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I was in the third grade when John F. Kennedy became President. My father was an ardent Republican and a big critic of Kennedy. He was saying that Kennedy was "always putting his foot in his mouth". I didn't understand that figure of speech. When we did art at school, I drew a picture, supposed to be of President Kennedy, with his foot literally in his mouth. My teacher was confused and definitely not amused.
When I was 8 we moved to England from South Africa. I thought since we all spoke English, I'd be fine... right up until I told a kid in my class that I lived "down that road, past the robots and turn right". A stressful few minutes passed before I figured out that "robots" were called "traffic lights" in England. For years afterwards I was on edge, wondering what apparently-harmless-in-South-Africa/ hilarious-in-England word would get me laughed at next.
When I was 10, I thought that 'Lesbian' was a Lebanese woman. I had a feeling I wasn't right though, so I asked my equally naive friend. She told me it was two women who lived together.
Thanks to her, I used to go around saying my sister and I were lesbians.
Oh, the look on my mum's face when she heard me say that.
my husband believed, until recently, that the word "several" meant seven of something.
One time, around 4th grade, I got into an argument with a friend. We were trying to decide if it was 'Old Timers Disease' or 'All Timers Disease'. When we asked my friends mother, we found out it was Alzheimer's.
When I was four, by best friend from preschool called me selfish. I was convinced that I was some weird species of fish.
My dad would say "Go to buggery" when he was mad (its an aussie expression, means get lost, or screw you). I'd ask him where that is. He said it was far away, but I decided buggery was just down the road where there was a grumpy old lady who would yell at us. Sometimes he told us to go to buggery and I'd run down the street and sit in front of her house.
I thought that exorcise and exercise both meant the same thing
I had these pajamas that were too loose for me and my mother called them "loosies" but I thought she was saying "Lucy's" and the reason they were too big was because they were meant for someone named Lucy, not me.
I used to believe that "bed-raggled" was a word especially meant for how you looked when you woke up each morning.
When I was about two, I was reaching on top of a table for a balloon. It was just out of my reach, so my mother told me to "stand on your toes." This of course made me very confused, but rather than risk not getting the balloon, I proceeded to literally put one foot on top of the other, which I assumed was how people "stood on their toes."
i used to think the word "friendship" meant a special kind of rocketship that you went on with your friends.
I believed that each person could only say a certain amount of words in their lifetime. Somehow I got that from what a person told me about having to use words wisely. Which was why I was worried that my talkative brother would soon use all of his up.
I used to think that Cirque Du Soleil was spanish because when I was younger, I heard it as "Circtus. Olay!"
Until I was nearly six, I thought that lasagna was called "vagina". My aunt used to make vegetable lasagna, which i loved, and I enthusiastically always told her "I LOVE vagina!"
When I was 5, I came home from school begging my mum for 20p so I could buy a puppy. Boy was I dissapointed the next day when they were only selling poppies for rememberence day.
You know that saying long time no see. Well, I used to believe that it meant that some one has seen that other person so long ago, that the sea dried out - as in no sea.
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 used to believe that "pathetique" was a fancy way of saying "pathetic". When i said something is pathetic, i said in a fancy voice "Yes, that is soooo pathetique"
My Dad had a saying for when we were having lots of fun. It was "I haven't had this much fun since the pigs ate my little brother!" I thought it was hilarious and never actually believed it or thought anyone else took it literally. When I was almost 5 years old my kindergarten teacher heard me say it. My little brother was about 6 months old at the time and the teacher asked my Mother to come in for a serious discussion about my mental health.