Slate’s Euphemism Contest

Announcing the winner—and a new contest.

Click here * to play or download Slate’s latest euphemisms audio contest, featuring Atlantic Monthly language columnist Barbara Wallraff.

Back in July, we invitedSlate readers and podcast listeners to write in and suggest the best euphemisms for stupidity. Hundreds of you did, and your responses clearly demonstrated that our audience is anything but … a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

In today’s podcast (which you can also play right from your computer by clicking here), our contest curator, Barbara Wallraff, recounts many of her favorite entries. They include international euphemisms—listen for the brilliant one from Canada—and one you’ll need to write down to understand. Then Barbara crowns what she considers the very best euphemism for stupid.


At the end of the show, we throw out a new challenge. This time, Barbara is looking for the all-time best corporate euphemism. We strongly recommend you listen to the program for more details before entering, but here are the entry details:


The deadline: Aug. 31, 2006
The e-mail address: podcast@wordcourt.com
The prize: None (sorry). But winners will be noted on Barbara’s Web site, www.wordcourt.com, and she may include worthy entries in a future book (not unlike her most recent book, Word Fugitives). (By entering this contest, you grant Slatepermission to use your name unless you expressly request otherwise.)

* If clicking on the link doesn’t start the audio playing on your system, or if you prefer to download it, try right-clicking (Windows) or holding down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then “save” or “download” the audio file to your hard drive.