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. 101
    Kristin says:

    While watching my husband put on deoderant the other morning, my preschool aged son asked his daddy what he was putting on his “fur.”

  2. 102
    Regina Gibson says:

    I hope Minnesota got a full measure of God’s Spirit poured out all over them. Some of us Nashville girls were lifting y’all up. Much love.

    In Christ,
    Regina Gibson

  3. 103
    Kassy says:

    Beth–I just returned from Minneapolis. So, so, so blessed. Thank you. I’ve been reading the blog for several months but never posted.
    Anywho–ya’know Neil Diamond’s song, “Forever in Blue Jeans”. Until about 2 years ago, I always sang, “Reverend in Blue Jeans.” heehee.

  4. 104
    Missy says:

    skating ring-skating rink
    Harold, an angel- “Hark the Harold angel sang”
    “Point the way back to Jamaicca”-“Point the way back to the Maker”

    These have been so much fun! Maybe another “BOOK” is in the makings! 🙂

  5. 105
    Lisa in Ft. Worth says:

    Another favorite from my son —

    He once explained to me that raccoons are able to wash their food and grasp things as they do because they have disposable thumbs.

    At the wise old age of 10, he now knows it’s “opposable,” but we find the original imagery extremely amusing. 🙂

  6. 106
    cindy<3's being His princess says:

    So many to share, so little space. My oldest always combined eyebrows and umbrellas – "eyebrellas" & she always combined instructions and directions – "indirections." Don't know if this fits exactly with the definition, but it is one of the funniest stories ever and involves both my late mother and my late brother. One of us kids were sick and my mother couldn't go to the store so she sent my brother to the corner store (simpler and safer times!). He was probably 10 or 11 at the time. He was supposed to get Kleenex and Kotex – my mom said you didn't have 1,000 choices back then. Anyway she got kleenex – and get this…THUMB TACKS!!!! Use your imagination and just enjoy the giggle!!!

  7. 107
    Connie says:

    My three year old daughter always gets excited when we are going to the “hairport” to go on a “hairplane.”

    We love to hear her say it…always brings a smile…and will be sad when she learns it’s actually an airplane at the airport.

  8. 108
    taani says:

    I’ve so enjoyed reading these!! I’ve tried to post twice, but haven’t seen anything. I thought they were okay, so sorry if they were inappropriate. Here’s another try…

    Not sure where this came from, my daughter was about 2 1/2 when one day when she blurted out:

    “Mommy, I’ve got tangles in my panties!”

    It took me a minute to figure out that she meant she had a wedgie. Shortly after that, we were at the beach and she (loudly) announced:

    “Mommy look, she’s got tangle panties on!!” I was so embarrassed; I wanted to crawl under my towel!

    From that point on, thongs have always been referred to as “tangle panties.”

  9. 109
    Sarah Dixon says:

    In Australia, we have a brand called Maxwell and Williams (they sell dinnersets and other cookware). A little old Italian lady came into work one day and asked me for some “really nice quality Robin Williams plates”!

    I almost dies trying not to laugh but she was so sweet so I just pointed her in the right direction!

  10. 110
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Oh, my husband says stuff like that all the time, and it’s big words too, he’s just not quite sure of the meaning. He’s cute though, I just smile and correct him and we both giggle:) We’re silly.

    Yay! Minneapolis! Prayed for you all:) I’m sure God did something amazing!:) Holy Spirit anointing all over you and the crew and the women there!:) You crack me up with the hair jokes:)

    Love you too Spiritual Mom Beth:)

    Psalm 75:1 (AMP)
    “WE GIVE praise and thanks to You, O God, we praise and give thanks; Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehearse Your wonders.”

  11. 111
    tanee142 says:

    One day my husband was complaining that his legs looked like “chicken legs” and thinking I would encourage him, I said, “Oh honey, you have well deformed legs.” Of course I meant “defined”! We laughed our heads off!

    One more…my family occasionally visits people in nursing homes just to cheer them up…one day my daughter asked “When are we going back to the nursery home?” We laughed and thought you could call it that, too. 🙂

    Love you lots, Beth!


  12. 112
    Sarah says:

    I LOVE this post! You ladies crack me up :). My 91 year old grandpa has many of these he uses one being “pezah” for pizza. We’ve all just started calling it peza around him now :).
    I work as a nurse in a pediatric hospital and recently had a mouth slip where I told a mom of a three year old that I had some xanax (used for anxiety) to give her daughter instead of zantac (to prevent stomach ulcers). The mom thankfully had a sense of humor about the “malapropism” and said she personally would gladly take some xanax :).

  13. 113
    cheryl says:

    These are so funny! I had to stay home this morning from church because of an ear infection and Ive just loved reading these!

    Many years ago my family an I were about to move to Mobile Alabama from Ft. Worth. My daughters kindergarten teacher was from there and was trying to tell me where we should go to church. She kept saying “caught a chill” I had her repeat it many times and even asked her to say it slowly for me. Caugh-t-a-chill Baptist Church. Finally I had her spell it. Cottage Hill Baptist Church. I laughed so hard!!! Unfortunatly she didnt think it was so funny.

  14. 114
    Anonymous says:

    Okay, we were camping this weekend and my boys and I were walking through the woods and looking up at very tall Ponderosa Pine trees, my ten year old said, “aren’t the trees mind-bottling?” (boggling)

  15. 115
    Sara says:

    Oh…I’m a nurse anesthetist and have heard all sorts of things at the hospital. I had one patient tell me she had “very close veins” instead of varicosed veins. I have heard “smiling mighty Jesus” for spinal meningitis. One man was “spitting up flames” instead of spitting up phlegm. One gentleman told me he had a massive internal fart instead of a myocardial infarction. I guess it’s easy to get medical terms confused. I do so enjoy this blog!

  16. 116
    Angie H says:

    I have a home daycare and 3 daughters so I hear a lot of them! Here are a few of my favorites!

    Hampster = (clothes) hamper

    Wart-tester sauce = Worcestershire sauce

    Fried Oprah = Fried okra (no one was injured in the making of this dish! :o) )

    My youngest daughter was sick a lot and always wanted me to sing her what she called her presents song! You know the hymn Holy Ground? The words say, “we are standing in His presence on Holy Ground.”

    Love you ladies and this blog! Beth, even though you don’t know me, you truly are a best friend! Love ya!

  17. 117
    Kristin says:

    When my young daughter was learning to sing the Christmas song, Angels We Have Heard on High in our church cherub choir, she would sing the line “Gloria in excelsis deo” as “Gloria in egg-shells deo.”

    Also, in her cute way, Cinderella was said as “Cinder Gorilla.”

  18. 118
    Paige says:

    There was road construction going on near our home, and one day my daughter asked if there was going to be a “comedian” in the road. I finally figured out she meant to say a “median” in the road. Too funny.

  19. 119
    Anonymous says:

    My daughter was young when Disney released Pocahontas. She loved the movie and the girl but always called her PocusHontus! She’s leaving for college in August but still has her PocusHontus beach towel!

  20. 120
    gagirl4Jesus says:

    These are so funny, ya’ll a cracking me up!! My mom was notorious for malapropisms. I inherited the gene and passed it to my son—here are a couple of my favorites:
    My mom: Once thought she spotted an unidentified UFO!

    My son, when he was little, he came home from SS and when asked what the story was about, he replied,”Shadrach, Meschach and a billy goat!”
    LOL! Patti

  21. 121
    Anonymous says:

    FINALLY a word for what my husband does constantly and it does not matter if he is corrected….he continues to use the “malaproism”. For “Tommy Hilfiger” He says “Tommy Hilfinger”. For the catholic boarding school in Mississippi…”St. Stanislaus”, he says “St. Santa Claus”. He means it girls. He is a smart…just a bit of a “pistol”! There are more but these are my two favorites! =)

  22. 122
    Anonymous says:

    I teach 2nd grade, one of my students was talking about his dad’s cell phone. He said, “Sometime when we drive through the mountains he does not get CIRCUS!” Loved it!

  23. 123
    Bev Brandon says:

    I had a trying day when my son was 3. I prayed the blessing before our evening meal and prayed a verse I had read that morning—God, please give me the “peace of Jerusalem.” My son was so disappointed—I thought you said we were having peas for supper.

    Another one I remember singing at Christmas with the same 3-year-old is “Let every heart REPAIR his room and heaven and nature sing”
    Every time I sing that Christmas carol, I still sing for God to repair my heart!

    And the same 3-year-old—trying to explain to him the Number 6 verse that God is not like a man. And the tod replies: Well, does he like women?

    I think we were a little over his head!

  24. 124
    Anonymous says:

    My son was about 3 and something scared him and when he told me about it he said “It scared me half the deck!!” That’s what we say now instead of ‘half to death’- it sounds a little better anyway too!!!

  25. 125
    Anonymous says:

    Not sure if this counts, but I’ve decided my mother-in-law has her own language! My sister in law was sick and it was her “bronical” tubes (bronchial) = if something isn’t full – it is “emfty” – and for some reason she took the “r” out of LibRary – its a “libary” and added it to the end of idea – b/c she has “idears” instead!
    I could go on and on and on!!

  26. 126
    One Beloved Sister says:

    One day my co-worker kept talking about the emancipated models on the fashion runways. I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I finally got it when she said, “They are so skinny you can see their bones!” She meant emaciated, not emancipated. 🙂

  27. 127
    Marci says:

    My 5 year old often has chapped lips. He always says he needs gasoline for them (vasoline). Now, the entire family refers to it that way.
    My daughter recently woke in our hotel room on vacation with shivers due to the air being turned down to 68. The next night she told me to give her plenty of blankets because she didn’t want to get the chatters again. Believe me girl, our family has been blessed with the chatters so this totally cracked us up. I giggle just writing this. Good times!! Good times!!

  28. 128
    new every morning says:

    We have an annual love feast on Christmas eve at church. One year it was announced that we would be having a LOVE FEST.

    Today my 4 year old told me he learned about King Never-can-nezzar in Sunday school

  29. 129
    Anonymous says:

    My daughter says her cereal is “soaky” instead of soggy

    Both of my kids say “Old McDonalds” for the fast food chain.

  30. 130
    Anonymous says:

    A friend’s 10 year old son was beginning band at school. He told he mom he wanted to play “concussion”!

  31. 131
    Anonymous says:

    During a Sunday School lesson on Jesus’ suffering before his death on the cross, one older man commented that he thought one of the worst parts may have been how “they hurled insects at Jesus”…instead of INSULTS.

    I’ve enjoyed reading these! 🙂

  32. 132
    Pam in KY says:

    My oldest son used to sing his favorite Veggie Tale’s song with full gusto…”My God is a bubble god”! The real lyrics were “My God is above all gods.” Cracked us up every time!

  33. 133
    KC In Katy says:

    My friend Liz was in town from Nashville about a week ago. It was one of those chaotic moments (all three kids needing something at the same time – phone ringing – etc) when there was a knock at the door. Liz asked if I was expecting anyone. I replied, “It is probably the terminator (meaning exterminator)”. She then responded, “As in Arnold?” We laughed until we cried. Of course, being the great friend that she is, she made sure to let the gentleman know his new title. 🙂

  34. 134
    Karen L. says:

    When we are getting ready to go swimming my 6 year old daughter always says, “Mom, I’m ready! I have my ‘babe-in suit’ on!” (I’m certainly NO babe in a suit anymore!) I think I’ll just stick to my “bathing suit”. She has said this since she could talk! Her older brothers try to correct her everytime but then I tell them to stop because I absolutely love when she says words wrong.

  35. 135
    Dena says:

    I worked with a girl awhile back who was put in charge of taking orders for a trip to Subway I was making. And while in line, I nearly wet myself laughing at what I read.
    The first order was a sub on Italian herb and cheese. But her order read “Italian urban cheese.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her for the hurt feelings it might create but I’ve gotten a kick out of it many times in the years since…. 🙂

  36. 136
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness I have a few: as a little girl my mamaw would tell us “younguns” get back on the porch. I would repeat you “onions” get back on the porch. For years – well actually up until about 3 years ago I called a lawn mower a lawnmoore until my husband corrected me.

    My daughter has tons of them. Pigeon Forward for Pigeon Forge, Silver War for Civil War – I could go on with that little thing.

    My brother used to call Cul de sac a culture sac.

    This was so much fun


  37. 137
    Karen L. says:

    Well I had a few more that have come to my mind…. When my 13 yr old was 5, he was chosen one certain morning to say the pledge into the school intercom. His teacher sent me a note home telling me how sweet it was to hear him say “…indivisible, with liberty and JESUS for all”! (I was so proud!)
    I read a post about someone saying “ignoring” for “annoying” and my 6 year old still says that about my 2 sons who are older than her. “Mommmm! Garret’s ignoring!”
    One last comment…One morning a few years ago I was listening to “He is exalted, the King is exalted on high, I will praise Him. He is exalted, forever exalted, and I will praise His name!” I was just singing along and my daughter, who was then 4, asked, “Mom, why is God exhausted?” I thought I was going to pee my pants! (sorry!) I explained to her God never tires (praise Him). But I could picture Him being exhausted over How much work He has to put in me!!! 🙂

  38. 138
    Allison says:

    Today my 7-year-old announced that he has his friend Ethan’s phone number ORGANIZED.

  39. 139
    Amy T says:

    When I was young, I had just learned about abbreviations and we saw a sign for Monkhouse Dr. in Shreveport LA, and I read it proudly out loud “Monkeyhouse Doctor!” My brother and sister rolled.

  40. 140
    Chris says:

    “I love you in the morning.”

    Our last words to our kids at bedtime were always, “I love you. I’ll see you in the morning.” When our youngest (now 3) started to talk, she responded back, “I love you in the morning.” It stuck.

    Not exactly a malapropism; maybe a femalapropism, because it will make the gals smile.

    xo Chris

  41. 141
    Anonymous says:

    The words of a 3-year old boy: “Our Father, Who does art in Heaven, Harold is His name. Amen”

  42. 142
    Marlene says:

    Malapropisms happen with my seven year old on a daily basis. He tries so hard to tell you something but gets confused and uses a term that seems close. Thanks for the posting. 🙂

  43. 143
    Jo says:

    Our young daughter was sitting on the counter describing an incident that had happened at school that day. She described herself as being “dramatized” (traumatized) by the event! Given her lively description – it fit so well!

  44. 144
    Momtotyandow says:

    My Mother’s doctor has his children in our local Catholic school His family is not Catholic. His daughter came home from kindergarten one day asking why she didn’t get to go to “constipation.” They wondered and wondered about that one until one day they figured it out, She wanted to go to “confession.” We have laughed about that for years.

  45. 145
    AKat says:

    I once thought ‘up from the grave He arose’ (in the hymn) was
    ‘up from the gravy and rolls.’

  46. 146
    Anonymous says:

    One of the best I’ve heard was when a friend’s mom went to have a “monogram” to finish up her yearly physical exam!

    nanasu in nc

  47. 147
    Anonymous says:

    I grew up thinking the 70’s band “Hall and Oats” was called “Haulin Oats” – my sister and brother-in-law corrected me one day and nearly wet their pants.

  48. 148
    Anonymous says:

    My best friend is from Southern California and I am from “the south”. It is like valley girl and Eli May. Pointing out my vernacular faux pas is one of her favorite pastimes I am sure. My favorite is when she pointed out the “fixin to” really doesn’t make sense. “I am fixin it go to the store” What exactly is broken?

  49. 149
    Michelle Bentham says:

    Recently a friend of mine was expressing her disagreement with another person when she said,

    “I beg to bicker with you.”

    Rather than “I beg to differ with you.”

    Sometimes the word slips out of our mouth before we have time to edit our thoughts.

  50. 150
    Marni says:

    My sister used to say “Doggie Dog World” instead of “Dog Eat Dog World”. She was in her 20’s before she believed me when I told her she was saying it wrong 😉

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