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Mrs. Malaprop's Malapropisms

Here are some of the original malapropisms from the lady herself: Mrs. Malaprop in Richard Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775).

In case you're not sure what it is that Mrs. Malaprop is intending to say we've put the correct word(s) in square brackets after each quotation.

  • "...promise to forget this fellow - to illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory."
       [obliterate]
     
  • "O, he will dissolve my mystery!"
       [resolve]
     
  • "He is the very pine-apple of politeness!"
       [pinnacle]
     
  • "I have since laid Sir Anthony's preposition before her;"
       [proposition]
     
  • "Oh! it gives me the hydrostatics to such a degree."
       [hysterics]
     
  • "I hope you will represent her to the captain as an object not altogether illegible."
       [eligible]
     
  • "...she might reprehend the true meaning of what she is saying."
       [comprehend]
     
  • "...she's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of Nile."
       [alligator]
     
  • "I am sorry to say, Sir Anthony, that my affluence over my niece is very small."
       [influence]
     
  • "Why, murder's the matter! slaughter's the matter! killing's the matter! - but he can tell you the perpendiculars."
       [particulars]
     
  • "Nay, no delusions to the past - Lydia is convinced;"
       [allusions]
     
  • "...behold, this very day, I have interceded another letter from the fellow;"
       [intercepted]
     
  • "I thought she had persisted from corresponding with him;"
       [desisted]
     
  • "His physiognomy so grammatical!"
       [phraseology]
     
  • "I am sure I have done everything in my power since I exploded the affair;"
       [exposed]
     
  • "I am sorry to say, she seems resolved to decline every particle that I enjoin her."
       [article]
     
  • "...if ever you betray what you are entrusted with... you forfeit my malevolence for ever..."
       [benevolence]
     
  • "Your being Sir Anthony's son, captain, would itself be a sufficient accommodation;"
       [recommendation]
     
  • "Sure, if I reprehend any thing in this world it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!"
       [apprehend, vernacular, arrangement, epithets]
     

Now you know what a Malapropism is, and where the name came from, have a look at our celebrity malapropisms page to see some unintentionally malapropriate quotations from famous people! Bushisms, Colemanballs.

And if you're still not satisfied, visit the malapropisms and mondegreens section of our online wordplay bookstore.

If you want to send us your favourite malapropism, then send us an e-mail.

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