6 Everyday Words With Disturbing Alternate Meanings

So the whole news world was up in arms recently because of this newscast referring to Barack and Michelle Obama "fisting" each other in the White House, the speaker blissfully unaware of the unsettling slang definition of the term.

And while we can all laugh at that lady and her obliviousness, the truth is there are all sorts of everyday words that, in the right crowd, will draw the same muffled laughter as the fisting gaffe up there. Such as...

#6. Cottage

You Know It As:

A small, quaint house favored by the idle, rich, hobbits and humans in Warcraft.

But It Can Also Be:

A public urinal that is used for homosexual intercourse, as well as the arrangement of some.

"I think my favorite part of pissing is that we get to have sex with each other afterwards.

Wait, What?

"Cottaging" has a rich and storied history, dating back to the turn of the 20th century. At that time, "cottage" was just a euphemism for a public lavatory, due to the overwhelming similarity of comfortable out-of-town lodgings to cramped, piss-stained cubicles.

Over the next few years however, the homosexual community started using cottages for illicit encounters with such regularity that by 1920 the definition of the euphemism had been amended to include the gay stuff. Both the word and the practice are still active today, and recently enjoyed a brief renaissance following the arrest of U.S. senator Larry Craig, who we here at Cracked salute for his dedication to lexographical preservation.

How To Use It In A Sentence:

"So Vince, Todd, Blake and I were all thinking about getting a cottage together. It'll be a tight fit, but I'm sure we can all squeeze in somehow."

#5. Russian and Italian

You Know Them As:

Languages favored by Communist dictators and wacky pasta chefs, respectively.

But They Can Also Be:

The acts of rubbing your penis between breasts and ass-cheeks, respectively.

Wait, What?

You have America's thriving sex industry to thank for these two little gems; which are still in full, throbbing use today. You see, escorts, when placing ads in the newspaper, have developed little abbreviations for the "services" they offer, mostly to save on space and moral outrage. A woman who prints an ad saying that she offers "Bare-Back Blowjob to Completion, No Quitting, No Spitting," would run into all sorts of trouble, but one offering "BBBTCNQNS" will, at most, run afoul of a spellchecker.

Among these unassuming jumbles of capital letters are the "languages spoken." It all started with French, which was used to mean "oral sex." Not too hard to figure out, right? It was soon followed by Greek, which meant "anal sex." Again, not exactly a stretch for anyone even remotely familiar with ancient Greek recreational pastimes.

Then, however, we come to Russian and Italian. We honestly don't know what we're supposed to think here. Are Italians indecisive about anal sex? Are babushka women especially agile? Do we even want to think about this anymore?


How To Use Them In A Sentence:

"Can you believe Grandma MacTaggart speaks Russian and Italian? And at her age, too!"

#4. Oats

You Know It As:

A staple animal feed, a visually unappealing breakfast dish and the first thing you think of when Quakers are mentioned.

No, that's with an "e." "Oates."

But It Can Also Be:

A merciless, retributive beating.

Wait, What?

This one had its start in mid-18th century rural England, where the farmers had apparently just discovered irony in its most rudimentary form. We like to imagine its first usage going a little something like this:

FARMER JOHN: Oi, Farmer William!
FARMER WILLIAM: What's all this then, Farmer John?
FARMER JOHN: This 'ere 'orse won't move unless I give 'im extra oats!
FARMER WILLIAM: (Thinking for a second) 'E wants oats, does 'e? I'll give 'im 'is oats! (FARMER WILLIAM begins furiously whipping FARMER JOHN'S horse.)
FARMER JOHN: Cor, that's bloody brilliant!
FARMER WILLIAM: Now, let's go drink warm beer and eat spotted dick!

By the early 19th century, "giving someone their oats" had caught on outside of rural areas as a way of stealthily implying that you were going to beat the hell out of someone who had wronged you. At some point the term got changed to "oatmeal," presumably because cereal grains are infinitely more menacing when they've been mushed up and heated.

How To Use It In A Sentence:

"My kids are real picky eaters, so I figured that after coming home from the bar tonight I'd give 'em some oatmeal."

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