The Deaf, Warm, Duck (and other misunderstandings)

When I was a kid and feeling under the weather, my mother used to tell me I looked like a deaf, warm, duck. I never queried it – in my head a tiny little duck, wearing a woolly hat, waddled to and fro’ our local brook – and it always made me feel better. Just as well, really. When I grew up, I realised I had misheard her – she was actually saying I looked like death, warmed up.

I was reminded of this today when my friend told me she needed to nip into the chemist. “I want suppose it is’s,” she cheerfully said.

“Suppose what is?” I asked, thinking it was some kind of gift she wanted to give someone (seeing as we were Christmas shopping).

“You know what I mean,” she said, nudging me in the ribs.

“Sorry, nope. I really don’t.” Was my normally sedate friend buying something a little naughty perhaps?

She blushed profusely. “You know, what you shove up your bum when you’ve got piles.” (That’s hemorrhoids, to you across the pond.)

She meant suppositories. I didn’t ask who was going to be on the, ahem, receiving end of them, but as she was walking a bit tenderly, I suspect I know.

My daughter always thought there was a place called Bomb-sit. That’s down to me yelling, “Your room looks like a bomb’s hit,” my way of asking her to tidy it up.

Recently, a kid I know told me he wanted a ‘Git-hard’ for Christmas. I puzzled over that one for a while, until another kid told me he meant he wanted a guitar.

Ah, the English language! Let me know anything you’ve misheard…

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