Expressions that Simply Make No Sense

English is filled with expressions and idioms that we use every day without even thinking about it. But sometimes, when you pause to consider the things we say, there are some turns-of-phrase that just don’t add up. With that in mind, I’ve made some suggestions on how to fix some of these more awkward expressions to better express what we mean.

  • It’s like apples and oranges.

So normally, we use this to mean two things that are completely different. But are apples and oranges really that different? They’re both fruits, they’re both round, they’re both edible, they both grow on trees… honestly, they’re pretty similar. 

Edit: it’s like apples and oranges black holes.


  • I know it like the back of my hand.

How well do you really know the back of your hand? Right now, close your eyes and tell me what the back of your hand looks like. Why is this the shorthand for something you know really well? There’s so many other things in the world that we know better than the backs of our hands. 

Edit: I know it like the back of my hand feel of the shirt I am currently wearing.


  • The best thing since sliced bread.

Sliced bread was actually only created in 1928, which means that when you say this expression, you’re really only saying that this is the best thing since 1928. What an oddly specific time frame. Furthermore, there are actually people alive today who are older than sliced bread, like Betty White. Also, how great is sliced bread? I feel like there are plenty of things that are better than sliced bread. 

Edit: The best thing since sliced bread Betty White.


  • You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

What are they talking about? Of course you can. Why would you have cake if you can’t eat it? People have cake and eat it too all the time. That is the only reason you would have cake. When was the last time you saw someone sitting with a plate of cake in front of them, just staring at it sadly, because they could have it but couldn’t eat it?

Edit: You can’t have your cake and eat it too also ice cream, brownies, cookies, and other desserts because that’s too much sugar for one day.


  • You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Alright, this is technically true, and there are books with boring covers that turn out to be really interesting. But in all honesty, the sole purpose of book covers is so you can judge them. That’s why book publishers spend thousands of dollars hiring artists to design book covers.

Edit:  You can’t judge a book by its cover You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but if the cover is beige and says “The History of Brown Paint,” you might want to read something else.


  • It’s always darkest before the dawn.

It is not. It is actually beginning to get quite bright before the dawn, as a result of the sun beginning to come up over the horizon.

Edit: It’s always darkest before the dawn in the middle of the night


  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

This is just unsound medical advice. 

Edit: An apple a day keeps the doctor away is an important part of a balanced diet, but is in no way a guarantee of perfect health.


  • It’s like taking candy from a baby. 

It’s actually quite difficult to take candy from a baby. They start crying, and then they won’t stop, and you feel really bad afterwards. Also, if you try just randomly robbing a baby of their candy, their parents are bound to interfere. Also, why would you be stealing candy from a baby in the first place? 

Edit: it’s like taking candy from a baby a bag of candy.


  • As right as rain.

How right is rain? Normally, you use this expression to mean something is perfect, or in normal condition. Is that implying that rain is perfect? Seriously, if someone understands this expression, please contact me and explain. 

Edit: As right as rain a ninety-degree angle. 


  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

This is pretty good advice, actually. The ironic thing is, though, we always put all our eggs in one basket. That’s the whole purpose of a carton of eggs. So… this is good advice, we’re all just very bad at taking it literally.

Edit: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, unless they’re literal eggs, in which case it’s fine.