One thing that almost always gets a laugh out of us is when somebody uses incorrect but similar sounding words to express themselves. Electrical instead of electoral, bone jaw instead of bonjour, suppository instead of repository — the comedic potential is nearly limitless because we all have blind spots where we mix up two similarly sounding words that are, in reality, anything but similar in meaning.
The subreddit ‘Bone Apple Tea’ (which sounds almost like bon appétit in French) collects all forms of malapropisms which are when people use an incorrect word that sounds similar to the appropriate word, often with hilarious results. We’ve collected the best such examples, so get your scrolling fingers ready, upvotes your faves and share with your friends. Let us know what the best malapropisms you’ve ever heard are and share with us if you’ve ever committed any embarrassing linguistic accidents yourself.
Be sure to scroll down for Bored Panda's interview with 'Bone Apple Tea's' founder and moderators!
More info: Reddit
Bored Panda got in touch with the ‘Bone Apple Tea’ subreddit and talked to its moderators about the community, its history and what it stands for.
The subreddit’s creator TheNekkedNinja had this to say: “I started the sub around 3-ish years ago. I was bored at work and I was curious about how moderating worked. The rest is history!”
“As far as the name goes, I always liked the original bone apple tea meme so when I saw that the name was free, ‘Bone Apple Tea’ was born,” TheNekkedNinja explained. “I never thought I would do anything with it and I definitely never thought it would ever become this big. I have no modding experience so I'm incredibly thankful for the mods that came on board and turned it into what it has become today. We currently have 15 mods who sift through hundreds of submissions a day from over 700K subscribers.”
One of the moderators, Altrissa, told Bored Panda that the community’s mission statement is to “highlight the amount of malapropisms that exist in the world.”
“English is one of the weirdest languages in human history and our sub more than proves it!” the mod said. “If native English speakers can have so many problems finding the correct word, imagine how hard it is for everyone else! It's also quite hilarious to see all of the inventive ways people use phonics to spell words they aren't familiar with.”
“Some of the funniest malapropisms we've heard are usually the more immature ones,” Altrissa revealed. “Tonight tits" for tinnitus, "orgasmic blueberries" for organic blueberries, and "crushed Asians" for crustaceans.”
Incorrect words get used all the time by people from all backgrounds: whether they’re politicians or private citizens, everyone has at some point embarrassed themselves, perhaps unknowingly, by mixing up words that at first glance can look almost identical. Malapropisms tend to have a very powerful effect on people, making us giggle as though we’re schoolchildren.
The very term ‘malapropism’ came into being after Richard Brinsley Sheridan created the stage comedy called The Rivals in 1775. In the popular play, the humorous aunt character Mrs. Malaprop often mixed up words and caused the audience to chuckle with laughter.
For example, Mrs. Malaprop (whose name is a version of the French word malapropos which means ‘inappropriate’) has been known to call the ‘pinnacle of politeness’ the ‘pineapple of politeness.’ She also mixes up ‘allegory’ with ‘alligator.’
The character Archie Bunker from the TV situational comedy All in the Family also constantly used malapropisms. Such as mixing up ‘ill refute’ with ‘ill repute,’ ‘ivory shower’ with ‘ivory tower,’ and ‘pig’s eye’ with ‘pigsty.’ We laugh at times like these because the jokes are instinctively funny to us; but we also laugh because we know we’ve made similar mistakes, and they’re a part of being human.