Surely everyone has a few words that had them flummoxed for years. One that got me from Dad’s insistence that we listened avidly to the weather forecast from when we were about three days old was isolated. 

Isolated showers confused me completely. How come they were icy some of the time ~ sleet, hailstones, just plain freezing driving rain, and other times they fell in soft gentle, even lukewarm raindrops?

There’s a bit of a double whammy with the one that got my mother when she was a child. She would be at Church chiming in with the prayers and coming from a farming family, her version of  ‘Thy little one doth keep,’ was as I thought until I checked it out a few minutes ago ‘My little Wine Dot keep.’ I always knew she had visions of the hens in the haggard  but being a townie, I didn’t realise that what she was thinking was: Thy little Wyandotte keep.’ 

Silver Laced Wyandotte Hen:   http://www.wyandotte-nation.org


So, go on, tell me about the word/s that play/played tricks on you. Don’t be even the slightest bit shy about it!!


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

15 thoughts on “Misunderstandings”

  1. Ha! As an aside what generally determines the nature of the water falling from the sky is the height from which it falls. Ever been in a jet flying at 35,000 feet? Many of the newer planes have interactive maps and data on the movie screens in the backs of the seats. The last time I flew in summer even, the temperature at 35,000 was -70 Celcius. Water falling from there would land as ice or hail. Water falling from lower clouds would hit as rain.

    Anyway, I find most of the word errors are with songs or poems that are said often and quickly. Our daughter used to sing “Breathless” and instead of “leave me breathless”, she would belt out “leave me breath mints”. Ha!

  2. Haha. That I never saw coming.
    My favourite was courtesy of my son. When he was about seven we were visiting my mum and she was putting on the house alarm. As it said, “system arming” in its robotic monotone voice, my son waved at it and said, “see you in the morning.” To this day (14years later) my mum smiles and/or laughs each night she sets it.

    1. Brilliant Tric!
      Remnds me of one of the first times I used an ATM and said a big ‘thank you’ to it when the pounds came out. There were a lot of giggles in the queue behind me.

  3. I love these, Jean. There’s a song I love by Bell X1 called Rocky Took A Lover which has the line in it “why is my arse the perfect height for kicking” (I know, but in the context of the song it’s great). A friend thought it said “why is my arse purple like a chicken”. Best misheard lyric ever, I thought!

    1. Laughing myself sick since I read this a few hours ago. Couldn’t steady meself to write back.
      There’s some great ones.
      It’s made me think of how my father (who denied he was deaf) used to have a stab at what he thought we’d said and always seemed to find a few lines of manic madness. I think he was coddin’ half the time.

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