Courtesy of the Honyaku list, a link to a wonderful collection of idiomatic expressions described as having been "selected specifically for advanced learners of the Japanese language". It wasn't the "advanced" bit which piqued my interest, it was this caveat:
Expressions with * are considered not Politically Correct. They are listed here mainly for passive recognition.
Those with ** are obsolete expressions also for passive recognition. The judgment is, however, entirely my own.
Naturally I went straight for the politically correct expressions, which on their face didn't seem terribly offensive:
- 若いつばめ (わかいつばめ) (lit. young swallow) is an old expression for a young male lover (I assume swallow refers to the avian kind).
- 藪医者 (やぶいしゃ) (li. bush doctor) is a quack
- もく拾い (もくひろい) cigarette-butt gatherer (a slight against the poor I presume)
Perhaps when I have taken the time to do some research I will discover how these expressions fell from grace.
And one of the obsolete expressions:
- 相合傘 ** あいあいがさ sharing one umbrella (between lovers)
I actually heard one day when a Japanese woman of advancing years giggled it to me as we shared an umbrella during a typhoon. For the purposes of clarification we weren't, nor did we become, lovers.