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09th Dec 2017

Here are the 20 phrases that people most commonly misuse

Paul Moore

The dreaded ‘damp squid’ is here. Do you say any of these?

Over the coming weeks, it’s very likely that you’re going to have plenty of friends, family, and relations in your home. We’re very confident in saying that some of these people have a tendency to use phrases and words that make absolutely no sense to you.

Do you know anyone that loves ‘to be pacific’ instead of specific? Does your younger sibling have a tendency to start a fight and ‘get off scotch free?’ Then again, maybe you’re so mature that all arguments and festive squabbles are just ‘a mute point’, not moot, mute.

You get the drift.

A recent survey of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Scrivens Opticians and Hearing Care and they discovered the phrases that people most commonly misused.

Are you guilty of saying any of the following?

1. To be pacific (instead of to be specific)
2. An escape goat (instead of a scapegoat)
3. Damp squid (instead of damp squib)
4. Nipped it in the butt (instead of nipped in the bud)
5. On tender hooks (instead of on tenterhooks)
6. Cold slaw (instead of coleslaw)
7. A doggie-dog world (instead of dog-eat-dog world)
8. Circus-sized (instead of circumcised)
9. Lack toast and tolerant (instead of lactose intolerant)
10. Got off scotch free (instead of got off scot-free)
11. To all intensive purposes (instead of to all intents and purposes)
12. Boo to a ghost (instead of boo to a goose)
13. Card shark (instead of card sharp)
14. Butt naked (instead of buck naked)
15. Hunger pains (instead of hunger pangs)
16. Tongue and cheek (instead of tongue-in-cheek)
17. It’s a mute point (instead of moot point)
18. Pass mustard (instead of pass muster)
19. Just deserves (instead of just deserts)
20. Foe par (instead of faux pas)