Words That Don't Mean What You Think They Mean

You might have been misusing these tricky words your entire life.
Words That Don't Mean What You Think They Mean


In the movie “The Princess Bride,” Vizzini famously makes a fool of himself by repeatedly shouting “Inconceivable!” despite that word not meaning what he thinks it means.

Vizzini isn’t alone, as many of us use dozens of words in our daily lives that don’t actually mean what we think they mean.

The English language is a living thing that grows and evolves over time. Many words have completely changed in meaning from their origins hundreds of years ago. But then there are words whose meaning haven’t changed, but that people just get plain wrong.

Some of these words are consistently used incorrectly because they sound similar to words with different meanings. Other words are confusing because they don’t follow the “rules” of English -- which anyone learning English might say seem haphazard or nonexistent.

So before you decide to learn some new five-dollar words from a thesaurus or word-a-day calendar, make sure you’re using these 29 commonly misused words correctly.

Click here for words that don’t mean what you think they mean.

More readings: 

Celebrities and Politicians Who've Famously Misused Words

22 Embarrassing Things You Should Never Do in Other Countries

A Yoga Instructor's Favorite Words of Wisdom