Catchphrases We Say Incorrectly

August 10, 2018

© Antonio Guillem | Dreamstime

Catchphrases are as old as our language itself but many of the most commonly uttered catchphrases are completely wrong.  There are so many that linguist Geoffrey Pullum created a word to describe them, eggcorns, which describe words or phrases that are misheard and reform into a new word or phrase. So here are some of the most commonly mispronounced phrases. Can you guess which one is the mispronounced ones? 

#1: Is it "nip it in the butt?" or "nip it in the bud?"

The phrase means you are going to do something and get it over with quickly and efficiently. The phrase derives from the 'de-budding' of plants. Somewhere along the line the word 'bud' became 'butt' and entered the mainstream vocabulary, but this doesn't make sense as a sentence.

#2: Is it "hunger pains?" or "hunger pangs?"

While both of these phrases mean the same thing - the individual is experiencing tension in their lower abdomen associated with hunger - 'pangs' is the correct way to finish that sentence. A pang is a sudden sharp pain or painful emotion, making it a more targeted term for that phrase.

#3: Is it "you've got another thing coming?" or "you've got another think coming?" 

To have another think coming means 'to be greatly mistaken' and is the correct form of this sentence.

#4: Is it "scapegoat?" or "escape goat?"

When many people use this expression it turns into 'escape goat' but this is incorrect. According to Merriam Webster, the word 'scapegoat' originated with an actual goat in Jewish and Christian Scriptures that would be slaughtered to 'carry the sins of the people away with it'. 

Finally #5: Is it "for all intents and purposes?" or "for all intensive purposes?"

For all intents and purposes means in every practical sense or virtually. Many people say for all intensive purposes. Not only is it the wrong phrase, it also doesn't make grammatical sense.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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