Malapropism is the official term for when you use a word in the wrong way. Many Irish people are past masters, leading to lots of fun and banter.
Two Irish politicians stand out for their malapropisms (malaprops): former Irish leader Bertie Ahern, who invented his own language called “Bertie Speak” according to the media, and former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who was also famous for using the wrong word at the wrong time.
Mayor Richard J Daley
In a speech at City Hall Mayor Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago from 1955-1976, praised “Alcoholics Unanimous”
In a speech in Dublin, Irish leader Bertie Ahern pleaded with fellow political leaders not to “upset the apple tart.”
Irish American former Texas governor Rick Perry (one of his forbears William Gaston was born in Ireland) stated in a speech “States are lavatories of innovation” … He meant laboratories.
During a heated political debate: "People should stop throwing white elephants and red herrings at each other.”
Defending his police after riots at the 1968 Democratic convention, Daley said, "The police are not here to create disorder; they're here to preserve disorder."
Richard Daley… again
After bad flooding in a city nearby he told the media, ”The flood damage there was so bad they had to evaporate the city.”
Richard Daley … no really
After a series of armed encounters he stated, “People are getting hurt in drive-by shoot alongs”
Unnamed Irish politician
Defending his honor (possibly apocryphal but too good to miss). "I will answer those alligators in my own time." … Of course, he meant allegations.
Read more: Funny phrases Irish use that Americans don’t