OK, this should be a fun one! I just learned a term for something I’m painfully familiar with but didn’t know what to call it. It’s “Malapropism” and I learned what it meant from a delightful little book called “Tales of a Crazy Pastor’s Wife” by Laurie Berry Clifford and Margie Berry Fogal. (Thank you for sending it, Margie! I loved the cards from the Believing God girls!!) I’ll offer their definition of it: “Malapropism (n): The unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase; the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong on the context.” They throw a couple of examples on the table like “polo bears” and “neon (aka: nylon) stockings.” One of the authors identifies herself as an avid malapropist and explains that, when she was a child, she used “underpass” for “underpants.” Killed me. I know we have some malapropists out there (or KNOW SOME!) and I’m dying to hear from you. Keep it short so we can read them all and CLEAN. Let’s hear it, Siestas!

Heading out first thing in the morning to Minneapolis where I’ll meet up with Trav and the team for a Living Proof Live event. Please pray for the Spirit of Christ to fall in great affection and great anointing. I can’t wait to see you Minnesota girls! And I was devastated to hear that it is humid there, too. I had such HIGH (no pun intended) hopes. No matter. I’m heading north anyway. Hair today. There tomorrow.

I love all you guys so much.


201 Responses to “Malapropisms”

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  1. 1
    Becky from GA says:

    When we were little, my brother called egg custard, “egg customer”!!

  2. 2
    Sue says:

    I have been saying mayn’t, you know the conjunction of may not. “You mayn’t do that”. My kids howl when I try that one and here I thought everyone said it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oops.

  3. 3
    Pam B from SC says:

    I love this! This is right up my neck of the woods! So much fun reading the posts!

    I’ve always loved chocolate ice cream…chocolate anything. I didn’t understand why everyone thought that it was funny when I pronounced the word until a good friend laughed at me, then diagnosed the problem. I was transposing the “C” and the “T” and using two syllables. It sounded like this- “chotlick.” I still use only two syllables but have my “c” and “t” in the right places.

    Our family still calls Wal-Mart the name our little toddler used when he wanted to go to “Wom-Part.”

    Being from the deep south, I could go on and on. But, as my mother used to say, “It would be an unusually thing to do.”

    Love you, siestas!

  4. 4
    GodslittleMimi says:

    My 8 year old daughter Zion has been calling breakfast “breathkissed” since she was 2 years. And Malapropism must be contagious because now her little brother Samuel calls it “Breathkissed” too. And the Cedar Chest is the “Chester Chest!”
    The front room is the “front poomp”
    All contagious!!!

  5. 5
    The Robbins' says:

    Hubby once told me not to touch the escalator rail because I might get “fetus” on my hands! I laughed so hard. Bless him, he does this all the time.

  6. 6
    Yolanda says:

    My niece calls me Uncle Londa. (I LOVE IT!)

    She calls little Debbie Snack cakes, Cake cake.

    My Dad says cazette for casette.

    My Sister of my heart…her little boy calls me Yonda and my husband, Bill Kansas.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    When my nephew was in kindergarten, he was studying panda bears. One day he came home and said he learned what panda bears eat: baboon (meaning bamboo).

  8. 8
    Sheryl says:

    This is probably not truly a malapropism but it is a great example of how the meaning of words change from generation to generation.

    I have changed the names to protect the innocent:

    My daughter was running toward the ball field when my mother yelled to her from the car, “Oh, Kim, I found your thongs!!” (um, mom they are called flip-flops)

    You can imagine my daughter JUST died and chose to keep running.

  9. 9
    Heather says:

    My kindergartener (Lauren) is obsessed with “chapsmick and lipsauce.” “Mommy, do you have any chapsmick?” “Daddy, do you like my lipsauce?”

  10. 10
    Montana Siesta says:

    My daughter has always had some good ones. Just yesterday she called to tell me a friend was in the hospital on death row. I said don’t you mean on his death bed.
    Her son says let’s just be lax for let’s relax. Love reading these!

  11. 11
    Christie says:

    Two of my girls say heartbeep instead of heartbeat…the other day my four year old told her daddy, ‘Too much salt will make your heart stop beeping!’

    Can’t wait for San Antonio!

  12. 12
    Melanie says:

    When my daughter was in first grade she listened with great interest as beauty pageant contestants presented their various platforms. As we were driving in the car she told us in all seriousness, “If I’m ever in a beauty pageant I would work to help the homely.” Further questioning revealed that she really meant the homeless.

  13. 13
    zoom says:

    Ya’ll this is so funny. My best friend’s mom ” B” was the queen of malaprops.

    Colorado was prounced COD-O-rado and salmon was pronounced with the “L”. Gazebo was Gazebra.

    But the best ever was when she got mixed up about my friend’s employment. My friend sells security bonds.

    My friend went home for a visit and quickly realized that most people in our home town thought she was a bail bondsmen.

  14. 14
    kctibs says:

    For as long as I can remember my mom has called the timer on the stove a buzzard instead of a buzzer.

    Now I catch both myself and my sister using the same term.

    Kelli in Colorado

  15. 15
    Out here in HI says:

    Whenever my son thinks he has had some sort of trauma to his body he always says drama. “I have drama to my chest.” It’s so funny because he is literally full of drama.

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    My daughter would tell her brother that something was “off lemons” it took me awhile to figure out she meant “off limiteds”
    Liz H

  17. 17
    Merci says:

    My favorite is one my husband said before Starbucks was all the rage -it was his first visit to a fancy-pants coffee house and I asked him to go inside and order me a mocha latte. He came out and told me the guy at the counter was still laughing after telling him they didn’t serve polka lattes.

  18. 18
    iteachpe says:

    I have lived in Georgia my whole life and grew up watching the Atlanta Braves. When I was little and heard them sing the National Anthem, the last line says “home of the brave.” I thought they were talking about the Braves. I am not telling how old I was until I realized it wasn’t the Atlanta Braves they were singing about!!!

  19. 19
    Tater and Tot says:

    Oh what fun, what fun!
    fried Oprah – fried okra
    baby soup – bathing suit
    tennis shoes – tissues
    rot poast – pot roast
    nak-yum – napkin

    And last but not least:

    My oldest girls would tell everyone that I was feeding their baby sister “breath” milk!!

  20. 20
    Gretchen says:

    My 3 year old came in from outside with a scrape on his knee. He asked for “super bionic” cream instead of anti-biotic cream. So cute!

  21. 21
    Kathie says:

    One day in adult sunday school a man who totally enjoys getting jokes over on others was teaching.

    He announced to the class as he was reading that a man fell “prostate” on the ground!

    I was sitting in the front row and felt led to ask, “Doug, don’t you mean prostrate?” He turned bright red and the whole class went to pieces.

  22. 22
    Cabana Maam says:

    Surely country music fans remember Garth Brooks’ song, “The River”.

    The third verse goes like this, “There’s bound to be rough waters, and I know I’ll take some falls. But with the good Lord as my captain, I can make it through them all.”

    But instead of “make it through them all,” my friend’s little brother would sing “make it through the mall.”

  23. 23
    georgia tarheel says:

    My two year old at the beach told us to turn down the water because it was “louding”.


  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    The spellcheck on my boss’s performance appraisal software “helped” him to comment that I had been on extended “maturity” leave after my daughter was born. We both laughed when I pointed it out to him. I think it is still in my employee file. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. 25
    grayse says:

    I had a 2nd grade Sunday school class and was trying to simplify the concept of Jesus coming again. I was reading the verse where is says “and all the believers will be caught up to meet Him in the air”, but I messed up pronouncing the word believers and the kids thought I said “beavers”…So when their parents came to pick them up after church, they kept telling them: “when Jesus comes back in the air, He’s coming to get all the beavers”…

    I’m go glad that really Jesus is coming for those who believe…not that I have anything against beavers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. 26
    wander says:

    Oh these are precious!

    My sweet children have cracked me up over the years.
    Our son, Gavin, when he was little (he’s a Sr. in high school now) used to sing the Barney theme song like this….”I yuv you, you yuv me, we’re a happy fameeeyaaah!”
    Our daughter Ally used to say beskeddy for spagetti and bemember for remember.
    Our youngest, Gates asked me when we were moving from Florida to Kentucky for seminary…”Mama, when we’s move to Tatucky are we’s gonna see snow?
    Poor little country bumpkin child!
    Yes, we did see snow in Tatucky!
    They grow up so fast…..

  27. 27
    Vicki says:

    My sister, as a little girl, thought Pepe Le Pew was a “stunk”. (she just couldn’t pronounce it right). It’s fitting, though, right?

    And since some are writing in with just funny ways we butcher the English language, I HAVE to add this one. Our pastor ALWAYS says “lintage” in place of “lineage”. Yep, as in,
    “Christ’s lintage included King David as well as Rahab…” Much as I’ve tried, I cannot seem to make the two connect in meaning! Unless… nope, that’s a bit of a stretch…

  28. 28
    a cowgirl at heart says:

    Doesn’t this always seem to happen with song lyrics? Here’s an example from just about a year ago. You know the Norah Jones song, “Cold, Cold Heart.” Well, the lyrics go like this, “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?” So, we’re driving down the road listening to this on the iPod FM transmitter, and I turn to my husband and ask, “Baby, what’s Dafomide?” He replied, “huh?” I said, you know, in the song…”Why can’t I be your dafomide, and melt your cold, cold heart.” He nearly died laughing! I said very innocently, “what, is it like hair stuff from the old days, like dapper dan stuff?” He couldn’t stop laughing and TO THIS DAY, he sings the lyrics my way!

  29. 29
    mom0ktdid says:

    My son, tonight, was asking if he was still going to get to go to the “chickens museum” with us tomorrow. (long story about him being in trouble) Anyway, I told him, “yes, we are still going to the Children’s Museum!”

  30. 30
    vonda says:

    my sweet grandmama always called a cellular phone a secular phone. She never could say it right, even when we tried to sound it out for her!

  31. 31
    joyful heart says:

    Hysterical girls!! Just today my six year old was chiding himself for asking a silly question (his estimation) and he shook his head and said “Comic Sense, Derek, Comic Sense” Translation: Common sense…you can just guess however, how very comical it was to me!! Love you all with love in Jesus, Kim in PA

  32. 32
    Vicki says:

    Oh my gosh, I have tears running down my cheeks from reading the comment from Jill, about the “prophylactics”. (July 17, 2008 6:46 PM ) Thanks, I needed a good belly laugh! Precious!

  33. 33
    Daughter of the King says:

    My grandmother corrected my granddaddy one time when he was pronouncing patio as payshow. He said, “Well, it’s spelled just like ratio.”

  34. 34
    Abby says:

    i think i posted this back when this blog was just a baby and still being called a “blob” by some of your co-workers, but it still makes me laugh.

    my brother and i are all the time trying to teach my mom slang words and keep her “in the know” (mainly because it’s fun when she tries to use them in every day language and completely out of context)…but one christmas my dad had saved up and bought her a really nice ring. she excitedly put it on and proudly exclaimed, “hey ya’ll, look at my BLIGGGGG”. to which my brother replied (between laughs with his head to the floor…) “mom, it’s BLING.”

  35. 35
    Robin says:

    My nephew had a toy that uses batteries and as it started losing power, it made this really screechy noise. Aaron came up to my sister and said, “Mom, my toy is making a very ignoring noise.” (instead of annoying)

  36. 36
    Phyllis R. says:

    One day my sweet mom was marvelling at how fast the grandkids could do all that “tex-mexing” on the cell phones.

  37. 37
    Pam B from SC says:

    I was reading Lavonda’s post about her son getting the words “check” and “ticket” confused. I gotta share this one-

    When our son was around the same age, he would always say “Gimme a grip!” and other times “Get a break!” He had the hardest time getting them straight. Esp. when we starting copying him!

    I think this may be the largest response yet- great idea, Siesta Beth!

  38. 38
    Phyllis R. says:

    The song “I Am a Friend of God’s” has this verse: “I am a friend of God’s, He calls me friend.” My pal’s five-year-old daughter thinks it goes, “I am a friend of God’s, He calls me FRED”! : )

  39. 39
    Tim, Rachel & kids says:

    One day I said to my husband “what’s good for the goose is good for the gambler!!”

    I really thought that is how it went!!

  40. 40
    Tim, Rachel & kids says:

    I keep reading these stories and end up remembering more of my own….

    When my oldest daughter was about 4 we used to sing a song at church that went like this “I am a friend of God” She sang “I am afraid of God!” It still cracks us up every time we here that song!

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    My son used to love “Fruit Roll-ups” – the fruit snack for kids. During his potty training years he would call them “Fruit Pull-ups” And my daughter used to say “crunches” for “Crutches”. She also ask me one time why her granny was “cracking up”. She was referring to the wrinkles around her eyes.

    Love you much, Beth

  42. 42
    Phyllis R. says:

    My Grandmother excitedly told me, “I’m knitting you a beautiful African for your wedding!”

    She meant “Afghan”- as in wool blanket!

  43. 43
    Anonymous says:

    These are so funny!!! I could write a book on my children, myself (shhh) and my family. Okay, I call celery stocks of celery so I don’t know what the prob is there (he he) and my mother-in-law is the absolute best! She does say “chester drawers” and I know these are just sayings, but she always says she has “fifty-eleven” things to do. One time my son was sick and she wanted to know how many times he had “voided” and I was like “what?” Well, like I said, I have a ton, but this is so much fun to read. Y’all I am in the middle of a move right here in Texas, and I don’t have much time but I need a good laugh and I have had a few on here lately.Oh, y’all will know my house if you ever pass it, my hubby just bought the most obnoxious WV flag to be seen. Our relatives are even trying to talk him out of it and I told them they could see it from WV. So, if you see it, just stop on by for a visit! Thanks sistahs!!!!

    Barbara from WV

  44. 44
    kellyr says:

    A catholic writer confessed his childhood confusion reciting the hail mary prayer. …blessed are you amongst women
    became blessed are you a monk swimming

  45. 45
    jill says:

    Our 12 year old son is in the school choir and after their Spring Program this year our 6 year old son said “I liked the song about the cherry gold!” When we asked him what he meant, he sang “Joshua fought the battle of cherry gold, cherry gold, cherry gold…” (should have been “Jericho”). So cute!

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    This is way to much fun reading these. If you ask my 2 year old daughter what daddy does at work she replies “He drinks foffee” (coffee) I hope she never stops saying that word.

    Other favorites: doidle for turtle, wooksie for woopsie, piguck for piglet

    God Bless you all, Kjersten Gore

  47. 47
    all4boys says:

    oh, my, I have laughed until I cried! I loved whoever said her friend thought the hymn said, 0 Kinky Turtle (Oh King Eternal)! I cried, literally. And wheel barrel? I really thought that was what it was called, not a wheelbarrow. Oops. =)

    Our old choir director’s son thought at the end of I Am A Friend Of God, that the lyrics said, “He calls me Fred”, instead of He calls me friend. Funny. Love you all siestas, and Beth, I’m praying for God’s anointing to fall all over that place this weekend. Can’t wait until our simulcast at my church here in Memphis Aug. 1 and 2!! God bless!

  48. 48
    GrandCanyonMom says:

    When I was a little girl in Sunday school I was learning about iniquities (fancy word for sin) and I remember asking my teacher why we would want to gain iniquities at the bank. (apparently I confused it with equity)

    I don’t know if this counts, but it drives me CRAZY when someone says “fLustrated” or “fUstrated” instead of “fRustrated”.

    So fun!
    Jaime Kesler
    Grand Canyon Mom

  49. 49
    sister sheri says:

    My precious mother-in-law exclaimed…

    “I’m perished!”

    When I realized that she wanted a glass of water, I wasn’t sure whether to point out that she was “parched” and, thankfully, not dead!

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness!!! These are so funny, I just had to comment again. I have been on this blog since it started, but these past few weeks, I have been able to get on it more than ever.

    Okay, Perky’s comment was way too funny. If I were sitting with you, I would most likely say “okay, let’s hear it.” Oh and the one about the “cash change” made me laugh out loud too. Several have.

    My son always loved lady bugs and he always called them “wiggy bugs.” It broke my heart when he stopped. My daughter (she is turning 13 tomorrow) still has many…too many to name and she is super-smart. Also, when I was in college, I was in the northern part of the state and I befriended a lot of girls from the north and that was the first time in my life I heard the word “yins” (sp?). I thought “what on earth did she just say, what in the world does that mean?” I felt pretty stupid after the fact, but I guess we can be pretty isolated to the area we grow-up in.

    Barbara from WV

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