Misused Words?

When I was a kid, my mom always called the couch a “Davenport.”  So I grew up calling it that, until finally my teenage friends said, “A what?  What are you talking about?”

Another thing that caught me … I grew up thinking I was putting my socks and underwear away in my “chester drawers.”  I even wrote that once, in some story or another, and one of my writer friends said, “What the heck are chester drawers?  Do you mean chest-of-drawers?”

Color me embarrassed.  I’d been saying that wrong for over 30 years!

So, I ask you, my Xangaroo friends … do you have any of these?  That you’ll admit to in public? 

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13 thoughts on “Misused Words?

  1. When I was a kid, we learned the Ecuadorian national anthem in school. The vocabulary was beyond my little mind’s comprehension, and we learned by singing it, not by reading it, so I always blended the words together with the music and rhythm, and thought for MANY years that it wasn’t even in Spanish.  Maybe Kichwa mixed with Spanish or something.  Then I read the lyrics in high school and had a great laugh about it.  Completely inderstandable Spanish, I just never realized it.

  2. I managed to catch and correct most of those words that my mom taught me wrong, but she still uses them.  Chester drawers is one of them, so is generitic instead of generic. 

  3. I used to say things that were really bad were “badder.” I also used to love to say “I don’t give no care.”
    I’m sure I have a better one, but I can’t think of it. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

  4. ryc: My boyfriend wrote to Chuck Palahnuik once. Palahnuik sent him one of those fake cans of peanuts that springs up in your face and a kazoo. Nothing else.

  5. Thing #1:  It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I figured out the Xing on Ped Xing signs stood for crossing!  I knew what it meant, but I always wondered who came up with the word Xing.  I still think Ped Xing in my head every time I see one of those signs…
    Thing #2:  My best friend in high school used to always “predict” when our red light would turn green.  He told me he had it timed.  It took me several months before I figured out that he just watched for the light on the other side to turn red.  Yep, that was embarrassing too.

  6. Because singers don’t necessarily have the best diction, I always heard the lyrics of songs wrong.Purple Haze, Hendrix – “S’cuse me while I kiss this guy!”Daniel’s Song, Elton John – “Lord it looks like dandruff.  Must be the clouds in my eyes.”The list goes on and on.

  7. My grandmother always called the sofa either a Chesterfield or a Davenport. I think those are brand names, but I knew what you meant when I read it. My friends never understood me either when I said Davenport.I also say the color mauve as it would be pronounced in French (mow-ve) and I’ve had tons of people look at me funny whenever I say that word. I had never heard the word in english (maw-ve) before I learned it in French.

  8. Not so much recently. I couldn’t say double dutch for the life of me when I was a child so my friends and I played “double dots” instead just for me, lol.

  9. I’m sure I have misused words, but right now I can’t think of any.
    Ryc: Thanks for the advice and sorry about being so slow to respond. I haven’t been doing too well at responding to comments recently.

  10. Oh yeah – gotta love those.  Whenever we were discussing poop growing up, my mom would always call it a BM.  I thought that was just a word, in my mind imagaging it was spelled ‘biem’ or something similar. I think I was in college before I made the connection with Bowel Movement.  I’m a genius, eh?

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