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#204018 - 01/03/12 04:36 PM Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me!
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Hello,

So I need help to settle something once and for all.
Over the holidays a friend and myself casually started a conversation about the meaning of Double Entendre and one of us compared it to Euphemism and so the Holiday Debate of 2011 began. It is still raging on to say the least and I find myself not wanting to give up my argument.

Here's the dealy-o, One say Double Entendre is NOT the same as Euphemism or even related to the same idea. The other says they are related and are similar if not the same.

The one claims they are similar because Euphemism is in the "see also" section of Double Entendre Wikipedia page.

Also there's this:

http://www.amazon.com/Double-Entendre-Daily-euphemistic-calendar/dp/1456551426

So if anyone is interested in shedding some light on this it would be greatly appreciated. I didn't mentioned who thought what to avoid any bias.

So Thank you in advance and can't wait to hear your answers.

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#204019 - 01/03/12 06:20 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Faldage Offline
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They're related in that they both convey some slightly taboo meaning with cleaned up language. A euphemism would be something like darn for damn or heck for hell. A double entrendre would be saying something that sounds innocent but is really meant as a sexual suggestion. There are other uses for double entendre that aren't sexual in nature. Wikipedia has a good section on Double Entendre.

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#204021 - 01/03/12 07:30 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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that's the wiki article our interlocutor calls out for the "see also" connection; but many of those connections are very, very loose, including this one. (see, e.g., coincidence, pun, spoonerism)

in answer to the question posed in the OP, I'd side with the NOT the same!

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#204023 - 01/03/12 07:36 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: tsuwm]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
In a way...I think they are opposites.

euphemism are used to replace words that might offend in some way

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#204027 - 01/03/12 10:04 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Jackie Offline

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No. No. Not the same thing at all, except very occasionally, and that's usually due to coincidence.

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#204030 - 01/04/12 12:03 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Jackie]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
So far
I count 3 against them being the same
and one non committal

(not including the original post)

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#204032 - 01/04/12 12:15 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Candy]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 832
Loc: Alaska
"It takes a lot of brass to play all those trombones in a dorm at 3:00 AM." Double entendre, no euphemism.

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#204035 - 01/04/12 01:06 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Well I appreciate all the answers, I really do. Now to sort of defend or rather explain my point. I still understand it this way: euphemism and double entendre is the action of replacing the original meaning of a phrase/word with another phrase/word. For what I gather from these answers the actual use may differ but the action of replacing words is still there.

Not to mention that the literal meaning of double entendre is "double understanding" or double meaning, which I think euphemisms qualify on this merit.

This is how I relate them to one another, is that still incorrect?

By the way thanks a bunch for your answers.

Sirs you are gentlemen and scholars. smile


Edited by AlphanumericName (01/04/12 01:08 AM)

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#204036 - 01/04/12 01:12 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Tromboniator]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
"It takes a lot of brass to play all those trombones in a dorm at 3:00 AM." Double entendre, no euphemism.


Isn't brass a euphemism for something else, such as "It takes a lot of balls..." But you replace it with 'brass' as to not offend, which is what euphemisms are.

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#204038 - 01/04/12 08:09 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlphanumericName
Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
"It takes a lot of brass to play all those trombones in a dorm at 3:00 AM." Double entendre, no euphemism.


Isn't brass a euphemism for something else, such as "It takes a lot of balls..." But you replace it with 'brass' as to not offend, which is what euphemisms are.


Balls isn't being used in a literal sense so brass isn't really being used as a euphemism for balls. Even in something like, "It takes a lot of nerve ..." nerve isn't being used in a literal sense. These are all being used metaphorically. If they had been talking about any of a number of sports games, using balls could be considered double entendre. The fact that they were talking about a brass instrument makes the use of brass the double entendre but it's not really a euphemism.

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#204039 - 01/04/12 11:38 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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any questions regarding which side of this issue AName came down on?! grin

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#204040 - 01/04/12 12:54 PM double entendres have to be a little dirty. [Re: tsuwm]
wofahulicodoc Offline
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It would be a euphenmism to call it "risque" instead of "dirty."

I use euphemism to mean an acceptable substitute for an unacceptable [pick your part of speech]. "Custodial engineer" for "janitor" springs to mind, janitor being interpretable as degrading, lower-caste, shameful, undesirable, and generally negative if you are inclined to take it so. No double-meaning there at all.

"Takes a lot of brass to play the tuba" is a pun by virtue of the tuba being made of a lot of brass, but it isn't a double-entendre since there's nothing salacious about the implied meaning. Even though it does indeed have two meanings: nerve, and metal (mettle?).

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#204042 - 01/04/12 01:33 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: tsuwm]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
any questions regarding which side of this issue AName came down on?! grin


Yeah I'm still in the camp that they are somewhat similar, I believe I mentioned it on my second post.

And I feel the longer the discussion is the less I'm grasping the specific use for each. One thing I still stand by, which was my original point, is that they both use words/phrases to mask the real words/phrases.



Edited by AlphanumericName (01/04/12 01:34 PM)

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#204043 - 01/04/12 02:31 PM Re: double entendres have to be a little dirty. [Re: wofahulicodoc]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: wofahulicodoc


"Takes a lot of brass to play the tuba" is a pun by virtue of the tuba being made of a lot of brass, but it isn't a double-entendre since there's nothing salacious about the implied meaning. Even though it does indeed have two meanings: nerve, and metal (mettle?).


The dictionaries I've looked it up in agree that the definition of double-entendre is 'a word or expression with a double meaning' adding 'especially when one is salacious or risqué.' In other words, the risqué qualification is common but not necessary.

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#204044 - 01/04/12 02:33 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
hunch

a euphmism is a word that is used as a replacement in order to soften or obscure the meaning of an ugly or unpleasant word.

A double entendre is a word that is used to transmit a veiled message. (though obvious enough to be understood)

In a way the are opposites. (I think)
One to obscure against one to reveal.

(A double entendre can go for sexual insinuations, irony, insults and maybe much more)

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#204045 - 01/04/12 05:17 PM Euphemisms again [Re: BranShea]
wofahulicodoc Offline
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Euphemism, intended to obscure:

"Young man, despair,
Likewise go to,
Yum-Yum the fair
You must not woo.
It will not do,
I'm sorry for you,
You very imperfect ablutioner!"
-- Pooh-Bah, in The Mikado, Act I

Translation: You stink! (Or at the very least -- you need a bath...)

Ernest Bramah, in his Kai Lung books, sparkles with many more of these. And he makes you think they're compliments. Until you decipher them...

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#204047 - 01/04/12 08:50 PM Re: Euphemisms again [Re: AlphanumericName]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Another question is euphemism more similar to irony than it is to double entendre? I think it is in that both involve substitution. How do they differ then? Is the substituted word/phrase in irony necessarily opposite to the real meaning; while in euphemism there is a slight extension of meaning. I think euphemism is similar to DE only in that DE is complete extension while euphemism is part substitution and part extension.
PS: is a raven like a writing desk?

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#204050 - 01/04/12 11:38 PM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
dou·ble-en·ten·dre (dbl-än-tändr, d-blä-tädr) KEY

NOUN:

A word or phrase having a double meaning, especially when the second meaning is risqué.
The use of such a word or phrase; ambiguity.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ETYMOLOGY:
Obsolete French : double, double + entendre, to mean, interpretation

AHD

eu·phe·mism (yf-mzm) KEY

NOUN:

The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: "Euphemisms such as 'slumber room' . . . abound in the funeral business" (Jessica Mitford).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ETYMOLOGY:
Greek euphmismos, from euphmizein, to use auspicious words, from euphmi, use of auspicious words : eu-, eu- + phm, speech; see bh-2 in Indo-European roots

AHD

A double entendre, most of the time, is not used as a replacement, but in and of itself. That is, the writer or speaker chose the word(s) specifically because it would have a double meaning. I finally thought of an example: a man is recounting a visit wherein a buxom woman showed him her garden, and he says, "She has great cantaloupes". Had he not wanted to make the joke he might have simply said she has a nice garden.

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#204052 - 01/05/12 01:01 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 832
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: AlphanumericName
Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
"It takes a lot of brass to play all those trombones in a dorm at 3:00 AM." Double entendre, no euphemism.


Isn't brass a euphemism for something else, such as "It takes a lot of balls..." But you replace it with 'brass' as to not offend, which is what euphemisms are.


Nope. It's brass as in brazen (made of brass), hard, resistant. Much older than "a lot of balls." It's analogy, but it isn't euphemism.

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#204054 - 01/05/12 01:20 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Tromboniator]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
Originally Posted By: AlphanumericName
Originally Posted By: Tromboniator
"It takes a lot of brass to play all those trombones in a dorm at 3:00 AM." Double entendre, no euphemism.


Isn't brass a euphemism for something else, such as "It takes a lot of balls..." But you replace it with 'brass' as to not offend, which is what euphemisms are.


Nope. It's brass as in brazen (made of brass), hard, resistant. Much older than "a lot of balls." It's analogy, but it isn't euphemism.


LoL I believe certain balls precede Brass by a long shot. -_-

Also I am floored by the quality of input from all of you, I'm glad I brought my question here. I believe I will cede my position on this matter after reading you're replies, but not entirely though.

I feel there is something in my belief which still stands true, I might not be making my point across as well as I'd like though since a few replies do sort of mention the similarity I believe exists but I believe Avy said it best

"Why is a raven like a desk?"

Why indeed... smile

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#204056 - 01/05/12 05:39 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: AlphanumericName]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
No....'thank you' AName. You generated an interesting discussion smile

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#204059 - 01/05/12 08:53 AM Re: Euphemism/Double Entendre - Help Me! [Re: Candy]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Certainly there are similarities between euphemisms and double-entendres, but there are also differences. Which way one wants to lean in terms of calling euphemisms and double-entendres alike or not is up to the individual leaner. Either to say that they identical or that they are totally different would be wrong.

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#204061 - 01/05/12 11:49 AM Speaking of... [Re: Faldage]
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4992
Loc: Worcester, MA
...Ravens and Writing-Desks and such...

It's been a subject of analysis for years. Decades, even. Almost, but not quite, centuries.

When I first heard it, it came with its own answer:
-- Q: Why is a Raven like a Writing-Desk?
-- A: The higher, the farther.
Garbage in, garbage out.

But it's been considered in depth by much cleverer minds than mine. See here for one such disquisition.

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#204062 - 01/05/12 12:20 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: wofahulicodoc]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
yes, and..
Q. What's the difference between a duck?
A. One leg is both the same.

or..
B. A red door on a motorcycle.

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#204063 - 01/05/12 01:30 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: AlphanumericName]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

In my opinion this riddle is better without an answer. I got a kick out of learning of it here. If you dismiss it as a non sequitur its funny and lends itself to finish a heated argument in a humorous way.

But after looking it up and learning the meaning its such an awesome and very deep way of making a point that I believe applies to my original post. A lot of people answer this riddle with their own opinions, of similarities between the raven and the desk. They are not wrong, but also it is not the answer to the riddle.

That's why I found it amusing how well it applies to my question. Not to mention it did make me laugh out loud when I connected the dots.

Plus I think Faldage explained my own opinion better than I did. As to the opposing opinion in my argument with my friend, he took a more extreme and firm stance implying that they are not at all the same.

I might still be wrong but I tend to understand words in a more flexible manner.

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#204064 - 01/05/12 01:49 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: AlphanumericName]
Faldage Offline
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Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: AlphanumericName
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"


There is an N in neither and a B in both.

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#204065 - 01/05/12 04:52 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Faldage]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
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"No, I give it up," Alice replied. "What's the answer?"
"I haven't the slightest idea," said the Hatter.
"Nor I," said the March Hare.

At this point I always took 'none' for an answer. Hatter and Hare's answers are the perfect anti climax.

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#204069 - 01/05/12 09:06 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: wofahulicodoc]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
When I was a child, I answered this question with 'they both begin with "R"' and imagined LC say, "Ah but they don't, you see! A writing desk has a "w" in front of it." I used to be dazzled by the ingenuity of this little escape route to what I thought was the obvious answer. All grown up now (I think), I don't answer it any more like all other questions of life.

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#204078 - 01/06/12 07:05 AM Re: Speaking of... [Re: AlphanumericName]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
I take your point, A-ZName - if I were a Filing clerk, Double-Entendre and Euphemism would be quite near each other in the filing cabinet. wink
_________________________
I'm immortal until proven otherwise

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#204081 - 01/06/12 07:29 AM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Avy]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: Avy
When I was a child, I answered this question with 'they both begin with "R"' ...


I've often said that the fourth R was Spelling.

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#204090 - 01/06/12 09:00 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Faldage]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Fourth R? First R - "r"; second r - "wr"; third r - "rh"; fourth r - "are".. ? Am I barking with my nose pointing all wrong?


Edited by Avy (01/06/12 09:41 PM)

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#204092 - 01/07/12 12:22 AM Re: Speaking of... [Re: AlphanumericName]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
Originally Posted By: AlphanumericName

......
I might still be wrong .....


And is this what you told your friend??

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#204096 - 01/07/12 05:57 AM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Avy]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: Avy
Fourth R? First R - "r"; second r - "wr"; third r - "rh"; fourth r - "are".. ? Am I barking with my nose pointing all wrong?


My point is illustrated:

Reading

Writing

Arithmetic

These are the three Rs?!

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#204102 - 01/07/12 01:44 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: AlphanumericName]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
AName, I'm with you that the two share similar functions, though in perhaps different directions.

the raven/writing desk thing is a zen koan in my mind. and a good one, too.
_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#204105 - 01/07/12 05:22 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Faldage]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: Avy
Fourth R? First R - "r"; second r - "wr"; third r - "rh"; fourth r - "are".. ? Am I barking with my nose pointing all wrong?


My point is illustrated:

Reading

Writing

Arithmetic


These are the three Rs?!




The 3 "R"s are, in fact, Reading, Riting and Reckoning (not 'Rithmetic)

[If as taught to the Mock turtle, it is Reeling and Writhing, of course]
_________________________
I'm immortal until proven otherwise

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#204107 - 01/07/12 08:09 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Rhubarb Commando]
Candy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1705
Loc: down under
Now...that makes sense Rhuby smile

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#204111 - 01/07/12 09:07 PM Re: Speaking of... [Re: Faldage]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Ahhh! Now I 'stood. (Though my attempt wasn't bad eh? It fit your fourth R is a spelling hypothesis)
Rhube - with their tails in their mouths and crumbs all over.

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#204113 - 01/07/12 09:56 PM Historical note [Re: Avy]
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4992
Loc: Worcester, MA
(if you can believe Wikipedia)

This is the song I was exposed to growing up:

Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic

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#204116 - 01/08/12 01:11 AM Re: Historical note [Re: AlphanumericName]
AlphanumericName Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 8
Just a little update.

I finally showed my friend this thread and it was amusing hearing him chuckle and fist pump every time he read a post that supported his opinion. After a bit more debating he insisted that he never said ED/Euphemisms were 'absolutely' different. It goes without saying that worked my nerve a bit because I am sure he did, otherwise I wouldn't have gone on about it this long.

But it ended up being we both think there are some similarities between the two. So there were no winners in this "battle of wits", only losers. Still I learned a lot, mainly about restraining myself from bashing some ones head in with a dictionary. Oh and the raven, that one's bound to stick in my head from now on.



Edited by AlphanumericName (01/08/12 01:13 AM)

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#204119 - 01/08/12 01:55 PM Re: Historical note [Re: AlphanumericName]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
laugh

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