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A Slip of the Tongue

Updated on November 25, 2009

By Lowell's Notes

A few years ago, I made a list of phrases and idioms, then wrote part of each one on a piece of paper and asked my kids to finish them. The results had my wife and I laughing until we cried. Here's a few of their responses:

A penny saved is...a penny taken from dad's change tray (a penny earned)

A penny saved is...a waste of time.

Absence makes the heart...feel lost (grow fonder)

Absence makes the heart...get in trouble

To act a good way to get arrested (and mighty)

Actions speak...Actish (louder than words)

Actions each other

To add fuel...keeps the car running (to the fire)

To add insult...and pepper (to injury)

To add must first subtract love

A little scared of big cats (told me)

A little bird...needs it's mom

All in a days...from playing too hard (work)

From all must rest (of life)

Apple of my...pie (eye)

Armed to the...pits (teeth)

To bark up the...driveway (wrong tree)

To bark up must raise his head

Don't beat around the...drums (bush)

Beg (differ)

Beg to...keep from working

The birds and the...trees (bees)

Don't bite the hand...because it hurts (that feeds you)

Let's call it a...puppy (day)

My doctor gave me a clean bill of...$200 (health)

Don't hold your...frogs because you will get warts (breath)

Don't hold in your mouth

From coast to...the bottom of the hill (to coast)

Cover a lot of...mistakes (ground)

Don't drop the...dishes (ball)

Eat your heart...before you starve (out)

Eat your heart...ichokes

Get your foot in before you close the door (door)

First and...last (foremost)

Get down (business)

It is a golden...ring (opportunity)

Some of the funniest things that children say are because of their pure innocence, not because of a slip of the tongue. These mis-statements can be very profound or outright ridiculous.

As adults; however, most of our abuse of the language is because our tongues are devious little creatures and love to betray us when we need them most. "With a slip of my tongue I cut my own throat," bewailed a Colonial Politician.

Have you ever had a slip of the tongue at a critical moment? Like during a job interview, or when asking that special person out for a date?

We all, at one time or another, have said something entirely different than we were thinking--or twisted our words into a tangled wad of nonsense.

A slip of the tongue can be humiliating or the source of great amusement. Really, it comes down to your response at the moment. Learning to laugh at yourself helps take the edge off of those moments when you find yourself the victim of your own tongue.

There is, of course, the issue of speaking from the heart. Sometimes what we try to say is a slip of the tongue is in fact our mouth speaking what is in our heart. This applies, in my opinion, especially to foul language or cursing. When you let fly with a curse--that is not a slip of the tongue, but rather an eruption from the heart.

A slip of the tongue? Laugh it off, it should be harmless. An eruption from the heart? Take another look at your heart--it's never too late to clean it up.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great stuff! My fav is full of wisdom and is truth from the mouth of babes: "To add must first subtract love."

    Voted up and I wish I could do that many times over.

  • AskAshlie3433 profile image


    10 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

    Very cool hub. Your hubs are so interesting. You really do a great job.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Funny. Kids have a way of going right to the heart of something. It's interesting to see how they finish an age old saying. Thanks for giving me a BIG laugh.

  • I Write4U profile image

    I Write4U 

    11 years ago from Rhode Island

    Gotta love kids :) this was cute

  • Lowell's Notes profile imageAUTHOR

    LD Lewis 

    11 years ago

    :) Thanks tobey100!

  • tobey100 profile image


    11 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

    Dang that was FUNNY. You got me beat. I'm gonna have to start hubbin' serious and stay away from the humor. Made my day. I shudder to think how my herd would respond. Thanks

  • Lowell's Notes profile imageAUTHOR

    LD Lewis 

    11 years ago

    Rose West, I agree! We've done it several times through the years (when the kids were at various ages)--all with funny results. The older kids just make up stuff that they know will make us laugh.

  • Rose West profile image

    Rose West 

    11 years ago from Michigan

    Hilarious! That's a fun idea to do with kids!

  • Lowell's Notes profile imageAUTHOR

    LD Lewis 

    11 years ago

    Thanks, Kim! I hope you get a lot of laughs when you try this. :)

  • kimbaustin profile image


    11 years ago from Sunny California

    Lowell, that was fantastic. I am the cliche' monster in my house and I am definitely going to do this with my kids. What a great idea and thanks for sharing.

    As for tongue slip ups, I think I have taken to writing because it gives me a chance to think before speaking. Thanks for your great post.


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