10 commonly misused phrases

Image: Pixabay

Let’s be honest. We all get phrases wrong some of the time. It’s easy to mis-hear something the first time, then repeat what you think you heard, forever…and ever. Think about lyrics to songs and how turned around they can get. For a long time, I thought the title of Bob Dylan’s song, “Tangled up in Blue” was “Italian Leather Shoes.” And remember the song “Blinded by the Light” by Bruce Springsteen? There’s the line that goes, “Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night” and I thought Bruce was saying, “Wrecked up like Medussa, etc.” I must have been studying mythology the first time I heard it. Thank goodness I evenutally figured that one out. I’m a Jersey Girl , you know, and that would have been bad!

So, in the spirit of having a laugh at some of the phrases we get wrong, I picked ten from several sources (listed below). The correct phrases are in parentheses.

  • To be pacific (to be specific)
  • An escape goat (a scapegoat)
  • Lack toast and tolerant (lactose intolerant)
  • For all intensive purposes (for all intents and purposes)
  • Heimlich remover (Heimlich maneuver)
  • Buy in large (by and large)
  • I could care less (I couldn’t care less)
  • Fall by the waste side (fall by the wayside)
  • Nip it in the butt (nip it in the bud)
  • Nerve wrecking (nerve wracking)

I hope you are either bemused or amused by this list. Click on the links below for more examples.


Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

36 thoughts on “10 commonly misused phrases

  1. An escape goat – Lol! Good title for a children’s book about a goat that let’s all the other animals out of their pens! He can even ride an old harley ala Steve McQueen!

  2. These ARE funny- your ‘mis-heards’ are the funniest. 😝 I always thought a ‘70s song claimed “there’s a bathroom on the right.” Years later I discovered the lyrics are “there’s a bad moon on the rise.” 🤓😜 🌙

    1. Hahahaha! That’s good, Pam – I’ve misheard more lyrics than I care to admit, but I think that’s a memory of growing up in the age we did. I don’t think music now gives the same opportunity to mis-hear things. People don’t listen to their car radios, with lots of new songs being played and with the windows down – all good ways to get the lyrics wrong. IMO. Thanks for the visit!

    1. It’s true, Diana. Some of them remind me of the old Bowery Boys movies with the malapropisms they used (I’m dating myself here, but my dad used to watch them years and years ago!) Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you’re having a good week!

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