Menu
Donate
SIGN IN

Email

Save

Tweet

Share


Aeon Video has a monthly newsletter!

Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.

To all intensive purposes, you might have another think coming about how idioms work

Human language is, of course, far from static. Our vocabularies are constantly being influenced by cultural movements, migrations, new technologies and much, much more. Indeed, even good old-fashioned mixups can shape the way we speak, write and think. As this animation from BBC Ideas explains, there’s a long and rich history of commonly misheard sayings eventually becoming widely accepted, and even replacing the original phrase. So if you’ve ever deployed ‘duck tape’ or spent an afternoon ‘biting your time’, worry not: you might just be on the idiomatic cutting-edge.

Video by BBC Ideas

Animator: Ana Stefaniak

2 July 2019

Aeon is not-for-profit and free for everyone

Make a donation

Get Aeon straight to your inbox

Join our newsletter