While English is the most widely spoken language worldwide, it is also full of weird quirks that even native speakers have a hard time figuring out. Some words are spelled the same but pronounced differently, others sound alike yet have completely separate meanings — the list goes on and on.

With so many twists and turns, there’s bound to be some miscommunication, and it often comes from people mishearing things. However, if they're quick-witted, they could avoid embarrassing themselves. But if they're not, their slip-ups might end up online. And that’s exactly what this post is all about.

Recently, Twitter user Andy van Slyke who goes by the handle @im_all_id kicked off a hilarious thread by explaining her flirting blunder. Thousands of people joined in to share funny mishaps of how they misunderstood one another in conversations. We at Bored Panda selected some of the best tweets from the thread, all for your entertainment. So have a look at them right below, upvote the ones that made you laugh, and be sure to share your own stories with us in the comments!

Twitter user Andy van Slyke recently tweeted about her flirting blunder and kicked off a hilarious thread full of stories about how people misheard words in conversations

Image credits: im_all_id

#1

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Julieandthephatones
Community Member
2 months ago

😲😨😅

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#2

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Arcade Fire_Fan
Community Member
2 months ago

BP: Bored Panda

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#3

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

He hoped so too though...

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Audiologist Dr. Victoria Zambrano stated that it's not uncommon to hear words incorrectly. She explained that hearing involves not only our ears but also our brain. "First, sound waves need to be able to reach our brain through the physical act of hearing. From there, the brain uses the information that has reached it to interpret sound and give it meaning."

When we sometimes mishear certain words, it could be due to a hearing loss condition. Our brain might not receive all the signals it needs to fully understand the incoming language. "To take a page from Dr. Seuss, differentiating words like 'here' from 'there' or 'house' from 'mouse' becomes difficult, if not plain impossible," Zambrano explained.

#4

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

LavishTantrums Report

Hawkmoon
Community Member
2 months ago

These b**bs are made for walking and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these b**bs are gonna walk all over you!

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#5

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah, eat it all up, I'm a bad@ss!

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#6

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Omg I'd feel so dumb but be loling at myself!

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However, misunderstanding words can result in funny accidents, such as the ones you see in this list. They often happen because we don't properly listen or simply hear what we want to hear. According to science journalist Ingrid Wickelgren, the act of listening might seem simple enough, but the situation is usually far more complicated in the real world.

"First, to mentally process the message, the person to whom you are speaking has to be paying attention. Not only may external distractions … divert their minds away from the words, but their own thoughts might also similarly lead them astray. Lost in thought, they are just not hearing you," she wrote.

#7

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
2 months ago

I can definitely see myself doing this. Lol

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#8

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Katie Nelson
Community Member
2 months ago

“Nah, baby shower”

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#9

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

😆

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You see, language processing takes a fair amount of thinking. "We use a short-term mental sketch pad, so-called working memory, to hold each word and its meaning in mind long enough to combine it with others," so if the meaning of the words is obscure, the task gets harder.

Moreover, people often fail to express themselves clearly. They might forget to let the listener know about important context, mumble their words, or simply choose the wrong expression. So "even when the other person's brain is ready to listen, the information they need from a speaker is often not all there."

#10

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Tiger Pearl
Community Member
2 months ago

And by pinches he means steals.

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#11

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Hawkmoon
Community Member
2 months ago

So did he leave because he was vegan and didn't want to wear leather safety boots?

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#12

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Potty like a rockstar!

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While mishearing things in everyday conversations is quite common, song lyrics take it to a whole other level. How many times did you sing out loud at the top of your lungs to your favorite song only to find out you completely missed the right words? If you can’t keep track of the count, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

These mishaps are often referred to as mondegreens — a word or phrase that results from mishearing or misinterpreting a statement or song lyric. And it's no surprise that these slip-ups are always funny, leaving people surprised they’ve been wrong this whole time. For example, singing "Hold me closer Tony Danza" when the correct lyrics by Elton John are "Hold me closer tiny dancer". Or believing Queen wrote "Saving his life from this warm sausage tea" when it’s in fact "Spare him his life from this monstrosity".

#13

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

What tricks did he show you? Like how to restring a guitar using your shoelaces or something?

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#14

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Vanta Black
Community Member
2 months ago

"I can even do the splits!" *two hours later* "I swear Doc, I was just doing the splits naked and I accidentally landed on it!"

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#15

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Why didn't he question your litter box response? Maybe he did mean a cat...

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The English language is extremely rich in words that simply sound alike which is the perfect ground for such accidents. Also, Dr. Wei Ji Ma, assistant professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, found in his lip-reading study that it’s much harder to understand what people are saying or singing when they’re not looking at a person's face.

"Understanding speech can be difficult, especially when it’s noisy," Ma told NBC News. "We found that this process can be helped a lot by looking at the speaker’s face. If you have only sound information, you will sometimes make mistakes. But if you also have the visual information, the brain will combine those two pieces and get a better sense of what’s being said."

#16

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

I had a similar mishearing because of a thick accent. Spanish teacher was French and one day he asked us to write the sentence "the beaches are nice..." ofc what we all heard was "b*tches" and ofc we were all in stitches. We finally had to explain it to him and he just laughed along with us!

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#17

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Awww cute

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#18

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Beeps
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Actually happened to me when I had an ear infection. I asked for a prescription for antibiotics over the phone, and the doctor said he was going to ask me some questions, some of which may seem irrelevant to me. I thought “fair enough” and when he said “which year is it?” I replied: “2021” He said: “WHAT???” And I very confidently replied : “2021. WHY???” And of course he then said: “No. Which ear is it?’

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#19

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Paul C.
Community Member
2 months ago

Had a colleague say Wilf's mum had arrived, so I said, SO WHAT? Yep, you got it, what he actually said was Wilf's mum had died! Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

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Ma revealed that the study participants got the words right only 10 percent of the time when listening. Seeing a person's lips move improved understanding of the words up to 60 percent. "What seems to be happening with misunderstood song lyrics is that what you hear is not always reliable," the professor said. "It’s noisy, the singer is singing fast, he’s not articulating well or maybe he has an accent. The sound information is uncertain, that’s step one."

While many of the situations you read while scrolling through this list did not involve any noisy surroundings, people still seem to have a tendency to mishear things. Whether they did not listen closely enough or were just a tad distracted, we're sure happy they decided to share their funny tales with everyone online.

#20

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago

"Yes I do, I was buried just last week."

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#21

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago

It feels odd doesn't it? When you buy your first legal drink.

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#22

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

😬😬 I've done that a couple times.

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#23

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Nathaniel
Community Member
2 months ago

The search and rescue team came back after 24 hours, defeated, unable to find the tampon.

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#24

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Katie Nelson
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I'm sure they were cute too.

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#25

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Kimberly Young
Community Member
2 months ago

Being embarrassed into avoiding skin cancer? I see this as a total win!

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#26

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Get those numbers bruh!

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#27

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Points though still! Smart response!

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#28

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Geeki Nikki
Community Member
2 months ago

Huh?

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#29

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Guido Pisano
Community Member
2 months ago

"peel the dog"

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#30

Funny-Awkward-Situations-Misheard-Words

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Elwood Schwartz
Community Member
2 months ago

6th grade must have been awhile ago, judging by the lingo

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Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.