Definition of L-word in US English:



humorous, informal
  • Used in place of such words as “liberal,” “lesbian,” and “love,” in contexts where the word is regarded as having negative or taboo connotations.

    ‘liberal is still the L-word, and Mailer is nothing if not the supreme liberal’
    • ‘But when Bush used the L-word in the second presidential debate, Kerry did not defend that proud progressive tradition.’
    • ‘Commentators across the country expressed their shock and horror at hearing the L-word used in political debate.’
    • ‘But the right's attempt at making the L-word the equivalent of a swear alienated too many people and gave them a cause, martyred the numerous innocent.’
    • ‘Moreover, the issues in this campaign are different from those of 16 years ago, when the elder Bush branded Dukakis with the dreaded L-word.’
    • ‘American liberalism has transformed itself into the L-word, a curse to be avoided even by some of its foremost champions, such as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi.’
    • ‘Anyway, today Jonah wrote a great bit and managed to use the L-word without me feeling any sudden need to throw my mouse at the screen.’
    • ‘Earlier this month, Jones' campaign began running a television ad that that saddles Riordan with the L-word.’


1980s: on the pattern of F-word.