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A misnomer is a word with a surprising and misleading meaning. It is attached to something where it ends up being misapplied or just plain wrong. But after having been used for a long period of time, the misnomer can easily fly under the radar — which is why it is helpful to highlight some of the more blatant ones here.

10) Slumber Party — especially for young girls — is not exactly the context for getting any sleep.

9) Free Agent doesn’t quite jive with the excessive salaries the athletes end up garnering.

8) Pleasantly Plump usually isn’t all that desirable — except when referring to the baby fat of a newborn.

7) Expressway can actually be the scene of road rage when the long commute turns into a stalled parade.

6) Beauty Mark is a nice way to grab ownership of an unsightly blemish that is part of God’s distinctive genetic determination of your appearance.

5) Minor Procedure is only minor if the surgeon uses the scalpel on someone other than yourself.

4) Courtesy Call is the euphemism which telemarketers like to use to characterize their annoying interruption of our family time in the privacy of our homes.

3) Foul Pole has long been a source of confusion for those unfamiliar with the rules of baseball. You would think that a ball hitting such a barrier would be classified foul instead of fair.

2) Smart Cars certainly don’t point to intelligence on the part of the driver. Who would actually think it sane to barrel down the interstate in no more than a glorified accordion?

1) My all time favorite has to be Lucky Steer. This is the name of a restaurant chain that my wife and I frequented out in Indiana when at seminary. We could not drive by the establishment without commenting on the unfortunate demise of the Lucky Steer.

Not my favorite — but a rival for the #1 spot = Gentlemen’s Club — certainly not a night spot frequented by gentlemen.

Deserving of mention as well:


Funny Bone