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When i was a kid, i asked my grandfather how the heat in our house worked. He showed me the baseboard heater in the kitchen and said something that i heard as "the heating elephants inside". Eventually i found out he was saying "elements" but for a long time i had imagined little tiny elephants walking around inside the heater to make it warm. i spent about an hour that day sitting next to the heater trying to look inside it and see the elephants.
I used to believe that the phrase "the whole kit and caboodle" was "the whole kitten caboodle". Based on that, I thoought that "caboodle" must mean a litter of kittens, especially a large one. Like if a mother cat had, say, eight kittens in a single litter, it might be said that she really had quite a caboodle of kittens.
I used to think that when people were saying good grief they were saying good greeb. I still don't know what greeb means, if it's a word.
When I was learning what things are, my dad pointed at his foot in the swimming pool and said "Foot!"
For a year I thought "Water" was called "Foot"
Well, as a child, my mother always taught me that when I can't understand a word, to break it down and I'll understand it (I found out later that she was just much too lazy!). So one fine afternoon, I was sitting on my big blue bean bag chair reading the dictionary, and I came across the word 'prostitute'. I didn't know what it was, so I took my mother's advice and didn't even bother to look at the definition. I just broke down the word.
Pro-something you are good at.
stitute- sounds like subsitute.
So it sounded like a very good subsitute in school.
Oh, the look on the poor principals face when my teacher was absent one day, and he came inside the classroom and asked if the teacher was in. (The substitute was inside the closet getting her coat, so he couldn't see her). And I, wanting to sound smart, said, "No! We have a prostitute! She's in the closet!"
Mind you this was in the late 1950's too.
Oh, did I have some fun...
When I was about 5 or 6 I was really unaware of what exactly people were saying when they said "suit yourself". I believed that the correct way to say such a thing was "shoot yourself". So whenever my chums didn't want to do what I wanted to it was always "shoot yourself" that came out of my little mouth.
I used to watch the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians constantly. At the part where Nanny calls Roger a "blooming hero", I couldn't understand her acccent and thought she called him a "bloomineero"--whatever that is.
One day when I was walking outside with my mom, we saw some dragonflies or something flying around and I asked her what they were. She said "Oh, just some type of fly." Later on when we saw them again I said "Look, Mama, it's a typafly!!" I thought that was the name of them- 'typa-fly'
For 3 years (5-8) I spoke like I was in a book. like '"I'm going upstairs mom" she said quietly, walking down the hall." My mom has tapes of me doing it and it's soooooo funny. I just made my life into a book on tape.
When I was little, I thought "navy" meant dark, because "navy blue" was a dark shade of blue. I didn't know what the navy was. So one time, when trying to describe a sort of forest green color, I called it "navy green".
When my uncle (who I was describing the color to) corrected me, I tried to cover up by saying "I knew that, but navy *also* means dark, like Navy Blue." I thought he wouldn't know any better. :P
That "This morning" was "The Smorning"
And "This afternoon" was "The Safternoon"
Remember the show "Wide World of Sports" that was hosted by Jim McKay? The show opened with McKay saying "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC's Wide World of Sports! For the longest time, even into my adulthood, I thought "agony of defeat" was "agony of the feet."
I used to believe that tourists and terrorists were the same thing.
I used to think the phrase "stark raving madness" was "star craving madness". It seemed a peculiar turn of phrase, as I'd never heard of anyone craving stars. On the other hand if anyone did crave stars, it is understandable how that might be associated with madness of some kind.
Until very recently, I thought "archives" was pronounced like "are chives".
When I was a kid and was misbehaving at my grandparents' house, my grandfather, who was an Army veteran, told me if I didn't shape up he'd "put me on report". I then would turn around and tell my mom when my parents got back that he said he was going to "put me on the porch".
i used to swear down that the word huge was spelt and pronounced 'fuge' this resulted in a major fight with my friend at the age of 7, and because he was a boy and i was a girl he won. I believed for ages that if id won the fight then the word would have been 'fuge.'
when i was younger, i didn't understand that "death" did not also mean "deaf". when i was 5, my doctor asked me during a hearing test "can u hear this?" i replied "of course. do u think i'm death??"
I used to think that babies could communicate with eachother, just as adults communicate with eachother. I just assumed there was "baby's English" and then "adult English". I also theorized that if you were at JUST the right age, (for example: 3 year, 7 months and two days old) you would be able to speak both languages.
At the time, I had a cousin who was 3 years old and her brother was just a baby. Me and my cousins all believed in my theory. We sought to exploit my 3-year old cousin and create a "baby translation company". :)
My mom used to act out the one-person, "You must pay the rent!" scene for my sister and me. It's the one where a comb or similar object is used to signify when the person is playing either the landlord, woman, or hero. Well, it always ends with the landlord saying, "Curses! Foiled again!" For the longest time I believed the phrase was, "Purses, boiled again!!" This would always conjure images in my head of a bunch of purses sitting in a huge pot of boiling water. I wasn't sure why purses being boiled was a bad thing to have happen to you, but I had no reason to question it. Eventually I repeated the phrase in front of my mother one day and she had a pretty good laugh before correcting me.