism.
Take this quiz, which includes euphemisms old and new, and see if you can work out what they refer to.
Each group of euphemisms relates to one topic or function. See if you can identify them then check your answers.
Show answers 1-6
- 1. They are of course talking about the toilet. a) is used by women and c) usually by men
- 2. Peter is, unfortunately, dead
- 3. And so is Benjy the rabbit (bunny). He was very ill so the vet gave him an injection.
- 4. Katy is pregnant (NB some people might find a) a little vulgar)
- 5. Tom, Dick and Harry are all unemployed. 'Resting' is only used about out of work actors
- 6. Both sides are probably lying
Show answers 7-12
- 7. They had an big argument or row.
- 8. Poor
- 9. These are military terms to avoid saying 'killing' a) killed by your own side, b) accidentally killing civilians, c) a nonsense meaning to counter attack before you are attacked
- 10. Fat
- 11. Naked, nude, without clothes. Also called skinny dipping.
- 12. Stolen
Show answers 13-18
- 13. Stealing from the factory by workers
- 14. Diana has just broken up with John. Dumped him. Given him the push.
- 15. They haven't had a sexual relationship (although they sometimes get pretty close to it)
- 16. Samantha is lazy at work, and she spends a lot of her time at home on the sofa watching TV
- 17. A poor country
- 18. David is being laid off, made redundant, losing his job.
Show answers 19-24
- 19. This man is under arrest
- 20. While this one is in prison
- 21. And this one is a drug addict
- 22. Charlie came home drunk after an evening in the pub with male friends
- 23. Pornographic films
- 24. The jacket is rather old. Oxfam is a charity which sells second-hand clothes that have been donated to them.