11 Common Sayings & Phrases Everyone Uses Wrong

Aphorisms: they're the world's favorite way to let somebody else handle the thinking. We all turn to a time-tested saying or phrase from time to time. It's not a crime or nothin'. But what if lots of our most common sayings have actual meanings that are the opposite of our intention? What if lots of our go-to words and phrases have nightmare historical origins? And when we find out our language has those dark secrets, what should we do next as responsible speakers?

On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt teams up with comedians Greg Edwards and Caitlin Gill for a trip back in time, back through vocabularies, and back to the basics of the English language. They'll examine how history, slang, and surprising shifts in meaning can mess with our most trusted sayings and phrases, turning our ordinary speech into insane ahistorical nonsense.


Caitlin Gill's website

Caitlin Gill live album tapings this week at The Punchline (San Francisco): June 12th and June 13th

Greg Edwards's website

Greg Edwards's new album Dopamine

The 5 Most Frequently Misused Proverbs (Cracked)

5 Common Sayings That Mean The Opposite Of What You Think (Cracked)

5 Things You Say Often With Horrible Historical Origins (Cracked)

5 Innocent Phrases With Surprisingly Dark Origins (Cracked)

England Unveils New 10-Pound Note Featuring Jane Austen (NPR)

Why that Jane Austen quotation on the new £10 note is a major blunder (The Guardian)

The Bizarre Hassles Women Face In Our World Designed For Men (The Cracked Podcast)

Ben Jonson (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Lyrics for "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" (Genius)

Everything You Need to Know About Actress Allison Mack's Alleged Role in Sex Cult (The Cut)

"You know, we as gay people, we get to choose our family. We get to choose the people we're around. You know what I'm saying?" -- RuPaul (via the RuPaul's Drag Race Twitter account)

Polari: The code language gay men used to survive (BBC)

Myth: The Deadline Was Unique To Andersonville (U.S. National Park Service)

John 18:10 "Then Simon Peter drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus." -- BibleHub

Lyrics for "The Luck Of The Irish" by John Lennon & Yoko Ono (Genius)

Blancmanges Playing Tennis (Monty Python Wiki)

Where Did the Phrase "Pleased as Punch" Come From? (Mental Floss)

'Pow! Right in the Kisser!' (The New York Times)

'Head of the Family': The Pilot for 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' Starring Carl Reiner (Vulture)

Questions of consent can make NC sexual assault cases tough to prosecute (The Raleigh News & Observer)

Why Being 'Gypped' Hurts The Roma More Than It Hurts You (NPR Code Switch)