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"He's loony!"

"No, he is not!" said Grandpa Joe.

(From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by R. Dahl)

... "What did I tell you!" — cried Grandma Georgina. "He's round the twist! He's bogged as a beetle! He's dotty as a dingbat! He's got rats in the roof!..."


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All the above examples show that euphemisms are substitutes for their synonyms. Their use and very existence are caused either by social conventions or by certain psychological factors. Most of them have stylistic connotations in their semantic structures. One can also assume that there is a special euphemistic connotation that can be singled out in the semantic structure of each such word. Let us point out, too, that euphemistic connotations in formal euphemisms are different in "flavour" from those in slang euphemistic substitutes. In the first case they are solemn and delicately evasive, and in the second rough and somewhat cynical, reflecting an attempt to laugh off an unpleasant fact.


We use the term antonyms to indicate words of the same category of parts of speech which have contrasting meanings, such as hot cold, light dark, happiness sorrow, to accept to reject, up down.

If synonyms form whole, often numerous, groups, antonyms are usually believed to appear in pairs. Yet, this is not quite true in reality. For instance, the adjective cold may be said to have warm for its second antonym, and sorrow may be very well contrasted with gaiety.

On the other hand, a polysemantic word may have an antonym (or several antonyms) for each of its mean-


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