My Collection of Funniest Typos – updated regularly

Every now and then, in my job as a proofreader, I come across a typo that makes me laugh out loud or elicits a ‘Whhhhaaaaaat?!’ – when the author accidentally writes something that ends up having a meaning they really did not intend.  I got the idea for this post while reviewing the work of my author sister, novelist Terry Tyler Terry Tyler’s Books, who said that when writing at speed and getting involved with the story, it’s so easy to type something that you simply can’t believe you did. (Which is another reason not to use that old false friend spellcheck, by the way, because these are mostly genuine words, just in the wrong place.)


I’ve been keeping a list (and I wish I’d started it earlier, I’ve seen some absolute lulus!) I thought I’d share them here for your amusement, and they are all strictly anonymous – I will not reveal my sources. But I and the authors concerned have shared a laugh over their mistakes, and it just proves something that I always maintain, i.e. that one cannot effectively proofread one’s own work. My thanks go to all who (initially unintentionally!) contributed.

  What they wrote What they meant What it looks like
1 On the lamb On the run Sitting on a young sheep
2 It’s a bad wrap I’ve been wrongfully accused I don’t like my lunch order
3 Vualá Voilà I don’t know even basic French, and I didn’t bother to Google it
4 Dough-eyed Doe-eyed Eyes like pastry?
5 Martin atmosphere Martian atmosphere Hello, Mr Atmosphere
6 A small vile of liquid A small vial, or glass container, of liquid This liquid’s really nasty!
7 Leaning against the door jam Door jamb They make jam out of doors?! Rather woody taste.
8 The muscles in his neck were taught Taut What did they learn?
9 He was tempted to eat a second desert Gimme some of that ice cream You going to eat all that sand?
10 On the left was yellow, arid dessert Desert I’d rather have the strawberry cheesecake
11 The judge halted the trail Oh, the trial! What, the Appalachian Trail?
12 She worked in a stationary shop She worked in a stationery shop It didn’t move around, then?
13 I will stay away from you and your elk I don’t like you or your friends Keep that great brute away from me!
14 Two policemen were peeing through the window. Peering (I hope!) Surely they could arrest each other for that?
15 Doug came from Manchester, and spoke with a strong Manchurian accent. Mancunian Oh, he was Anglo-Chinese, was he?
16 You know what they say, a room wasn’t built in a day! Rome Why not? (And they don’t!)
17 You could melt butter with the heath between my thighs (from an erotic novel) Heat (although there are better ways to soften butter) Way too many weird mental images right now!
18 The rent was dew Due The fairy folk pay my rent
19 There were two centuries guarding a gate Sentries Okay, I give up!
20 She practised sign language with her two dead colleagues Deaf Sounds like a bit of a waste of time
21 Don’t talk such uniformed nonsense Uninformed I prefer my nonsense to be dressed casually
22 We passed our time in gentile conversation Genteel We didn’t talk about any Jewish people
23 She was wearing black patient leather shoes Patent A change from her usual irritable footwear
24 He’s regarded as an danger to the pubic Public Watch out for those sensitive areas, lads
25 My knees trebled in anticipation Trembled Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Mr Six-Knees!
26 He attended Greenwich Navel Collage, also

It looked like the scene of a navel battle

Naval College Ah, a collage of belly-buttons!
27 Henry left the martial home Marital Presumably because it’d turned into a war zone
28 She spent a lot of time sawing her own clothes Sewing Shabby chic?
29 Sand out the armed guards! Send Smooth out their rough edges, har har!
30 The Baby Jesus was laid in a manager Manger Sounds a bit uncomfortable for both of them.
31 While lambs gambled in the sun Gambolled OK, everyone, aces are high, deuces are wild!
32 Angus Dei Agnus Dei A Scotsman favoured by God
33 A barmy hot night Balmy What a crazy night that was
34 I heard a woman whaling Wailing There she blows!
35 Ma trade maître d’ Yes, it took me a while to work out what he meant!
36 (To a patient in a fertility clinic) ‘You may wish to consider freezing your seamen for the future’. Semen Sounds like conditions in the navy are very harsh these days!
37 The ground was rhymed with frost Rimed No it wasn’t, it rhymes with ‘sound’.
38 I used to love our post-colitis conversations Post-coital Talking about inflammation of the bowel and rectum doesn’t sound like fun to me.