minced oath
Definition - A swear-word or swear-phrase that has been modified to make it less offensive.

Example -

(1) Saying Gosh darn it! instead of God damn it!
(2) Saying Heck's Angels instead of Hells Angels.

Etymology -
To mince something, such as meat, is to cut it up into smaller pieces so that it is more easily digested.

Oxford English Dictionary -
The term's first citation is from 1720:
"My young Master, who at first but minc'd an Oath, is taught there to mouth it gracefully, and to swear, as he reads French, Ore rotundo."
(Swift Let. Advice Yng. Poet Misc. (1722) 107)



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