Do you really know what you’re saying?

Words, in principle, can be fickle. In trying to determine which specific words to use when trying to express a certain emotion or feeling, it can be challenging to identify which words will deliver your message in the best way possible; precisely, concisely, and clearly.

English is a bitch of a language even for native speakers, and I feel as though I can say this because I studied English in university. The spelling of some English words literally does not make any logical sense, a prime example being knife when you compare how it is spelled and how it is pronounced.

I stumbled across an Instagram reel a while ago in which a woman was breaking down some common phrases we often use and explaining their true meanings and origin. I was shocked upon learning about some of them, and not in a good way, so I thought I would share some of the ones I can recall with all of you in hopes of spreading some knowledge and minimizing misinformation.

The phrase basketcase, which is commonly used to describe someone who is, perhaps, overly emotional or illogical, originates from the First World War. Soldiers who were severely injured on the battlefield and had to be carried off were referred to as basketcases because they were literally encased in a basket of sorts when they were removed from the battle and oftentimes were missing all four limbs.

To wreak havoc is a phrase I personally exercise use of relatively often. At least, I did, prior to learning about its history. The term havoc was actually a battle cry used by Anglo-Normans that signalled to soldiers to achieve utmost slaughter, plunder and destruction upon their enemy.

There are a hell of a lot more examples where these two came from, and I hope this post can serve as a gentle reminder to be mindful of the words we choose to use.

Image from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s