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”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 51
    Anonymous says:

    My son always wanted cheese sandwiches with no bread too, but that meant 3 slices of cheese stacked together. My brother called pudding, “dumming” (long u) and my oldest son was always playing with my “chee kain” (keychain) and reading the “paper news” newspaper. No, he doesn’t seem to have dyslexia now? Go figure.

  2. 52
    Anonymous says:

    I was listening to Christian radio in the car this week and I heard a mother tell a story about what Christian music meant to her and she told the funniest story of her very young preschooler singing to the top of her lungs in the car. It was that song….don’t know the title of it…but includes the chorus “I will walk by faith”. And yet her young child was singing with all her heart…”I will wash my face”. I laughed so hard all the way home and now whenever I hear that song I smile and laugh!

  3. 53
    rebecca says:

    My family is full of malapropism:
    Wally world= WalMart
    lolo the door= open the door
    broccoli= trees
    anything sweet= sweeties
    I could go on and on. But my favorite was one that I said
    I live in the “high attitude”
    my husband said that’s right you do. I meant to say “high altitude”

  4. 54
    Stephanie says:

    I always would tell my two kids (who are 22 months apart) that we were not having any altercations that day… My daughter turned this into “applications” so to this day when my family talks about any kind of fussin’ going on, we say it was an application. So cute. Love the post.

  5. 55
    mamabearmk says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m only half way done and my sides hurt from laughing! My youngest has so many since she has grown up with sisters 10 years older than her, it’s hard to pick just one. But maybe one of my favorites is when she asked my husband, “Papa, will you paralyze my slide it has slug juice all over it!” Of course she meant sterilize’ it!
    May God bless you in MN! When I lived there I had t-shirt that said “Welcome to Tropical Minnesota”. I don’t know if they were being sarcastic because of the frigid winters or accurate because of the 90 degree and 90% humidity summers! And they are right about watching out for mosquitoes, they are as big as birds there :~)

  6. 56
    Sandee says:

    My toddler son’s called.


    for lipstick. :O)

  7. 57
    Sandee says:

    oh..also one son said

    Hang a berger..

    for hamburger, but far worse, the other said



  8. 58
    Anonymous says:

    Just a sampling from the things this mommy hears:

    I have a milk-stash. (milk mustache)
    Can I have sugarmen toast? (Cinnamon and sugar toast)
    Is she wearing her baby-suit? (Bathing suit)
    And my favorite… I am praying for the woops and the racks. (Troops in Iraq)

    God bless!

  9. 59
    Anonymous says:

    To the lyrics of a Crystal Lewis song “People get ready, Jesus is coming, soon we’ll be going home…” my son would sing as loud as he could, “People get ready, Jesus is coming to go to the Hot Wheel Show.”

    Now he laughs when we remind him how he thought it went.

  10. 60
    robinjonescotton says:

    My airconditioning units have broken several times this summer and i actually get a kick out of my airconditing guy. He kept telling me that it was a compensation problem that I was having , I just couldnt figure out what in the heck he meant …. finally it dawned on me , he meant condensation!!! And he confuses his customers daily :), thought about correcting him but just didnt have the heart..

  11. 61
    Lynn says:

    Here’s an interesting thing… there is actually a whole nother word for when you think song lyrics are something other than what they really are.

    It’s called “mondagreens” the word comes from a song which talked about an Earl that died and they “laid him on the green” and it was misinterpreted as “Lady Mondagreen”

    So – here’s a mondagreen for you.

    My sister thought that the country song that goes “there might be a little dust on the bottle but it don’t change what’s inside” was really saying “there might be a little dust on the Bible but it don’t change what’s inside.”

    But I know all our dear siestas Bible’s are much too used to get dusty!

    love to all
    Sister Lynn

  12. 62
    Marie says:

    I teach kindergarten. One of my little boy’s dad always told him to behave at school. One day when he did not move a crayon, he came running up to me excited- I have “been having” all day!

  13. 63
    Michele says:

    In our house we have what we call “Nanna bites,” named appropriately after my mother. Anytime she takes a bite of your food it is always a BIG bite. So whenever we taste a bite of food, if it is a big bite we say it is a “Nanna bite.” Yesterday my youngest, who is 4, had a chicken biscuit, and I asked her for a bite. After I took a bite of her biscuit she said, “Mom, you took a bananna bite.”

    Also while at the pool yesterday my friend and I were trying to get the kids out of the pool to reapply sunscreen. Her daughter said that she did not want anymore SUNSCREAM.

  14. 64
    Michele says:

    Oh I thought of another one. One year during VBS my middle daughter was memorizing John 3:16. She was 4 years old and was so proud of herself for memorizing it. She wanted to recite it to me and this is what she said (in her 4-year-old voice where she can’t pronouce her r’s or l’s), “For God so wuved the world that he forgot his son.” I then explained to her the true meaning of the verse:)

  15. 65
    Anonymous says:

    When my son was small and it was raining while I was driving he would talk about turning on the “whimper wipers”…I loved it!!!!!!Sad day when he could finally pronounce it right…LOL

    Lisa from NJ

  16. 66
    HIS Daughter says:

    My husband says our daughter had a grasp of the singular and plural as early as 2 years old.

    Meaghan would point to a particular item and say, “I want to wear that cloe today”.

    Clothes were several items (plural) and “cloe” was the singular of clothes.

    Love and prayers,

  17. 67
    Dana says:

    This is the perfect way to end this tired soul’s week! Thank you SO much!

    When I was in college, I worked ata camp where most of our kids were being introduced to Jesus for the very first time. On Thursday nights, we would reinact the crucifixion and then on Friday morning, we would do the same for the resurrection. One week, as we were finishing our dinner, a camper leaned over to her counselor and asked, “Are we about to go to the circumcision?” It took everything in us not lose it completely! By the end of the night, she knew the difference!

  18. 68
    Peggy says:

    My family is a devoted follower of Dancing With the Stars. Because my children are young, however, they do not get to stay up and watch the entire episode. Imagine how my husband and I lauged when my 3 yr. old asked if Kristy “Guchimamma” was still on the show? He meant, of course, Kristy Yamaguchi, but in our household she will forever be Kristy Guchimamma.

  19. 69
    kaleeshajo says:

    It’s funny you should post about this right now. My husband and I got into an arguement the other night because he said he was using a wheelbarrel. I told him it was a wheelbarrow. He said “who would know this better? Me or you? I’m a man. You think it was Barney Five on the Andy Griffith Show.” (Can’t argue there) I cannot tell you the sheer joy I experienced as I found the word wheelbarrel to be non-existant in the dictionary. He got an earfull – cloaked in love, of course.

  20. 70
    Corrie's Blog says:

    There is a Christian comedian who wrote a little book on this, called “Isms.” I forgot his name, sorry, but try and find it. It’s pretty funny! My little 3 year old niece calls her little swimmer/floater thing her “lifeguard” and the other day we were at Schlitterbahn in Galveston and she kept yelling out that she didn’t want to wear it (“no lifeguard!”…”where’s my lifeguard?”, etc.) and it confused the real lifeguards all day long! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. 71
    Liz says:

    When my son was about two, he would sing, “praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him above ye heaveanly hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Glow”. I still use it today, I think it’s perfect.

  22. 72
    Rachel in Louisiana says:

    My dad was getting help over the phone from his internet provider. They asked him what he saw on the screen and he said, “just a box that says low-gin.”

    The tech on the phone just rolled laughing because it was the “login” box.

  23. 73
    Anonymous says:

    When my son was very young and heard firecrackers he would say, “Who fired that cracker?”

  24. 74
    Arlet says:

    My boss was always telling me about something being a mute point – and oh, how often I wished he was!

  25. 75
    Beth says:

    When my husband was in residency, he said folks would tell others someone had Smiling Mighty Jesus for Spinal Meninigitis. Iam a nurse and had a family member tell me her husband was having trouble with his potassmia. (potassium) Me and my best friend make up words all the time. We almost need our own dictionary. Nobody know what we’re talking about.

  26. 76
    Jan says:

    It wasn’t until I was in my thirties singing Mary Had a Little Lamb to my son that I discovered I was singing the wrong words. (Hubs enjoyed it more than I did) I thought it went: Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb, its FLEAS were white as snow.
    What can I say? I grew up in the country where fleas were quite common–not fleece ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hair ya Bethie,

  27. 77
    Rockwall Siesta says:

    One more….what about “bob-wire” instead of barbed wire???

  28. 78
    Heather says:

    Oh, goodness, I already shared, but this morning my 6-year-old said two more malapropisms that I had to tell you… (You know it is really strange to feel like you have family you have never met before!)Anyhow, my daughter is a real jokester and said, “I cannot wait for Happy Fool’s Day” (April Fool’s Day). And then she was talking about how her VBS group had been invited to sing at church and she said, “Mom it will be just like a broccoli (Broadway) show”!

  29. 79
    ZionCalling says:

    These are all sooooo fun! Especially, girl cheese instead of grilled cheese! Too funny!

  30. 80
    Anonymous says:

    My son was singing a song from church, with the refrain, “the King is exalted, forever exalted, and I, I will praise Him.” However, it came out, “The King is Exhausted, forever exhausted, and I, I will praise Him.” As I laughed, I thought, ‘yep, with our family, He probably does get exhausted.
    I had to sit through a training for an entire day with a man who didn’t know the phrase “catch 22” -everytime he tried to say that phrase, he used a different number.
    I love reading these! Thanks for the laugh my siestas. I will pray for a safe and God praising weekend for LPL folks and the women that will be there. I’ll be there in Spirit and with a Godly jealousy.
    Kim in Apex, NC

  31. 81
    Anonymous says:

    I taught VBS when I was a teenager and I loved the little ones versions of their Bible memory verses:

    “Serve the Lord with Glasses”
    “Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of lice”

    also loved my girlfriend’s daughter’s version of “Praise ye the Lord”… Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah crazy the Lord.

    My own son had a great take on the Blues Clues kids show quote, “we need our handy-dandy notebook”. My son’s new and improved version, “we need our handy-dandy cheque-book”

    Thanks for all the laughs

  32. 82
    hislifeformine says:

    When my youngest was 7 or so we went out for seafood. She had never had scallops before. She had a taste and wanted another and asked for “fish lips” instead of scallops.

  33. 83
    Jeani says:

    I always say that something “overfloated” instead of overflow. Also my kids used to call the twistie ties that come with trash sacks or any kind of plastic wrap ( like bread) duty laws. I have no idea why, but it still sticks today. Their spouses go along with it now.

  34. 84
    ncmama says:

    Last night while eating nachos, my son said, “Mama, I sure love those free-fried beans!”

  35. 85
    Lisa in Ft. Worth says:

    From a former pastor: ditherence
    (not just once, but EVERY time he meant to say “difference.” He never seemed to realize the error, bless his heart. It was so hard to stay focused during the sermon!)

    From my own childhood: Napolean ice cream

    From my dad – even to this day at near 70 years of age: Wal-Mark, K-Mark

    From my son when he was a toddler: “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life’s a butter dream.”

    I’ll just have you all know… my mom can compete with the best when it comes to malapropisms! I think it’s her spiritual gift. We are consistently entertained. A few of her “classics” which no amount of reminders can correct:

    tor-til-yas (tortillas)
    quesadil-yas (quesadillas – of course, this would be her favorite thing to order at Mexican restaurants!)
    pharmacuticle companies (ouch! She used to answer the phones for a national medical organization!)
    capseals (capsules)
    guacamole (instead of avocado, as in, “Do you want guacamole slices on your sandwich?”)

    There are oh so many more, but I draw a blank at the moment. Thanks for all the laughs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. 86
    Anonymous says:

    When I was in the “juniors” (4-6 grades) Sunday School class, our teacher Mrs. Jones loved to sing “Onry Christian Soldiers.” We’d try to correct her, but she’d just smile and tell us that’s how she’d learned it!

  37. 87
    Gaila says:

    My son in law is FAMOUS for his OOPS’S:
    Top of the state for state of the art
    I have a guy who washes my back(ewww!)instead of watches my back….this was said to the leadership team at church!
    blow them out way instead of blow them out of the water
    I gotta get my shoes wet-gotta get my feet wet
    John the Baptized instead of the Baptist
    breast of the best instead of the best of the best ( to a group of teens before a baptism)

    We show him absolutely no mercy when he does this since he is the youth minister! We love him dearly for keeping a hearty laugh in our house!!

    My brother used to sing” I got a piece of plastic understanding down in my heart ” to the song I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy,Joy

    So many fun memories!

  38. 88
    Carol Davis says:

    My mom recently asked if something was cooked in ‘granola’ oil…

    And SHE is the COOK in the family….

  39. 89
    grandma24 says:

    When I was a little girl I couldn’t pronounce my “s” so my shoes and socks were referred to as hoose and hocks.
    Just returned from Minneapolis. Loved seeing Beth and Travis and the team in person. I was very blessed by the whole experience. My prayers are with you Beth, Travis and the leadership team for safe travel home. Thank you for blessing all of us this weekend. God’s presence was overwhelming.

  40. 90
    Vicky says:

    When my husband and I were dating he started going to my church. Every year in October we have “Chest of Joash” Sunday…
    The first year he was at First with us he asked me “What is Chester Drawers Day?”

  41. 91
    jane says:

    A lady at work was telling how her brother-in-law had a generic disorder…she meant genetic.

  42. 92
    Lori Chandler says:

    As a labor and delivery nurse, I hear some interesting verbage. The best malapropism is a patient who asked me for her “epidermal” to help with her “contraptions”

    Love you too, Beth!

  43. 93
    Stephani says:

    You are in good company– Gracie Allen was queen of the malapropisms as well as Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister.

  44. 94
    Kristib says:

    My Godson wanted a Playmobile toy for his birthday. He wanted the “squat team.” (Swat team)

    Felt very burdoned for you Saturday morning. Said an extra prayer.

    Much love!
    Kristi B.

  45. 95
    Jill Porvaznik says:

    my daugther told me my freckles were prinkling her one day…nice hint to shave I guess…

  46. 96
    grammy says:

    My son was carrying my little granddaughter out in the rain and she was yelling,”What about the gorilla?” He looked behind him and said, “What gorilla?” I held open the door and told him she meant the umbrella.

  47. 97
    Anonymous says:

    My friends mother was moving from Florida to Tennesssee and told her daughter that she needed to rent one of the “IPODS” to store her things in.

  48. 98
    Lynna Kay says:

    I’m not sure if this is publishable or not…but it is true.

    My 5 year old son had picked up the word “crap” from some other family members. His daddy and I had lectured him on how that was a bad word and we should not use it. A few weeks later I was talking politics with my mom and said something about “democrats”. My son over heard me and told me very matter-of-fact that “democraps” is a bad word and we are NOT supposed to use it! I could not stop laughing long enough to even try explaining the misuse of the word. So even now when he hears the news people talk about “democrats” he tells me he heard them say a bad word. Oh my. I need to try and figure out how to explain that to him.

  49. 99
    Lynna Kay says:

    My sister is now 25 but when she was little and would talk about our local hometown festival, the “Shrimp Festival” she would always say the “Shrimp Vegetable”. So now we carry on the tradition and still call it by her malapropism!

  50. 100
    Alyson says:

    When I tell my youngest to go get in her bath NOW, she says, “But Mom, it’s not loaded!” Which means we have to wait till it is totally filled before she’ll get in.

    She’s used to her older sisters waiting for our ssslllloooowww computer to load an entire video on You Tube.

    And when the older ones were small, one day they asked me for Lion Cheese. I had never heard of it! After much discussion, I discovered that it was sliced American which I always broke into strips for them: Line Cheese.

    You know, there’s Line Cheese and Hole Cheese. (Hole Cheese is Swiss.)

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: