Earlier today I happened upon an article in the online edition of the Telegraph newspaper which listed the top 10 misquoted phrases in Britain. You know, the ones that many people use wrongly because one of the words in the phrase sounds like another word, and the other word is more common and appears to make more sense too.
I thought I'd share the list with you - keep in mind that the phrases *in brackets* are the *correct* ones.
1) A damp squid (a damp squib)
2) On tender hooks (on tenter hooks)
3) Nip it in the butt (nip it in the bud)
4) Champing at the bit (chomping at the bit)
5) A mute point (a moot point)
6) One foul swoop (one fell swoop)
7) All that glitters is not gold (all that glisters is not gold)
8) Adverse to (averse to)
9) Batting down the hatches (batten down the hatches)
10) Find a penny pick it up (find a pin, pick it up)
I must admit, I have on occasion proclaimed that someone was on tender hooks and I had absolutely no idea that it's what glisters that may not be gold!
According to the article, the 14th century phrase "on tenter hooks" comes from a wooden frame (a tenter) that was used to hung wet clothes out to dry, whereas the phrase "all that glisters is not gold" comes for the Shakespearean Merchant of Venice.
So... which ones of these have you been getting wrong?