Slip of the tongue

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Slip of the tongue is an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiom slip of the tongue, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A slip of the tongue is a misspoken word or phrase that is often humorous. A slip of the tongue is unintentional. A slip of the tongue may be a spoonerism, which is a verbal mistake in which the initial consonant sounds of two words are transposed. A slip of the tongue may be a malapropism, which is a verbal mistake in which a word is substituted with another word that sounds similar but means something entirely different. Another category of a slip of the tongue is a mondegreen, which is a misheard version of a phrase, saying, lyric, poetic phrase, or slogan. Finally, a slip of the tongue may be an eggcorn, which is a misheard word or phrase that retains its original meaning. Slips of the tongue occur for many reasons. One may have learned the pronunciation of a word or phrase incorrectly; misread a word or phrase; or simply become tongue-tied because of fatigue, anxiety, or illness. The expression slip of the tongue exploded into popular use in the mid-1700s; however, its antecedent, slip of the pen, may be found in documents going back to the 1600s. The plural form of slip of the tongue is slips of the tongue.


Newman described those comments as a “slip of the tongue that the matter had already been accepted and approved.” (The Charleston Post and Courier)

It might be mentioned that Babul had said to the court that comment made by him during the show was a slip of the tongue and it was not intended to attack Moitra personally. (The Times of India)

But Biden’s second-fiddle slip of the tongue stands out because it came on the heels of running mate Kamala Harris’ own linguistic shuffling of the deck. (The Boston Herald)

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