Trong tiếng Anh có một số đề tài được cho là mang tính chất riêng tư, nhạy cảm hoặc bị coi là điều cấm kỵ. Bởi vậy thay vì đề cập trực tiếp đến vấn đề đó, người ta thường sử dụng uyển ngữ (cách nói tránh) hoặc cách diễn đạt hài hước để ám chỉ vấn đề đang được nói tới. xin giới thiệu một vài ví dụ về cách nói giảm nói tránh trong một số chủ đề nói:


1. To refer to death: Cái chết


  • Asleep with Jesus, bite the dust, cement shoes, bills of mortality, called home, deceased, feeling no pain, cross over to the other side, go to one’s last home, go to the last roundup, on the heavenly shores, run down the curtain, peg out, breathe one’s last, give up the ghost, sprouted wings and taking a dirt nap, pass away.
  • pass away: “Her uncle passed away last year.”
  • fight a long battle with: “He fought a long battle with cancer.”
  • meet your maker: “He’s gone to meet his maker.”
  • six feet under: “I won’t worry about money When I’m six feet under.”
  • pushing up daisies: “Last I heard about him, he’s pushing up daisies.”
  • in your / his / my box: “When I’m in my box you can argue all you like about the inheritance.”
  • snuff it: “I’ve heard that poor old Ernie has snuffed it.”
  • popped his clogs: “Harold popped his clogs last year.”
  • kick the bucket: “So Joe has finally kicked the bucket.”


2. To refer to the bathroom: Phòng vệ sinh


  • restroom: “Can I use the restroom?”
  • Where can I wash my hands?
  • public conveniences: “Are there any public conveniences nearby?”
  • ladies / gents: “The ladies and gents are down the corridor on your right.”
  • Can I use your bathroom?
  • the bog: “He’s in the bog.”
  • the smallest room of the house: “I’d like to pay a visit to the smallest room of the house.”
  • powder my nose: “Where can I powder my nose?”
  • see a man about a dog: “He’s gone to see a man about a dog.”


3. Unemployment: Thất nghiệp


  • between jobs: “Steve is between jobs at the moment.”
  • a resting actor: “Harry’s a resting actor.” (Only use for unemployed actors.)


4. Pregnancy: Mang bầu


  • in the family way: “She was in the family way, so they got married.”
  • have a bun in the oven: “Have you heard that Katy has a bun in the oven?”


5. Drunk: Say


  • tired and emotional: “The newspaper said the president was tired and emotional.”
  • have a bit too much to drink: “He had a bit too much to drink last night.”
  • to be a bit worse for wear: “He was a bit worse for wear by the time he came home.”
  • to have over-indulged: “I think he over-indulged in the free beer at the party.”


6. Lying: Nói dối


  • economical with the truth: “The boss is known for being economical with the truth.”


7. Arguments: Tranh luận


  • full and frank discussion: “The directors had a full and frank discussion in the meeting.”
  • have words with someone: “Those two have had words.”


8. Being poor: Nghèo


  • be disadvantaged: “The government is introducing new schemes to help the disadvantaged.”
  • financially embarrassed: “I’m afraid I can’t come to the restaurant with you. I’m financially embarrassed at the moment.”


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