Can you think of phrases that can easily be misinterpreted?
By The Horse
Walnut Creek, California
August 11, 2017 9:33am CST
I just responded to a post by @DianneN in which I used the phrase "turns me off." That got me thinking back to hippy days. "Turns me on" (or off) could have sexual implications ("oh, man, that dress turns me on") but it didn't have to ("oh, man, being in nature turns me on"). I'm not sure if the young people even use that phrase. And then there's "dope." "Dope" is a word upper elementary and slightly older kids in the US use to mean "really cool." ("That fidget spinner is dope!") One of my kid clients got in trouble at school for using that word. To his teacher's generation, "dope" was a noun that referred to illegal drugs. In my early childhood, we used "boss" and "doom" to mean "really cool." And then there's "hook up." I might say that to a friend meaning "let's play baseball catch" or "let's play some guitar." But I gather its implications are more sexual among the 17- to 29-year-old set. And, to add the MyLot international international flavor, I was really pissed at my kid's teacher for getting mad about "dope," but I didn't tell him. I did tell the kid he could use it around me. To a Brit, wouldn't "getting pissed" mean getting drunk? Even the meaning of the word "cracker" has changed. In my younger days, "cracker" was used as an insult to Southern white redneck types. Now it's an insulting term for "white person" in general. Can you think of phrases that can be misinterpreted? Or have different meanings in different countries? Or eras?
17 people like this
• Anniston, Alabama
11 Aug 17
@TheHorse Eat crow would mean I kicked your butt in an activity. Bless your heart can mean " you poor stupid person" os said in a certain tone of voice, or if someone is sick " bless his heart" means poor sick thing but said with this whining giving pity voice.
• Anniston, Alabama
12 Aug 17
@TheHorse Its usually meant as a smart remark because of jealousy due to an accomplishment that I had achieved and was happy to share. Most people say congrats or way to go, those that say "good for you" is the response from the jealous one.
• United States
30 Aug 17
Oooh....you have reminded me of something...It's on my list to write.... other than that...I remember when I had an ESL student come up and ask me what being "sh**faced" meant. He couldn't understand why people would smear feces on one's face.