The English language is filled with idioms seemingly designed to severely confuse non-native speakers who don’t understand why you’d keep eggs in a basket or think they’re going to get a penny if they say what they’re thinking about.
Languages are constantly evolving and new words are added to the lexicon every year. Back around the turn of the millennium, one of those words was “eggcorn,” which much to my relief is not some terrifying hybrid food that was the result of an experiment gone wrong.
According to The Daily Mail, the word was coined by linguist Geoffrey Pullum to describe the phrases that have become commonly accepted despite being patently incorrect.
It turns out there are a number of different sayings I’ve been using all my life without realizing I was incredibly wrong. I assume I’m not the only one to butcher some of these.
Nip it in the butt vs. Nip it in the bud
“Nip it in the butt” is easily the most entertaining phrase on this entire list but unfortunately it’s just a bastardization of “bud.”
However, there’s no chance that’s going to stop me from continuing to say the wrong one.
Hunger pains vs. Hunger pangs
The spellcheck I’m currently using doesn’t even recognize “pangs” as a word but I guess it’s the correct one to use in this circumstance.
I could use that GIF after most of these but I’ll do what I can to control myself.
You’ve got another thing coming vs. You’ve got another think coming
“Think” is apparently the proper word in this situation but I’m just going to say I’m quoting Judas Priest when I use the first one.
Scapegoat vs. Escape goat
Do people say “escape goat?” I don’t think I know anyone who says that.
If you do, you’re so, so wrong.
Statue of limitations vs. Statute of limitations
A “statute of limitations” is how long time can pass until you can no longer arrest someone for a crime.
A “statue” of limitations would just be a monument to an abstract legal concept. The world doesn’t need that.
For all intents and purposes vs. For all intensive purposes
This is probably one of the most common mistakes on this entire list so you’re forgiven if you’re guilty of this grammatical crime (for which the statute of limitation never end).
“Intents and purposes” is the correct one in this scenario.
Butt naked vs. Buck naked
This is another one where “butt” is incorrect and another one that I’m going to keep saying wrong.
Mute point vs. Moot point
This is probably the toughest one to differentiate out of all of them as both terms make sense.
However, “moot” is the more accurate word here. At least you can’t butcher it any worse than Joey did in Friends.
One in the same vs. One and the same
Like many of the phrases on the list, this eggcorn is simply the result of people hearing the correct one wrong.
Like the last entry, both make sense, but “one and the same” is technically more correct.
Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.