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John T. Reed’s dysphemism list

Posted by John T. Reed on

Below are often-used dysphemisms and their translations to plain non-spin English. Dysphemisms are intellectually-dishonest debate tactics. I have a list of other varieties of those tactics at

I hope readers will suggest additional dysphemisms that I have overlooked. Some dysphemism lists include slurs like the N=word. No one needs an article by me to recognize a slur.

One reader told me about a similar list created by Dr. Thomas Sowell. It is titled:  

An English primer. (a glossary translating political rhetoric into plain English) by Thomas Sowell

 Dysphemism plain, non-spin, English translation
bitch female who is not liked by the person using the word
black ops secret government operations
bully official who refuses to comply with the demands of an enemy
cut in DC, a cut is not increasing spending at least as much as it was increased last yer
collusion secret agreement or cooperation
dark the user of the word does not like the person described
denier attempt to claim that disagreement on the subject of the debate is not allowed here in the Land of the Free; stems from the legitimate phrase “Holocaust denier” but dishonest when applied to issues like the accuracy of climate computer models
dividing us espousing a policy that the speaker opposes
dog whistle word or phrase that could be construed as politically incorrect if you really stretch
exploit employ someone or make use of natural resource
extremist someone who believes something too much
gouging selling to the highest bidder
hard-core an adjective that means extreme which implies extremist and that is another dysphemism; It means you believe something too much. Who gets to decide how much is too much?
negative anything that criticizes the speaker
hate speech speech that is hated by the speaker
obstinate firm, has the strength of his convictions
operative employee
profiteering making a profit
slush fund

bank account or store of cash that may be drawn upon for various purposes

trickle-down economics the belief that increased business profits increase opportunities and real wages of prospective and current business employees
white nationalist Caucasian who favors tighter immigration rules and/or decreased trade deficits 
word’s out, the no meaning; just a false claim that something is widely said by unidentified, uncounted  people

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