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Languages are hard, and English is one of the hardest (even if you’re a native speaker), and here’s the thing – sometimes so many people do it wrong for so long that everyone thinks it’s right.

These 8 phrases are definitely fall into those categories, so if you’re looking to educate yourself, here are the right vs. wrong ways to use them!

8. Shoe-in.

When someone is an easy winner you might call them a shoe in, but actually, it comes from people shooing racehorses to run faster, so the phrase is actually shoo-in.

7. Pawn off.

If you want to get rid of something, you might think you pawn it off on someone else, but the phrase is actually “palm off” – like when you hide your cards in your hand during poker.

It’s meant to indicate an intentional deception rather an an accidental one.

6. You’ve got another thing coming.

The original phrase is actually “you’ve got another think coming,” but actually, both are acceptable and correct.

5. Butt naked.

Even though butt naked makes more sense, buck naked is actually correct.

4. Hunger pains.

Hunger pains might be how you describe them, but hunger “pangs” are the medical term for cramps caused by hunger.

3. Chock it up.

A fridge can be chock-full of vegetables, but when you’re explaining why something happened, you’re “chalking” it up.

2. Ex-patriot.

An ex-patriot is someone who has fallen out of love with their home country, while an “expatriate” is someone living abroad – both are words, but if you’re describing someone living away from their home, the latter is appropriate.

1. Changing tact.

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You might think that when you’re changing your approach you’re changing tact, and it makes sense. The phrase, though, comes from the nautical term “tack,” which is when the direction of a boat changes, which means “changing tack” is technically correct.

Did you learn something? I know I did!

Do you love language and learning new things about yours? Do you hate it? Let’s talk about it in the comments!