Dysphemism is originated from the Greek word dys, means “miss,” or “none,” and pheme, because of this “reputation,” or “speech.” It is a determine of speech this is described as using disparaging or offensive expressions instead of inoffensive ones. Dysphemism is the usage of poor expressions in place of wonderful ones. A speaker makes use of them to humiliate or degrade the disapproved individual or person. Dysphemism examples can be classified in accordance to the subsequent types.
Types of Dysphemism
Synecdoche – It is used to describe something as a whole like, “she is a prick.”
Dysphemistic Epithets – The use of animal names, such as “pig,” “bitch,” “rat,” “dog,” or “snake.”
Euphemistic Dysphemism – This is while a gentle expression is used with out offending.
Dysphemistic Euphemism – It is used as a mockery among close pals with none animosity.
“-ist” Dysphemism – Targeted at a selected ethnicity.
Homosexual Dysphemism – These phrases are used regarding homosexuality like, “gay,” “faggot,” and “queer.”
Name Dysphemism – It is used while someone is referred to as by means of his name, in place of by using the usage of his proper title, such as “How are you Bill?” (Instead of “Uncle Bill”).
Non–verbal Dysphemism – It is used while offending someone with gestures.
Cross–cultural Dysphemism – Different slang terms are used as dysphemistic in one culture; on the other hand, they could have a completely exceptional meaning in different cultures. For instance, “fag” is a slur used for gay man in American English, whereas, in British English it used for a cigarette.
Opposite to Euphemism
Euphemism is a moderate and advantageous expression used to update an unsightly or bad one. Whereas dysphemism is the opposite of euphemism; it is the replacement of a wonderful or impartial expression with an unpleasant or negative one.
Examples of Dysphemism in Literature
Example #1: The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (By James Joyce)
“Let him bear in mind too, cried Mr. Casey to her from throughout the table, the language with which the clergymen and the priests’ pawns broke Parnell’s heart and hounded him into his grave. Let him do not forget that too when he grows up.
“— Sons of bitches! Cried Mr.Daedalus. When he became down they turned on him to betray him and rend him like rats in a sewer. Low–lived dogs! And they look it! By Christ, they look it! They behaved rightly, cried Dante. They obeyed their bishops and their priests. Honour to them!”
In this excerpt, Mr. Daedalus uses very harsh words to be able to express his anger. Though he should have used much less offensive words, Joyce has hired the dysphemistic technique. These humiliating expressions are proven in bold.
Example #2: Hamlet (By William Shakespeare)
“Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh might melt,
Thaw, and solve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon ‘gainst self–slaughter! O God, God…
Fie on’t, ah fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed…
So super a king, that became to this
Hyperion to a satyr…”
Hamlet feels despondency about his mother’s 2d marriage to his uncle. Hence, he makes use of harsh language to nation that his flesh could have melted away, or that God has now not forbidden suicide, and “fie on’t” means “damn it.” His father is sort of a god (Hyperion), and his uncle is sort of a beast (satyr).
Example #3: The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (By James Joyce)
“Whatever else is uncertain on this stinking dunghill of a international a mother’s love is now not…”
Stephen Daedalus, on this excerpt, uses a harsh and disparaging term for a international this is a “stinking dunghill,” while evaluating it to a mother’s love that is contrary to that, being pure and free of such negativities of the international.
Example #4: Othello (By William Shakespeare)
“By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in ‘s hand.
O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart…”
“Alas, he is betrayed and I undone.”
“Out, strumpet! Weep’st thou for him to my face?”
Here, Shakespeare makes use of the first form of dysphemism, that is Synecdoche, which means that he describes the individual of Desdemona as a sinful person by using calling her a “perjured woman,” and a “strumpet,” which is an offensive word meaning “whore.”
Function of Dysphemism
Dysphemism is used as a tool for degradation, minimization, or humiliation of people who are disapproved of or condemned. When a speaker makes use of this technique, he uses marked form directed towards a collection or the listeners. The reason is to specific anger or social distance from a selected group. It is frequently employed in literary texts, political speeches, and colloquial expressions. Sometimes, dysphemism will be the end result of hatred and fear, although disapproval and contempt may additionally motivate dysphemism to be used.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw