Freudian slip

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Freudian slip is a popular term for a psychological concept. We will look at the definition of this word, where it comes from, the scientific word for this phenomenon and some examples of Freudian slip’s use in sentences.

A Freudian slip is a mistake in speech or writing that accidentally reveals someone’s subconscious desires, fears or feelings. In psychological terms, Freudian slip may also encompass misreading or mishearing something, losing certain objects or forgetting something. The more scientifically correct term for a Freudian slip is parapraxis. The term Freudian slip was named after Sigmund Freud, an early pioneer of psychoanalysis. In his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, published in 1901, Freud discussed these types of subconsciously motivated errors. Freud did not use the term Freudian slip, he called such phenomena fehlleistungen which is a German word meaning faulty actions. The first known use of the term Freudian slip didn’t occur until 1959, when the concept crossed into pop culture and the general population. However, even Freud didn’t believe that every slip of the tongue held depths of subconscious meaning. In terms of symbols and implicit meaning, Freud is credited with the admonition, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Note that in the term Freudian slip, the first word is capitalized as it is a form of a proper name.


No sooner had the video been broadcast, social media users began to fervently share the clip alleging that this was, in effect, a Freudian Slip. (The Janta Ka Reporter)

BBC Radio Scotland sports reporter Phil Goodlad suffered a hilarious Freudian slip when he told listeners Andy Murray had claimed a “straight sex” victory. (The Daily Mail)

Boris obviously intended his statement to suggest a commitment to Herculean success in this disengagement process, but we all know that Freudian slips can be much more eloquent and truthful than well-thought through remarks. (The Belfast Newsletter)