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lapsus linguae

See also lapsus línguae



From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] lapsus linguae, literally a slip or fault of the tongue, from lapsus ‘fault’ and linguae (the genitive form of lingua) ‘tongue’.



lapsus linguae

lapsus linguae

lapsus linguae (lapsus linguae)
  1. (formal) An inadvertent remark; slip of the tongue.
    • a1789, Rev. Mr. Bramston, "The Art of Politics, in Imitation of Horace’s Art of Poetry", Epistle X in John Bell (ed.), Classical Arrangement of Fugitive Poetry, Volume V, John Bell (1789), page 112,
      Is there a man on earth so perfect found, / Who ne’er mistook a word in sense or sound ? / Not blund’ring, but persisting is the fault ; / No mortal sin is lapsus linguae thought : / Clerks may mistake ; considering who ‘tis from, / I pardon little slips in Cler. Dom. Com.
    • 1850, Moses Margoliouth, A pilgrimage to the land of my fathers
      ... a poor woman who owed one thousand piastres—about £30—rushed and seized hold of the coffin, but instead of saying, "God bless the Bey," she, by an unfortunate lapsus linguæ, exclaimed, "God do not bless the King," which slip is quite natural in the Arabic expression.
    • 1898, Pisistratus Caxton, My Novel, or Varieties in English Life, Volume I, George Routledge & sons, page 395,
      “The devil they do, ma’am!” bolted out Richard, gruffly ; and then, ashamed of his lapsus linguæ, screwed up his lips firmly, and glared at the company with an eye of indignant fire.
    • 2006, Daniele Chatelain and George Slusser (trs.), Honoré de Balzac (author), The Centenarian: Or, the Two Beringhelds, Wesleyan University Press, ISBN 0819567973, page 229,
      “As he said this, you can imagine our surprise; we thought the man must be out of his head, or that it was a lapsus linguae: yet the strength of his convictions caused us to persist in our first opinion. […]”

Usage notes

  • This phrase is usually italicized in English texts.
  • Rarely, the plural form lapsūs linguae may be encountered.


  • Finnish: lipsahdus, lapsus
  • Icelandic: mismæli n., munnvarp n.
  • Spanish: lapsus línguae


  • lapsus linguae” in the Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • lapsus linguae” in the Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Helicon Publishing LTD, 2007.

See also



lapsus linguae

  1. A lapsus linguae; an inadvertent remark, a slip of the tongue.
    • 2006, Marie Lise Labonté and Nicolas Bornemisza, Guérir grâce à nos images intérieures, Canoe Inc, ISBN 2761921682, page 169,
      Freud a déjà amplement démontré que l’Inconscient s’exprime souvent par des actes manqués, des lapsus linguae, des comportements compulsifs, etc.
      Freud has amply demonstrated that the Unconscious often expresses itself via failed actions, lapsus linguae, compulsive behaviors, etc.



lapsus linguae

  1. A lapsus linguae; an inadvertent remark, a slip of the tongue.
    • 1898, Georg Büchmann, Walter Heinrich Robert⸗tornow, Geflügelte Worte
      In Linz bezeichnet man den verstorbenen Direktor des dortigen Gymnasiums, Dr. Columbus, als den Urheber dieses lapsus linguae.
      In Linz it is supposed that the originator of this lapsus linguae was Dr Columbus, the late manager of the gymnasium school there. [discussing the phrase 'Unvorbereitet wie ich mich habe...', a jocular alteration of the phrase 'Unvorbereitet wie ich bin...']

Usage notes

The term is variously written lapsus linguae, Lapsus linguae, and Lapsus Linguae, with one, both, or neither of the words given initial majuscules — German orthography calls for all nouns to begin with majuscule letters, but, as the phrase is foreign, it is often left entirely in minuscule. (It is generally not written entirely in majuscule, as would be proper in Latin.)


  • Flüchtigkeitsfehler m., Versprecher m.


Alternative spellings

  • lapsus línguae


lapsus linguae

  1. A lapsus linguae; an inadvertent remark, a slip of the tongue.
    • 2007, Isabel Díaz Portillo, Técnica de la Entrevista Psicodinamica, Editorial Pax México, ISBN 9688603503, page 18,
      La condensación, mecanismo evidente en los sueños, neologismos, lapsus linguae y chistes, consisten en la reunión de componentes de varias representaciones psíquicas en un solo elemento (palabra, imagen, representación), con el cual se encuentran vinculadas asociativamente. Por ejemplo, en un sueño puede aparecer una persona, que lleva el nombre de otra o el abrigo de una tercera.
      Condensation, a mechanism evident in dreams, neologisms, lapsus linguae and jokes, consists of the joining of components of different physical representations in a single element (word, image, representation), which are found to be connected associatively. For example, in a dream can appear a person, with the name of another person or the overcoat of a third.

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Last modified on 21 September 2008, at 20:09