I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

I remember when I was a kid, there was a short period of time in fourth grade when I learned a new word—a bad word—and I went around the playground using it for days, having no clue what it really meant.  I used it like any other child would: carelessly and in ignorance.  This is one of those kinds of stories…

It was Friday, and the last period of the day.  My students were finishing up silly dialogue stories to demonstrate their knowledge of the newfound quotation mark.  For some unknown reason a few of my students asked me how old I am.  I told them to guess.  I received some very flattering (and a few not-so-flattering) responses before revealing that I am, in fact, thirty-three, several gray hairs withstanding.

“No way, I thought you were like twenty-four!” one child exclaimed.

“Whoa, my mom is younger than you,” added another.

“My mom is like that.  She looks way younger than she is,” said the first child.

“Yeah,” interjected a third child, a young girl who overheard the conversation, “my mom’s a MILF.”

What did you say?!” I turned to the girl with shock and horror.

“What?” she answered innocently.  Then seeing my expression, she grew wide-eyed. “Wait, what? Is that bad? Oh, no, that’s bad. What does that mean?!  Am I in trouble!?!”

“You’re not in trouble,” I assured her, “but I don’t think that means what you think it means.  Come talk to me after class.”

The last few minutes of class went by, and this sweet young lady sat nervously while the rest of the students packed up.  After the bell rang and the other kids filed (or fled) out of the classroom to get on their busses, I called her over to my desk.

“So, I’m guessing you don’t know what MILF means, huh?”

“Doesn’t it mean pretty or something like that?”

“Um, not exactly.  Do you know the F-word?”

“Yeah,” she muttered sheepishly.

“And you know what the F-word means?”

“Yes,” she answered, blushing.

“Well…MILF is an acronym for the phrase ‘Mothers I’d Like To F.”

“Oh my god!” she blurted, covering her mouth.  “I said that about my mom! I am so embarrassed.”

“Yeah, let’s not call your mom that, ok?”


How about you?  Have you ever used a word misunderstanding what it truly meant? Please write a comment below for your own confession!

6 thoughts on “I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

  1. Hilarious! I remember using a phrase which was a non-intended double entendre. In my efforts to get my juniors to come up with one of the symbols in Beowulf, I paced in front of the room, my arms waving while I gave my hint, “It’s big! It’s wet! It’s salty!” At first, the kids were stunned, and then they cracked up. Only when a sweet girl mumbled why they were laughing, did I get it. Did I mention that I was being observed for evaluation that day? Total embarrassment!

  2. Fan.tastic.

    In my story, I knew what the word meant, but, uh, didn’t think before I spoke. We were reading a reader’s theatre version of A Christmas Carol. I needed volunteers to read. One of the characters’ names is Dick. (You see where this is going, I’m sure…) So my monologue went like this: “I need a Pan! OK, you. I need a ghost of Christmas past! You, thank you. I need a Dick!” I almost choked on my own spit.

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