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illustration Parapraxis



Part of speech: noun

Origin: English, early 20th century


A minor error in speech or action, (supposedly) representing the fulfilment of an unconscious wish; a Freudian slip.

Examples of Parapraxis in a sentence

"In TV’s most famous bit of parapraxis, Ross called Emily by his ex’s name “Rachel” at their wedding."

"In a moment of parapraxis, I told my coworker “I love you” instead of “See you tomorrow.”"

About Parapraxis

James Strachey coined the term “parapraxis” in the 1910s as he translated the work of Sigmund Freud into English. He joined the ancient Greek prefix “para-,” meaning “by the side of,” with the suffix “-praxis,” from the ancient Greek “πρᾶξις,” meaning “action or activity.”

Did you Know?

The notion of a “Freudian Slip” — the common expression for “parapraxis” — is based on the idea that the unconscious mind wishes to make its true feelings known in the form of unintentional acts and statements. Parapraxis can be a slip of the tongue in speaking, but it can also occur in action. For example, forgetting to bring a Christmas gift for a quarrelsome sibling may be a form of parapraxis in which the unconscious wish to insult one’s rival sibling is carried out in a physical act of forgetting.

illustration Parapraxis

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