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A handy guide to euphemisms for use in the TV industry

It is often necessary to report unpalatable facts to colleagues, superiors and clients.
The direct approach has been known to cause offence.
If the right euphemism is used to convey the information,
then the recipients have time to come to terms with the full horror of the situation
while they slowly work out what exactly it is you are talking about.

This is not an exclusive list,
there are bound to be euphemisms, which we have missed.
If you have heard any good ones recently (or maybe used one yourself)
which you think should be on this page, then please e-mail them to euphemisms.control@wmvp.co.uk

General Euphemisms




Canít get a job


Canít hack it as a freelancer

Fixed term contract

Neither staff nor freelance, but taking the worst aspects of both. I.E. Low pay and no job security


No Qualifications


No experience

Young and talented

No experience or qualifications but a bit dishy

Experienced and qualified

Wants too much money

Experienced, qualified and talented

Wants far too much money

There is a training requirement

Complete idiots canít do their jobs properly

Leave your mobile on

I donít trust that you have done what you should have done.

Performance review

Not firing badly paid people who are crap at their jobs, because at least they are cheap


Firing well paid people who are good at their jobs (or not hiring them in the first place), because mindless robots are cheaper, though not necessarily any less temperamental.


Pain in the arse

Technical Euphemisms



What time did it start?
What equipment are you using?

I donít believe you

Itís fine leaving us

It must be your problem, and I donít want to help you

As I said, ďItís fine leaving usĒ

Canít you sort it out? I really donít want to get involved in your inability to pick up the feed. I suspect that your equipment is not even plugged in you moron.

Itís fine leaving us, Iíve Just checked but Iíll check again and get back to you

Hell! Iíve just realised that it was our fault after all. You will have the feed by the time I call you back.

As incoming

It might be complete trash, but itís not our fault and we canít do anything about it anyway.

ďline upĒ time

A vital piece of equipment is not working


Switch off in disgust and try again

Weíre investigating

We donít have a clue whatís going on

There should be some documentation

The people who set it all up and know how it works are no longer available, but with unlimited time, determination and genius it might be possible to work it out

We are working on the documentation

Nobody knows how this works and that knowledge will never be regained


A period of total and utter failure

All seems fine now

I havenít got a clue why it went wrong, or why it started working again but I desperately hope that it wonít go wrong again.

This needs to be looked at

Öbut not by me if I can avoid it

We need a re-feed

We messed up recording the feed and now we are in trouble

Digital error

Wrong button(s) pressed

Visible compression artefacts

Very crappy pictures

This needs ARCing

The picture is the wrong shape

No fault found

We suspect that you have reported a non-existent fault in order to deflect attention away from your ďdigital errorĒ

Air gap

A vital cable not plugged in

Production Euphemisms




Oh no, not you again..

Weíll fix it in the edit

I canít believe how badly this shoot is going.

ďÖÖ. in the second seriesĒ

The crew wish there had not even been a first one. Please sack the commissioning editor.

Daytime Programming
Specialist Digital Channel

Nobody watching, nobody cares


Avoidance of the need for creative input.


Sloppy technique.


No prospect of success

Makeover show

Wrecking perfectly good places with MDF.

Band performance

Lipsync mime to a backing track

Once again please

That take was crap, but probably as good as we are going to get. You have one chance to prove me wrong

Phone Vote
Phone Quiz
Ringtone Ad

A cynical tax on stupidity collected through your telephone bill.

Virtual Studio

No budget for a set

Quality Drama

Soap Opera

Why havenít you previewed it?

F***ing bitch! I hate you. Why donít you do your job?

F***ing bitch! F***ing bitch! I never want her on my show ever again.

Could you please remind Ms H. that before leaving she should wait for a ďclearĒ. (True story)

While the information on this page can be useful, you should remember that not all uses of the euphemistic phrases in this guide always have the meanings given Ė even when I am using them myself. This page is really just intended to be a bit of fun.

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