Misleading Definitions

This list started with a conversation on Twitter. Aric Gilinsky (respectfully) disagreed with Tom Doran’s opinion on the meaning of irony. Tom had said: ‘It means ‘a bit like iron’. Everyone knows that.’ Aric asked: ‘Is this part of a Top 10 false meanings of words that you could totally convince a foreigner are true?’ It is now.

  1. Oyster A person who overdoes Jewish mannerisms, according to Guy Herbert.
  2. Sitar A guitar on which you sit, reckons Kit Marsden.
  3. Gullible “Many years ago, when asked by my little sister the meaning of the word, I told her it was a shade of blue,” says Alan Robertson, helpfully.
  4. Lampoon Noun. A tool for whaling at night. From Elliot Adams.
  5. Discontent A marquee put up for a party, insists Robertson.
  6. Glacier More glacé; for example: “all cherries are glacé, but some are glacier than others”, suggests Marsden.
  7. Disorder Verb. To cancel an Amazon purchase, says Jack Blackburn.
  8. Timid Central Yorkshire. See also, Tabby: big church in Yorkshire; Tissues: important matters in Yorkshire. Each suggested by Tom Joyce.
  9. Antidisestablishmentarianism The movement for banning insults in restaurants, led by Tom Doran.
  10. Slippery Adjective. Like a slipper, says Lee “Budgie” Barnett.

Originally published in the Independent on 26th September 2014

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