Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

15 Words That Sound Worse Than They Really Are


I met this interesting lady recently who described herself as a polyglot. Now, I know what the word means, but it struck me that it sounds a lot worse than it really is. So, I was inspired to create this post. Enjoy!



Suspected Meaning – Crocodile

Actual Meaning – One who ties or unites


Suspected Meaning – The surgical operation necessary when you accidentally swallow a bat

Actual Meaning – A battle between frogs and mice. What? It’s a reference to Batrachomyomachia, an ancient Greek parody of The Iliad. The mock-heroic poem satirizes  the absurdity of war


Suspected Meaning – What an exterminator does to unwanted wasps and bees

Actual Meaning – Umbrella. That’s got to be of British origin.


Suspected Meaning – Someone from Cairo who moves to Los Angeles

Actual Meaning – Having beautifully proportioned buttocks. A personal favorite.


Suspected Meaning – Someone who chews with their mouth open

Actual Meaning – One who eats only raw foods (unconfirmed)


Suspected Meaning – One who is flatulent

Actual Meaning – An athletic training technique, used especially in running, in which periods of intense effort alternate with periods of less strenuous effort in a continuous workout.


Suspected Meaning – Having sex with paperwork

Actual Meaning – The sensation of insects crawling on the skin; symptom of a nerve disorder


Suspected Meaning – Unable to lose weight

Actual Meaning – Incapable or seemingly incapable of being fatigued; tireless.


Suspected Meaning – Unfortunate intestinal results from chewing on tree bark

Actual Meaning – Excessive use of words 🙂


Suspected Meaning – The brown stains that accumulate in the bottom of a coffee cup

Actual Meaning A person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics.


Suspected Meaning -Explaining the characteristics of panda bears

Actual Meaning – The act of stretching and yawning, especially upon waking


Suspected Meaning – A person who eats enormous amounts of food of all types

Actual Meaning – A person who speaks multiple languages


Suspected Meaning – Infectious

Actual Meaning – Having great physical beauty and appeal.


Suspected Meaning – Being shaped like a poop

Actual Meaning – Of, relating to or resembling a thrush. I did not see that coming.


Suspected Meaning – Foul tasting

Actual Meaning – One of the tunnel-like passages of an amphitheater or stadium between the seats and the outside wall or passageway.


Author: Henry Herz

Children's book author

8 thoughts on “15 Words That Sound Worse Than They Really Are

  1. The fact that I knew almost half of those already is troubling. Obviously, I’m behind in my drinking.

  2. Henry (and allthoughtswork), thanks for the laughs and the education 🙂 I almost spit a couple of times! lol And the last one actually makes sense in that the vomitory is much like a stadium’s “esophagus” spewing the people out of its belly 😀

  3. Your definitions were excellent, except Mugwump, which I thought was the name of the offspring of Muggles and Centaurs in Harry Potter. I enjoyed lots of good laughs reading this and learned a few things too.

  4. Muggles and Centaurs!? So wrong. 🙂

  5. I need to run into someone who resembles a thrush so that I can use #14 and see what happens. I will plan accordingly and take along my first aid kit. 😉

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