Misunderstood expressions

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  • #1
DrClaude
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Read a post today where someone was asking for an explanation in "Lehman's terms." Oh brother! (pun intended)

Anyone have any funny misunderstood expressions to share?
 

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  • #2
Dembadon
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A friend always thought "crap-shoot" was "crab-shoot". He reasoned that trying to shoot a bunch of crabs skittering about would be difficult because they are small and agile. I laughed pretty hard.
 
  • #3
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"Pool sharp," was misheard as "pool shark" so often that the latter is now accepted as correct, and the former as a mistake.
 
  • #4
AlephZero
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As a Brit, I sometimes have trouble with American names in phone calls etc. I spent months thinking Wayne Tygert was Wayne Tiger, and Randy Seager was Randy Seagull. (And as a Brit, it doesn't seem at all impossible that an American would be called Randy Seagull...)

The worst horror story was a Texan lady called Arlene, which didn't compute even when it was spelled out several times in a Texan accent. (The nearest UK equivalent would be Eileen).
 
  • #5
Evo
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Voilà. Every day on tv I hear people saying "Wallah!". One day a member in chat said "wallah" and everyone jumped on them, they said they'd been watching a cooking show and had closed captioning on and since the tv celebrity said "wallah!", the caption said "wallah!". :frown:

It's voilà. With a "v".

@@@@@@@@@@

Au jus - "with jus (sauce, gravy, drippings)

You can serve something with jus as in "roast beef au jus".

You cannot serve someone a "with with jus" as in "Roast beef with au jus"

You cannot make a "with jus" as in "make an au jus".

But this is becoming another American bastardization, changing "au jus" from an adjective to a noun.
 
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  • #6
Nugatory
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An ex-girlfriend once asked why the software that I was hacking on at the time was called the "eunuch's colonel".
 
  • #7
WannabeNewton
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One of my friends thought "lactose intolerant" was "lactose and tolerant".
 
  • #8
phinds
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One that I've always thought hilarious was reported by writer John Irving, one of whose characters is afraid to go swimming in the ocean because he was warned about what he understood to be the giant frog that lives there. The "under toad".
 
  • #9
Evo
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"once and a while" (once in a while)

"For all intensive purposes" (For all intents and purposes)

"tow the line" it's "toe the line"

We had a mentor that would say 'treat them with "kit gloves", he meant "kid gloves"
 
  • #10
Evo
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One that I've always thought hilarious was reported by writer John Irving, one of whose characters is afraid to go swimming in the ocean because he was warned about what he understood to be the giant frog that lives there. The "under toad".
The "under toad", that's awesome!!!
 
  • #11
Drakkith
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Lol, I thought "Misunderstood expressions" meant math expressions at first.
 
  • #12
Dembadon
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Lol, I thought "Misunderstood expressions" meant math expressions at first.
A mere misunderstanding of the misunderstood expressions expression.
 
  • #13
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"Begs the question" is one I would think would bother a lot of people here. The incorrect meaning is pretty much standard now though, so I don't really mind it.

Expressions that at least one person has misunderstood:
I used to think "for which it stands" in the Pledge of Allegiance was "for witches' stands", and would picture a bunch of witches running a lemonade stand. It's not as easy as it might seem to brainwash a kid to be patriotic, I guess.

Speaking of which, I seem to remember some baseball crowds employing a common misunderstanding of the first few lines of the Star-Spangled Banner after Jose Canseco had a fly ball bounce off his huge melon of a head from whatever horse steroids he was on for a homerun. No, Jose couldn't always see so well.

I thought the doctor said I have eggs in my stomach when he told my parents I had eczema. I believe I had seen or at least heard of the famous scene in Alien by that time too.
 
  • #14
lisab
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I heard a neighbor speaking about her son, who had started to misbehave doing something (don't remember the details). She said, "Well I nipped that in the butt!"

Probably pretty effective.
 
  • #15
reenmachine
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How about the classic "I could care less" I keep reading again and again.
 
  • #16
Evo
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How about the classic "I could care less" I keep reading again and again.
That one kills me, we actually had people in another thread trying to defend it's use. :uhh:
 
  • #17
strangerep
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An ex-girlfriend once asked why the software that I was hacking on at the time was called the "eunuch's colonel".
:rofl:
 
  • #18
strangerep
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[...] afraid to go swimming in the ocean because he was warned about what he understood to be the giant frog that lives there. The "under toad".
What happens if an Under Toad encounters an escaped Pool Shark? Which one wins?
 
  • #19
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What happens if an Under Toad encounters an escaped Pool Shark? Which one wins?
The Eunuch's colonel shall decide that.
 
  • #20
DrClaude
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Au jus - "with jus (sauce, gravy, drippings)

You can serve something with jus as in "roast beef au jus".

You cannot serve someone a "with with jus" as in "Roast beef with au jus"

You cannot make a "with jus" as in "make an au jus".

But this is becoming another American bastardization, changing "au jus" from an adjective to a noun.
And why did Americans start calling main dishes entrées? Entrée means entrance, it is what you start the meal with.
 
  • #21
DrClaude
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Just saw another one on PF. Probably a typo, but funny nonetheless:

Let's stake a step back
Poor step!
 
  • #22
AlephZero
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We used to have an engineer (whose first language wasn't English) who always sad "rule of thump" for "rule of thumb".
 
  • #23
Borg
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My wife's first language isn't English and she tends to mess up prepositions and word order. She once mistook the phrase "playing hard to get" as "playing get it hard". That was a fun conversation. :tongue:
 
  • #24
Pythagorean
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"Excuse me, while I kiss this guy."
-Jimi Hendrix
 
  • #25
BobG
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How about the classic "I could care less" I keep reading again and again.
That one kills me, we actually had people in another thread trying to defend it's use. :uhh:
Does the expression "I should be so lucky!" bother you, as well?

Usually, a person is expressing the feeling that there's no way he'd ever be that lucky when they use that phrase.

Or does the expression "Cool!" bother you?

Usually, when a person uses that word to react to some interesting feat, they're obviously not referring to the temperature.
 

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