It’s not always easy to hear things correctly the first time. Sometimes common phrases get bungled in transit, and we’re stuck saying them wrong for years. Here are some of the most common phrases that people say wrong — see how many you get right!
Nip it in the butt
It’s not a pleasant image when you put it that way. The actual phrase is nip it in the bud, meaning to end something before it grows and gets out of hand. No butts involved.
You’re probably used to hearing someone say on purpose, so naturally you’d think on accident is the opposite, right? Wrong. The correct phrase is by accident.
I could care less
If you could care less about something, that means you still care about it. If you really want to tell someone how few rat tails you have to give, tell them you couldn’t care less.
Yes, it may sound like could of when you say it out loud, but it’s spelled could’ve. It’s a contraction of two words — could and have.
Worse comes to worse
If worse comes to worse, you’re not going anywhere, are you? But if worse comes to worst, then you can worry. Get in your bunker and prepare for the worst.
This one kind of makes sense — you bury a seed deep in the ground. But you’re still wrong. The correct phrase is deep seated, to mean it’s rooted in place and (probably) hidden.
Do a 360
If you’re trying to change yourself, you really don’t want to do a 360, unless you want to end up back where you started. If you’re trying to be different, try doing a 180.
Statue of limitations
While there’s no statue dedicated to limitations, there is a statute (law) of limitations that dictates how long justice can legally be served after a crime was committed.
If you’re pawning something off, you’re trying to get rid of it, like in a pawn shop. Except the phrase you want is palmed off, and it means you want to trick someone into doing something so you don’t have to.
You can hone your skills, but you can’t hone in on something. You mean home in, like a homing pigeon bred to find its way home. If you’re homing in, you’re getting close to your goal.
If you want revenge on someone, you don’t want to extract it. You want to exact it. Exacting revenge means you demand that person satiates your desire for revenge.