Everyday Phrases You’ve Been Saying Wrong Your Whole Life

Get ready, your mind's about to be blow


Y’all, I used to say “butt naked” instead of “buck naked.” When I was rudely corrected in an 8th-grade science class in front of all the cool kids, I felt like the very sad frogs we were about to dissect: exposed, vulnerable, and three inches tall.

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To save you the pain of someone calling you out on an everyday phrase you somehow didn’t learn correctly, I’m here with 15 phrases you’ve been saying wrong your whole life. Read and memorize. (You’re welcome).


DON’T say tongue-and-cheek

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DO say tongue-in-cheek 

Ex: He thought she was serious, but her comment about not being a feminist was clearly tongue-in-cheek.


DON’T say one in the same 

DO say one and the same

Ex: My bestie and I are so similar, we’re one and the same.


DON’T say I could care less 

DO say I couldn’t care less 

Ex: I couldn’t care less that you’re not sharing your fries with me. (PS: This is absolutely a lie).


DON’T say scotch-free

DO say scot-free

Ex: I stole 17 puppies, but the cop found it so adorable I got off scot-free.


DON’T say conversate 

DO say converse

Ex: I was conversing with my friend about our current president until I started bawling hopeless, ugly tears.


DON’T say nip it in the butt

DO say nip it in the bud

Ex: I knew we were about to have a fight about where to eat dinner, so I nipped it in the bud and said we were going to In-N-Out.


DON’T say mute point

DO say moot point

Ex: It’s a moot point who forgot the umbrella since there’s not a cloud in the sky.


DON’T say statue of limitations 

DO say statute of limitations

Ex: He thought he would go to jail for stealing the 17 puppies, but the statute of limitations was up.


DON’T say irregardless 

DO say regardless

Ex: I love you regardless of your puppy-stealing ways.


DON’T say hunger pains

DO say hunger pangs

Ex: I just ate an hour ago, but I’m already having hunger pangs.


DON’T write give someone free reign

DO write give someone free rein

Ex: I trusted my BFF to pick out my outfit, so I gave her free rein.


DON’T say on tender hooks

DO say on tenterhooks

Ex: The thriller she was reading kept her on tenterhooks.


DON’T say give leadway

DO say give leeway

Ex: The teacher wasn’t strict, so she gave her students plenty of leeway when it came to attendance.


DON’T say beckon call

DO say beck and call

Ex: He gets me anything I need, at my beck and call. (PS: I wish.)


DON’T say wreck havoc

DO say wreak havoc

Ex: The 17 puppies I stole wreaked havoc on my apartment.

Skylar Harrison
Skylar Harrison

Skylar is both word and food obsessed and once cried over spilt guacamole. And no, she doesn't want to talk about it. Follow her at @skylarharrison.