15 Real Words That Were Invented by Accident
Did you know originally the words sneeze was spelled with an “F”, not an S—as in fneze. Seriously!
The English language is chock-full of words that were born out of errors. Read on to find out which everyday terms started out by mistake.
Believe it or not, sneeze was originally spelled with an F, not an S—as in fneze. Why the change? According to one explanation, people often misread the lowercase f as the old-fashioned long S character, ſ. Eventually, the spelling error simply became the norm.
Back in the Middle Ages, the French called this protective cooking gear a naperon. But once English speakers adopted the word, the phrase “a napron” often blended together when people said it out loud. As a result, “a napron” became “an apron,” instead—and we have spelled it that way ever since.
In Old English, the term quease meant to press or crush firmly. The extra “s” was mistakenly added later on, probably due to the word’s likeness to other expressions that begin with “squ-,” like squash and squat.
Although the English borrowed the French word chasse—a verb that means “to chase”—to describe a “gliding step,” they butchered the pronunciation by swapping the “sh” and “s” sounds.
This word originally started out as versity, a shortened version of university. No one knows exactly what happened, but somewhere down the line, the letter ‘e’ was swapped with ‘a.’
This word is actually a mistaken rendering of the Spanish term “tronada,” which means “thunderstorm.” Over time, speakers accidentally switched the “r” and “o,” creating the modern word tornado.
Scandinavia has not always been this country’s title. At one time, its name did not include the first N, so it read as “Scadinavia.” The Oxford English Dictionary claims that a Roman scholar mistakenly added the extra N, and the rest is history.