Euphemisms as the Means of Inferiority Category Expression in the English Language


  • Alexander Ptashkin
  • Dmitry Yakel


This article deals with the contextual analysis of the language components that express distant periphery of semantic field of inferiority category. The author states that the category of inferiority is the semantic category with complex system of language means. Such system has the core, near periphery and far periphery. The core includes the elements that are fixed in dictionaries, and are the brightest representatives of the category. Near periphery is formed by means of non-standard lexis: colloquialisms, slang words, special slang, and vulgarisms. Far periphery is presented by euphemisms. The category of inferiority is considered as the constituent of deviation category. Inferiority and Deviation are seen as the system “category-subcategory.” Deviation forms the highest level of categorization. Category of inferiority can be the basic level according to traditional scheme of mental unit structuring. The focus of this work is to present lexical units that form distant periphery of inferiority category taking into account versions of American English, British English, and Australian English. The standard classification of euphemisms, slang words, dysphemisms is taken. The author considers the term “semantic category” as an abstract concept that can “gather” mental units of the same meaning class.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n3s2p430


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How to Cite

Ptashkin, A., & Yakel, D. (2015). Euphemisms as the Means of Inferiority Category Expression in the English Language. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(3 S2), 430. Retrieved from