Election Euphemisms

Plus, our sexy new contest.

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

Several weeks ago, we asked Slate readers and podcast listeners to send us their favorite election-related euphemisms. We were looking especially for the names of political advocacy groups or ballot initiatives that somehow obfuscate the real goal being pursued. Now, just in time for our latest chance to re-elect (or try quixotically to dislodge) our members of Congress, we present the results of our competition. As always, it was judged by contest curator Barbara Wallraff.


You don’t need an iPod or other portable audio device to hear the program—you can play it right from your computer by clicking here *.

The program also contains the details of our next call for euphemisms. This one is decidedly less civic-minded. We’re looking for the funniest, cleverest, most artful, and (please) the most tasteful euphemisms for … you know … a roll in the hay. The horizontal tango. That is to say, uh, sex.


As always, we strongly recommend that you listen to the program before submitting an entry. Here are the details:

The deadline: Nov. 30, 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 Slate permission to use your name, unless you expressly request otherwise.)

For comments, not contest entries, write us at podcasts@slate.com.

* 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 use the “save” or “download” command to save the audio file to your hard drive.