Tag Archives: malapropism

Mrs. Malaprop and Moses

“Malapropism” is when you accidentally confuse words with a funny result.   Like the time in college when my art history professor asked why my friend was always falling asleep in class and I said, “Oh, it’s not that you’re boring.  She’s a necrophiliac.”  I meant narcoleptic.  Oopsie.  The term is coined after a character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play “The Rivals” (which I actually read and enjoyed back in college, thanks to Dr. Darlene Mettler).  

First Babysit Church

First Babysit Church

Today, Vivi and I were riding a tandem bike around the island.  We passed a church and she yelled, “Hey, Mommy!  It’s the First Babysit Church!”

After a good chuckle, I explained that the two words shared many letters, but they had totally different meanings.  But given Vivi’s propensity for asking questions I then found myself pedaling the bike, balancing, steering and explaining baptism versus christening, John the Baptist and Salome, Protestantism and Catholicism, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, and the Diet of Worms in 1522.  At least we got to our lunch spot before I had to remember the difference between consubstantiation and transubstantiation.  Wars have been fought over that one.


When we got back to the apartment, Carlos had gone all Old Testament on us.  He had on a Burger King crown and was trying to crawl into a picnic basket made of reeds.  That’s my boy, Moses.