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Say what?

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.

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2. Your funny bone

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

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.

Swamibu 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.

Flickr 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.

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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.

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7. Sticks of what?

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


John-Morgan John-Morgan

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

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