I was introduced to malaprops in my eighth-grade English class, while reading Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 comedy The Rivals. One of the characters in the play, Mrs. Malaprop (likely named after the French term mal à propros, meaning inappropriate), misuses words that sound very similar to her intended words. The resulting dialogue is quite hilarious.

Here are some malaprops that I have encountered around town:

“This will be kept for prosperity (posterity)”

“I tend to be self-depreciating (self-deprecating)”

“I’m ravishing (ravenous); I haven’t eaten in hours.”

“In order to pass, the vote must be anonymous (unanimous).”