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7 Phrases You've Been Misquoting

That doesn't mean what you think it means.

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7 Phrases You've Been Misquoting
NBC

It's an ancient tradition, words of wisdom passed down in short phrases from one generation to the next. The problem with this is that sometimes, things get switched around and the original meaning is lost. We often misquote famous phrases without even knowing it. In fact, do you know that the most famous misquote is from "Apollo 13"?

Thankfully, we have the internet, where there is always someone there to fact-check you. These phrases look a little different when you get to see the whole picture.

1. Blood is thicker than water.

The full saying is actually, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb." Basically, it means exactly the opposite of what most people think. It refers to the idea that the bonds you choose to make can mean much more to you than the ones you were born into and don't have much of a say in.

2. Curiosity killed the cat.

This phrase continues: “but satisfaction brought it back." This makes sense, considering the whole idea that cats get nine lives. I often heard the first half when I was little and asking too many questions, but the full phrase suggests that there is no such thing as too many questions.

3. A jack of all trades is a master of none.

This saying got cut short as well and originally said: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." Unlike what our version would lead you to believe, having multiple interests but not being an expert in anything could actually prove advantageous.

4. Great minds think alike.

“Small minds rarely differ," is the following line to this once reassuring quote. I would advise you try not to think about that too much the next time you and your classmates are on a roll with your group project, sometimes phrases get cut short for good reason.

5. Money is the root of all evil.

Again, the original version is a little longer. This biblical phrase originally reads “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil." There's a difference in making more money than you could possibly spend and keeping it.

6. My country, right or wrong.

This is often used to justify supporting bad wars, the original actually says “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong to be set right." This puts the responsibility on the citizen to make sure their country is a good one, not the other way around.

7. Starve a cold, feed a fever.

I've only heard this a couple of times and it could have multiple meanings just by reading it differently. Not only is it terrible advice, but it's also poorly quoted. The original states “if you starve a cold, you'll have to feed a fever." Now, that's advice I can take to heart.

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