Funny English Words and Their Meanings

Some time ago I started to collect interesting English words and phrases, which have different and tricky meanings and should be used carefully to avoid comic and awkward situations. That is specially important for non-native English speakers and everyone who studies and continues studying the language. A few of these words are in this post.

Here is my list of notable words:

  • Probation
  • Facilities
  • Ruth
  • Goggle – this word is more fun than can be ridiculously used


If you want to say that you’ve come for a temporary practice, to get some useful experience and then you’ll go back to your country/work/university – don’t use this tricky word ‘probation’. Though, you can find it within the Lingvo dictionary by searching for ‘стажировка’.
Look up inversely, search for ‘probation’. One of possible meanings is to be currently released from a prison for a trial period.
So if you’ve said that you are on a probation here, don’t wonder why your new mates have become alert, reserved and unfriendly with you, and try to avoid contacting you later.


There are a lot of synonyms for opportunities and possibilities in English. But be careful to use ‘facilities’ in this meaning!
One ‘facility’ in the singular form may be used as an ‘opportunity’, though there are some meaning shades. But do not use this noun in plural to denote opportunities – ‘facilities’ may also mean WC 🙂


A woman’s name, a part of the Holy Bible – the Ruth. But that is not all.
Ruth is also a pity, compassion and mercy.
However, what a surprise it is that if you say something like “Excuse me, where is the Ruth?”, nobody’ll help you with the Bible. Instead, people can pass you toward the woman’s WC 🙂 Strange riddle. It is interesting, how does this word start being used in such a manner?

Beer Goggles

This word also has plenty of meanings. But one of them is the funniest, denoting a whole phrase in Russian at once.
Look up in Lingvo:
beer goggles – состояние алкогольного опьянения, при котором представители противоположного пола начинают казаться более привлекательными (сравни русское “не бывает некрасивых женщин, бывает мало водки”) I couldn’t date her without my beer goggles on. — Она была такая уродина, что каждый раз, прежде чем идти на свидание, мне надо было как следует принять.

Strong phrase, we should add it to our armoury 🙂  Note that double ‘g’ and not double ‘o’ – goggle. It’s none of Google’s doing 🙂

That’s all now. The vocabulary will be continued. I’ll much appreciate any of your comments 🙂


One thought on “Funny English Words and Their Meanings

  1. В копилку краткости – сестры таланта:
    * bad rap – несправедливо приписываемое плохое качество

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