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Check out these phrases a lot of people get wrong

I’ll admit it.  I’m a linguistics nerd.  I think interesting facts and observations about language are pretty cool.

So I was reading an article about all these common phrases, idioms I guess, that pop up, then get kind of distorted as time goes by.  Here’s a few of them:

  • You’ve got another thing comingEven Judas Priest gets this one wrong!  That’s the name of their song — I checked!  The phrase is supposed to be “You’ve got another THINK coming”.  If you THINK this, you better THINK again, get it?  I always thought that’s what Judas Priest was saying, and it turns out they should have!
  • And speaking of “should have”, do you know a lot of people who say and write should of?  That’s sort of understandable because when you use the contraction “should’ve”, it does sound a lot like “should of”.  (OK, now the word “should” looks weird to me because I keep typing it.)
  • Butt naked – It’s really “buck naked” but I don’t know why.  If you’re buck naked, your butt (among other things) is showing.
  • Spitting image – it took me a while to figure this one out, but I think I get it.  It should be “spit and image”.  What the heck does THAT mean?  I’ve got a feeling that in this phrase “spit” is a shortening of “spirit”.  And then it makes sense.  If you look exactly like someone, you’re the “spirit and image” of them.
  • Chock it up – I’ve never heard anyone actually do this one.  It’s really “chalk it up”, like “chalk it up to genius”.  Write it on the board as a score for genius.

Check back here tomorrow around this time and I’ll have a few more for ya!


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