euphemistic way of saying "kiss"

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skypecity

Senior Member
Chinese
Is there any euphemistic way of saying "kiss" in English? I know there is nothing taboo about saying "kiss" in modern society, but in a more traditional, conservative society, people might express it in a roundabout way. Any suggestions?
 
  • skypecity

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Through the introduction of a marriage broker, Peter is getting married next week. He is worried about not being able to make the bride happy in bed, as he, growing up in a conservative village, has never touched any girl. He asks his best friend for help.

    Peter: Can I ask you a question?
    David: Sure.
    Peter: When you xxx a girl, do you close your eyes?
    David: Xxx? What do you mean?
    Peter: How can you not understand? I mean kiss. You do it every day, don't you!
    David: Why didn't you just say kiss? Why put it that way?

    In the above example (which I made up), what would you say in place of "xxx"?
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    To comply with florentia's request please make a full sentence and then we can discuss it. Since kiss is not an offensive word I think euphemism is the wrong word to use in your request a better word would be synonym. I will help you get started by giving you the word smooch, see if you can use it in a sentence and people will be able to help you with your request.
     

    skypecity

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    To MarcB:
    I've posted my example with context in the thread. My question is: if a conservative person is shy about saying kiss, is there any less direct way of saying it? Would he say, for example, "Let me ask you a question. When you smooch, do you close your eyes?" Is the word "smooch" indirect enough?
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, I posted my answer before I saw your second post. As I said kiss is a word used by everyone it is not offencive, regardless of how conservative a person might be. To answer your second question yes smooch is a synonym of kiss. You can use an online thesaurus and search synonyms of Kiss to get more possible examples.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Note that kisses are not always on the lips. A parent will kiss a child on the forehead. A friend (or even a female stranger, after a friendly conversation) may give a kiss on the cheek, to someone she would not kiss on the lips. Kisses on cheeks are common for family members, though hugs are even more common.

    In French society (both male and female), a standard greeting is a brief kiss on both cheeks. This is imitated by some American women, either as two cheek kisses or two "air kisses" that get near the cheeks without touching them.

    All of these are called "kiss" in English.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Well the way I see it is this:
    Chances of David already knowing what smooch means: 97%
    Chances of David already knowing what osculate means: 47%
    (All figures are made up.)
     

    skypecity

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, ewie. How about "plant a smacker on"? Is this phrase commonly known by native speakers of English?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    If you are after a euphemism, something that sounds somehow less shocking than "kiss", then I respectfully suggest that with "smacker" and "smooch" you are going in the wrong direction.
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    If you are after a euphemism, something that sounds somehow less shocking than "kiss", then I respectfully suggest that with "smacker" and "smooch" you are going in the wrong direction.
    Exactly! If he is too shy to say ‘kiss’, he certainly won’t say those!

    ‘Kiss’ is so benign (probably one of the first words babies learn), that I think it it really a fiction to imagine anyone being too delicate to utter it.

    If it’s specifically about kissing the lips though, he could say ‘when your lips meet’. But then it would be a fiction to have the rest of the dialogue- the friend could not possibly misunderstand that.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    :thumbsup:It's not a euphemism you need: you need a word that David doesn't know the meaning of. You could either use something like osculate, or you could make a word up, or, if you want to be humorous, you can 'repurpose' a word that Peter doesn't know the meaning of, e.g.
    Peter: Can I ask you a question?
    David: Sure.
    Peter: When you romanticize a girl, do you close your eyes?
    David: Romanticize? What do you mean?
    Peter: How can you not understand? I mean kiss. You do it every day, don't you!
    David: Why didn't you just say kiss? Why put it that way?
    :)
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I think you'd have to go further away from "kiss" than an actual euphemism, because smooch, etc., just means kiss. Back in the 50s and early 60s, physical intimacy beyond a certain point was not allowed on TV. Married couples slept in twin beds. They almost never kissed. Rob and Laura or Lucy and Ricky didn't even hold hands for the most part. But I can't think how they might have described it. Maybe:

    Peter: Can I ask you a question?
    David: Sure.
    Peter: When you snuggle with a girl, do you close your eyes?
    David: Snuggle? What do you mean?
    Peter: How can you not understand? I mean kiss. You do it every day, don't you!
    David: Why didn't you just say kiss? Why put it that way?

    Peter: When you place your lips to a girl's, do you close your eyes?
    David: Place your lips? What do you mean?
    (Borrowed from Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Stay.)
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    In the film On Golden Pond, the son of Chelsea's (Jane Fonda's) boyfriend says "suck face" but this is the opposite of a euphemism! I think "kiss" is an inoffensive term.
     
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    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Isn’t this thread heading further and further from reality? It’s plainly crazy to imagine our hermit talking about ‘bussing’. How on earth would he have got that word in his vocabulary?

    If you must pursue this bizarre exercise, then at least head in the direction suggested by ewie.

    ‘To be intimate with’ is a euphemism for intercourse. Maybe he’d try some mad variant of that? ‘Be affectionate with’?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The scenario in post #3 is ludicrous. There is no English-speaking country where somebody would say "When you xxx a girl, do you close your eyes?" where "xxx" means "kiss" but isn't "kiss".
    Isn’t this thread heading further and further from reality?
    :thumbsup:
    Or "even further from reality than it was when it began".
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    The scenario in post #3 is ludicrous. There is no English-speaking country where somebody would say "When you xxx a girl, do you close your eyes?" where "xxx" means "kiss" but isn't "kiss".
    :thumbsup:
    Or "even further from reality than it was when it began".
    Yes, perhaps we should buss (or osculate) it goodbye...
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I can assure you that "snog/snogging" would be understood by almost no American, so at least half the reading population wouldn't get it. And it seems to have a very innocent air about it. This of course is the problem with transcultural communication. There are some things that just can't be covered in a foreign language.

    "Sex is like money. Everybody wants to know how everybody else is making it."
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think this is the problem: '....but in a more traditional, conservative society, people might express it in a roundabout way'. I would say that most English-speaking countries do not have, generally speaking, a 'traditional, conservative society' so we feel no need to express kiss 'in a roundabout way'.

    To snog. Hmm. This to me has always had a slightly more 'vulgar' (and less 'noble') ring to it. At the very least it's slang.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I can assure you that "snog/snogging" would be understood by almost no American, so at least half the reading population wouldn't get it. And it seems to have a very innocent air about it.
    "Snog" is a few steps up from "kiss". It conjures up the idea of people mouth-locked at parties, or in clubs. It is humorous, and used in Harry Potter, because it is a pretty grim, unromantic, way of describing a kiss. When people are snogging they aren't holding back, they're just getting down to it, slurping and salivating! [And often they don't care who sees, like drunks and desperate people, which is why it is usually a disparaging word. e.g. "Ugh, did you see those two snogging in the car park earlier in front of everyone? They need to get a room!" :D]
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    That'd be the half that hasn't read the Harry Potter books, in which it's frequently used.
    Ow! That would leave me out. I've been meaning to give them a try now that the series is 20 years old. :oops:
    It conjures up the idea of people mouth-locked at parties
    Huh. I had only heard on As Time Goes By with Judy Dench, et al, and thought it was something tame.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is pretty tame Redwood, it's just a bit grim, and unromantic, which is why it is deliberately used for comic effect.

    In those kind of shows they will say things such as:
    A: You know Ray and I go out every weekend, have a delicious meal in a top restaurant, and end up having a wonderful time in bed. In the morning he brings me breakfast and champagne. He's so romantic.
    B: Lucky old you! I'm lucky if Bob buys me fish and chips when he's drunk before he collapses on the sofa in a drunken stupor. I don't even get a quick snog!



    ‘At that point, a dreadful memory came flashing back: I suddenly remembered how I'd been dancing with a female colleague of mine and that we'd been locked in a deep snog.’

    ‘I am familiar with the mix of Bromley lads and lasses out for a good time, having a drink or two, a boogie on the dancefloor and perhaps a sneaky snog before the semi-unconscious journey home.’

    ‘Is this the manner in which New York dating runs its doomed and futile course, once every two weeks a few Margaritas and a drunken snog in the rain before taking three subway rides home to a dark and cold apartment?’

    ‘So off we set down the beerhouse, in the name of duty, in pursuit of dirty snogs.’
    snog | Definition of snog in English by Oxford Dictionaries


    [Cross-posted with London Calling, with whom I agree.]
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    A snog need not be unromantic, but it's certainly not as tame as a "peck on the cheek" kind of kiss. If you've heard the expression "one thing leads to another", well, then snogging is the kind of thing that tends to lead to another.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The context is unclear or improbable, so it is unlikely that people can settles on an answer.
    If you want synonyms use the search box at the top of the page to look up kiss and click on: English synonyms
    (Clicking on any of the synonyms listed will leads in turn to the list of synonyms for that word, if there is one.)

    If you are unsure about the use of that word in a specific context, you are welcome to start another thread to ask about it. Please find a different context, as native speakers find the need for a euphemism for kiss implausible.

    Cagey,
    moderator

    http://www.wordreference.com/synonyms/kiss
     
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