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Cledonism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Cledonism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Cledonism is the use of circumlocution to avoid saying unlucky words.

Example

Actors often refer to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' as 'The Scottish Play'.

Mentioning the devil is sometimes thought to be heard by the devil, so people would talk about 'Old Nick' or 'the evil one'.

Discussion

Superstition has been about for many centuries and is still rife. One superstition is that saying certain words will bring calamity of some sort. This brings a dilemma for people who want to use the word, so they find a way to indicate to others what they mean without saying the word itself.

Cledonism is also kind of divination.

Classification: Hidden

See also

Superstition

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