Common Misused Idioms

When we speak or write, the proper use of words really does matter.  Incorrect grammar or misused idioms can make someone question the intelligence of another person.   There is a lot of misuse out there and even credible websites and smart individuals can be guilty. Christina DesMarais, a contributor with, described in 20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse some common  idioms that are misused and can be found all over the web.

David Castillo Dominici

  1. Sneak peak –  “Peak”  refers to the top of a mountain,  “Peek” refers to an early or quick look at something.  “Sneak peek,” is the correct expression.
  2. Piece of mind – “Piece of mind” would indicate a part of the brain. “Peace of mind” however, refers to harmony and calm.
  3. I could care less – This would actually refer to being able to care less.  Rather,  “I couldn’t care less” is what should be said when you wish to express extreme indifference.
  4. Baited breath – “bated” means suspense or anxious.  “to wait with bated breath” really means to hold your breath with anticipation.  “Bait” refers to luring or trapping. Baited is not the correct usage.
  5. Make due – “make due” would mean to “make owed,” however, “make do”  means to manage to get along, or “to make something sufficient.”
  6. Wet your appetite – Wet refers to moistened or soaked with a liquid. “Whet your appetite” is the correct expression.  “Whet” means to sharpen, stimulate or awaken.
  7. One in the Same – “One in the same” would suggest that the one is actually inside itself.  The correct idiom is “one and the same,” meaning the same thing or the same person.

How many of these idioms have you accidentally misused?  Check out the entire list of top 20 idioms here.



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