15 Words and Phrases That Are Wrong but Became Right

Image Of A Confused Young Beautiful Woman Posing Isolated Over

The English language has evolved. New words and phrases get coined, while others become obsolete. On the other hand, some words, like these 15, shift their meanings or become acceptable even though they were once considered wrong.  


Young Smiling Happy Satisfied Male Housewife Housekeeper Chef Cook Baker
Source: Shutterstock

“Naperon” was the correct word for the cloth covering that prevents messes on your clothes from food splatter. It was a French name, but when it came into English, it was changed to “napron” and then “an apron.” 


Puzzled Young Caucasian Man Wearing Glasses Scratch Head In Confusion
Source: Shutterstock

“Nimrod was actually like a great mythical hunter. But after Bugs Bunny Called Elmer Fudd Nimrod, it was changed to mean foolish,” a user points out.


Young Female Passenger At The Airport Saying Goodbye To Her
Source: Shutterstock

Apparently, people didn’t say goodbye when bidding others farewell in the past. They’d say, “God be with you,” but with time, it morphed into “Goodbye.”


Surprised Young Female Model With Long Blonde Hair Wears Glasses
Source: Shutterstock

A user notes, “Peruse by definition is to read over something carefully. It’s been overused that it now means the exact opposite – to just skim through things,” explains a poster. Another user points that the word “scan” is also used wrongly as it initially meant reading in detail but currently means skimming. 


Headshot Of Indecisive Confused Young European Woman In Denim Wear
Source: Shutterstock

Did you know irregardless wasn’t a word? However, it has become so widespread and now has the same meaning as “regardless.”

Hot Water Heater

Female Hand Puts Thermostat Of Electric Water Heater (boiler) In
Source: Shutterstock

Do you notice the redundancy in this phrase? Saying a “water heater” is enough, but the word “hot” was somehow added and has become widely accepted.

PIN Number

A Young Smart Casual Man Is Using Atm.
Source: Shutterstock

This is also wrong, considering PIN is an acronym for Personal Identification Number. So, there’s no need to add the word “number” after “PIN.”


Puzzled Man Gesturing With One Hand Person With Puzzled Face
Source: Shutterstock

People use this word to mean “actually,” whereas its initial meaning was “figuratively with emphasis.” 

A user says, “This is the word that taught me how language can develop over time. People start using a word sarcastically for comedic effect. It then gets used so frequently as sarcasm that young people start using it without ever knowing the real definition of the word.”


Photo by Prostock-studio on Shutterstock

This is a constant word in memes and TikTok videos but rarely used to mean “point of view.” What’s even more annoying? “When they also use voice to text and it always pronounces it ‘pahv.”

Garlic Aioli

Aioli Sauce With Ingredients On A Light Gray Grunge Background.
Source: Shutterstock

“It’s redundant to add garlic after saying aioli, as aioli already means a sauce that is an emulsion of garlic and fat substance (oil, mayo, butter). Garlic aioli actually means garlic garlic sauce,” corrects a poster. 

I Couldn’t Care Less

Hispanic Pretty Woman Feeling Clueless And Confused Having No Idea
Source: Shutterstock

Another incorrect, now correct phrase is “I couldn’t care less,” whose meaning is the same as “I could care less.”

The Customer Is Always Right

Disagreement Between A Waiter And A Customer In A Coffee
Source: Shutterstock

This phrase meant a customer’s preference in taste was always right. However, “somewhere along the way, some people got the impression that it means that any irrational or unreasonable request or demand should be entertained.”

Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps

Angry Freaked Out Disappointed Woman Frowning Grimacing Anger Distress Raise
Source: Shutterstock

Initially, the phrase was intended as a joke, as one can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Now, it is used in the literal sense as a motivational quote. 


Young African American Man Wearing Casual Clothes Confuse And Wondering
Source: Shutterstock

Did you know decimate meant reduce to 1/10th? Now, it means reducing to nothing, changing the word’s meaning. 


Disgusted Woman Rejecting To Kiss Man Having Bad Date Walking
Source: Shutterstock

While people use “disinterested” to mean “uninterested,” there’s a difference; as one user points out, “Uninterested is the one that means bored, while disinterested means not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.”

Source: Reddit
Featured Photo from Shutterstock

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

Source: Shutterstock

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

21 British Words That Are Confusing to Americans

Young Man In Detestation
Photo by SIphotography on Deposit Photos

21 British Phrases That Are Confusing to Americans

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

Depositphotos 229829956 L
Photo by Prostock on Deposit Photos

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

10 Words and Phrases That Make You Sound Stupid

Businessman Covers Face With Hand. Guy Facepalms Feeling Ashamed Of
Source: Shutterstock

10 Words and Phrases That Make You Sound Stupid

Dad Answers All