This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
Advertisement

7 everyday items you're definitely calling the wrong name

And you hadn’t the clue, the entire damn time.

LANGUAGE IS A funny thing.

You say one thing, but you mean another. These are the common misconceptions that the English language has tricked us into saying…

1. A pencil’s lead

Got a pencil to hand? Well, it’s not the “lead” in it that’s blunt – it’s a mixture of graphite and clay.

Source: taylor.a

2. Your funny bone

It’s not a bone at all, actually. It’s a nerve – the ulnar nerve, to be precise.

Source: kazimann/YouTube

3. A koala bear isn’t

It’s not a bear, it’s a marsupial. They are not related closely to the bear family. They’re mostly called plain old “koalas” in their native Australia.

Source: Swamibu

4. The English horn

The English horn neither originated in England nor classifies as a horn. It comes from the area of Europe now called Poland and it’s in the oboe family of instruments.

Source: Flickr

5. No one dials a number

The phrase “dialling” a telephone number comes from old rotary phones. You iPhone definitely isn’t a rotary, and yet we all still refer to “dialling” numbers. We’re wrong.

Source: tornatore

6. Tin foil and tin cans

Tin foil isn’t made of tin, it’s made from aluminium. Tin cans aren’t made from tin either. They’re actually made from steel, but plated in a thin layer of tin. Originally both were all tin, which is where the confusion arose.

cat-with-tin-foil-hat Source: jeffhall2069

7. Sticks of what?

A stick of chalk is actually made of gypsum, not chalk. Mind blown.

 

Source: John-Morgan

Can you think of any more misnomers we all use? Let us know in the comments.

More: 11 songs that will take you right back to the Gaeltacht>

More: 9 brilliantly bizarre WikiHow articles that will fix all your life problems>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Fiona Hyde

Read next:

COMMENTS (50)