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I used to believed that "approximately" actually means "important".
My cousin used to believe that her dad and uncle (the two closest men in her life) sat at the kitchen table one day and decided on the names of everything in the English language.
The first time I heard the word "magpie" was in very casual conversation so I wasn't exactly sure what was said. I saw some while in the car with my dad and while pointing them out made the best guess I could at their name. I said "Look at those mudpies." My dad couldn't stop laughing and teased me about it for years even though I was highly embarrassed!
Because of my sister, I've always been keen on different disabilities that people have. One day at the store we ran into a friend of my mom's who was using a wheelchair. I asked my mom later what she had and I swear she said "voo-kee-oo cremalaptis." It was about a decade later that I realized she had said MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
I thought it was "all of THE sudden" instead of "all of A sudden." I was like past high school when I found out and I still cannot stop saying it my way! I can't even write it--I use "suddenly" instead!
When I was little I thought This Old Man was "Dissell Man" and the only "man" I could think of was a snowman. When the song says "This Old Man came rolling home" I pictured a snowman, completely adorned, on its side rolling up to my back door.
I used to believe that "according" meant playing the accordion, since it sounded like accordion.
I used to be in a class with a girl whose last name was Lurdet. I kept mishearing it as Lordette and thought that a lordette was the female version of a lord.
I used to believe that when my mother was going to run errands, that she was actually going to the retailer called "Aaron's". I was confused when we never went there!
I used to think that a Prima Donna was a "Pre-Madonna" and when someone was called "Pre-Madonna" it meant they were like a young Madonna.
I've always misunderstood the phrase "you can never have too many friends."
I took it to mean that "having too many friends is bad, therefore it should never happen."
I was wondering why it would be a bad thing to have too many friends, and suddenly it hit me that I was misinterpreting it!
I thought the word "eerie" meant that someone had big ears. When my teacher told me that my Halloween costume made me look "eerie", I got quite offended!
When I whas 7, I learned my first "bad" word, my mother told me that only criminals use that word.
so i was always thinking that if i say any bad word, the police would come and put me in jail.
When I heard the name Jose, I thought it was actually spelled "Hoasai". I had seen the name Jose in print, and may have known its pronunciation, but never connected it to "hoasai".
I thought the word mailman was male man and it seemed dumb to me as aren't all men male?
I used to pronounce the word 'nuclear' like 'nuke-yuh-lar.' My parents and brother told me that George Bush pronounced the word 'nuclear' wrong, but when people told me how he said it, I couldn't hear the difference. I assumed I was saying it correctly, though. One day my brother noticed how I said it and told me I said it like George Bush. I felt terribly stupid, but I still couldn't hear the difference, so I tried not to say the word. Finally, a friend of mine helped me say it right, "Say new. Now say clear. Now say new-clear."
I used to think the phrase "point of view" was actually "point of you." Since it sounds so similar, nobody noticed until I was about 12.
When I was a kid I believed the phrase "the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach" was suggesting that you bypass the ribcage and sternum by going through the stomach and reaching up when you rip a man's heart out
I thought "birthday" was actually "Bert day" to celebrate Bert from Bert and Ernie. My mom must have thought I was just mispronouncing it because she didn't correct me until I was about 7 years old, at which point she had to explain to me what a birthday was.
When I was young, I'd try to make my mother laugh by telling her jokes. She'd usually roll her eyes and remark dryly, "That's hilarious." So for many years, I believed that "hilarious" meant "not very funny."