The Awareness of Euphemism by Kuwaiti Speakers of Arabic

Abdullah M. Alotaibi

Abstract


This study measures the awareness of euphemism by Kuwaiti native speakers of Arabic. The study also examines whether the participants' age and educational level play a role in their comprehension of euphemisms used in everyday life conversations. Hence, eight taboo words were chosen from two areas, namely, courtesy and physical appearance and were incorporated into fully contextualised sentences. These sentences used were adapted from different academic websites on Google to suit the participants’ own dialect. For the purpose of the study, the participants were asked to rate the suitability of the words in context on a 5-point Likert scale. The results revealed that Kuwaiti native speakers of Arabic generally have adequate awareness of euphemism. Also, the two variables, namely, age and educational level, play a crucial role in their use of euphemism. The results showed that the educated participants i.e. holders of a university degree avoid using offensive words and consider them unsuitable. Furthermore, the participants whose ages were between (50-65) performed better than those whose ages ranged between (25-40) in terms of rating the suitability of taboo words, expressing that taboo words should not be used. The study concluded with pedagogical implications and recommendations for further research.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v7i1.6428

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