Aesopian Language

“Aesopian Language Political double-talk or euphemism that has a special meaning to its advocates or initiates; a vocabulary of stock phrases, code words, and value judgments; dissembling or propagandistic jargon (from the early language of fables, in which chiefly slaves were conversant).”

“Soviet writers occasionally use Aesopian language, as writers did under the Czar, to convey hidden thoughts in disguise. Defenders of the regime, while attacking those writers for the use of Aesopian language, are now couching their attacks in Aesopian language.” Leon Lipson, quite in Israel Shenker, Words and Their Masters.

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

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