Americans tend to use euphemisms to glaze over topics like going to the bathroom, death, pregnancy, getting fired, etc.. Using a euphemism makes people less squeamish around subjects that could be considered harsh or offensive.

I tend to communicate bluntly and have no problem saying that someone is peeing rather than "in the restroom", or someone died rather than "passed away." Some people might find it uncomfortable or off-putting, but I prefer to be a straight shooter.

A website called was curious to find out why people use euphemisms and how they feel about them, so they surveyed nearly 1,000 people from the US. Then they analyzed Google search trends for over 30 of the most searched euphemisms to learn which ones are the most confusing to Americans.

73% of people said they’d rather use a euphemism than say what they mean in a social situation.

The most common place that people use euphemisms is the workplace, while family events are a close second. Euphemisms for bodily functions (example: backed up instead of constipated) and sex (example: hanky panky) were voted the most cringy.

Some euphemisms make absolutely no sense and leave us thinking "where did that even come from?" For example, saying that something is "for the birds" if it is unimportant. What do birds have to do with it?

The site went on to explore the most confusing euphemisms by state.

The most confusing euphemism in New Hampshire is one I haven't heard anyone use in at least a decade. It's saying that someone is "indisposed" rather than in the bathroom. The definition of indisposed is "slightly unwell", so it doesn't make an ounce of sense! Just because someone is using the bathroom doesn't mean they are unwell. Things could be going just fine in there.

What are some other euphemisms you find confusing?

Check out the full survey and all of their findings here.

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