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Otters Oddities

Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Hi kids. Today is Thursday, and you know what that means, right?

Ok then, clue me in because I have no idea.

Have you ever been talking with someone, and suddenly, you say a word, and it turns out, you used the wrong word? We've all done it at some point. It's like out brains see a 'napkin' but our mouths say, "can you hand me that knife?"


But, did you know you do it a lot more than you think you do?

Corn. What is it? It's a grain that grows on a big stalk and comes in ears. It's yellow, good with butter, and you can pop certain kinds. And, for some strange reason, every time you get the runs, it has corn in it. (puke has carrots, poo had corn. deal with it)


Only one problem. That yellow grain that grows on ears? That's not corn. That's Maize. Corn is actually a generic word for all grains. When Settlers first came to the Americas and saw Maize, they realized it was a grain, so they called it corn. But, they also called wheat, barley, oats, etc. corn. If asked what crops were going to be planted, and the answer was 'corn', the follow up question would have been, 'what kind?'

But, as time passed, people stopped using the generic name for grains and started using the actual name of the grain they were talking about. And, they continued to call Maize, corn.


Peruse. Have you ever perused a magazine while waiting in the doctors office? Or perused the paper while pooping at work? Liars! Most people think Peruse means to skim over something, ti just look at stuff without really paying much attention.

Too bad that's not what it means. If you were to peruse something, it means you "read with thoroughness and care". So, you can't peruse a magazine in the doctors office unless you read every word on every page.


Bemused. So, you see that kid in the store, and it's doing things that are funny, but only because they aren't your kid. So, you have a half grin, and watch. People would describe you as bemused.

Except you're not.

Bemused means you're confused. If you saw someone go to the bank, withdraw a thousand dollars, then run it all through a paper shredder, you'd be bemused, because you didn't understand why they did that.


But, because bemused looks like amused, people think it means the same thing. Even though it doesn't.

Irregardless. People use this word when they want to say, "yeah, but it doesn't matter because...".


The only problem is.....

IT'S NOT A WORD! The word is 'regardless'! Adding the 'ir' in front does nothing. Well, it does make the user look like an idiot for using a word that doesn't actually exist.


There are a lot more, but I'm going to let you guys try to find them yourselves.

I will add some word that are actually dirty, though.....

Avocado. That thing you use to make guacamole? Well, it was first cultivated by the Aztecs, who called it 'ahuacatl'. Which just so happens to also be their word for 'testicle'.


Manatee. Aw, a peaceful, lumbering beast from the sea. Never hurt anyone. But Manatee comes from the Carib word 'manatai'. Which means 'boobs'.

Orchid. Such a lovely flower. One of the most sought after flowers for private gardens, and it is highly modified because new species of orchids can be worth a lot of money. Orchid comes from the Greek word 'orkhis'. If you pull up an orchid and look at it's roots, you might understand why it's name comes from the Greek word for 'balls'.


Fundamental. Something that's fundamental is basic, right? So, if we were to refer to someone religious as a 'fundamentalist', it means they practice the basics of their religion.

Except, fundamental comes from the Latin 'fundamentum'. And, that's the Latin word for 'ass'. So, 'religious fundamentalist', is literally, 'religious ass'. But, it does make sense..


So, next time you have a conversation with someone, you might not be saying what you think you're saying.

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