“Let them eat cake” – Marie Antoinette
Much celebrated and oft repeated, the infamous statement of “Let them eat cake” is in fact a mistranslation. French monarch Marie Antoinette is falsely believed to have uttered the famous lines when she heard about French people starving due to lack of bread. In actuality, it is thought the term was coined one hundred years earlier by another Marie: Marie-Therese. And even then, Marie-Louise, the wife of Louis XIV, is believed to have said, “Why don’t they eat pastry?”
“One small step for man…” – Neil Armstrong
The iconic phrase, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” is flawed for one simple reason: it makes no grammatical sense. However, as Armstrong himself went on record to say the quote was misinterpreted. What he had actually said was, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The reason behind the misinterpretation? Static interfered with the transmission of the message, and thus an incorrect (albeit catchier) phrase attached itself to the moon man.
Most Famous Misquotes: “Nice guys finish last” – Leo Durocher
The phrase, which has through time been lifted from its original sports context and applied to the difficult world of dating, was in fact not even uttered in the sporting field. The quote is attributed to baseball manager Leo Durocher, who apparently coined the term during a 1946 baseball game. However, Durocher claimed in his own 1975 autobiography that he was misquoted and that he actually was referring to a rival team when he said: “Take a look at them. They’re all nice guys, but they’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.” There is another version claiming that Durocher actually said “Nice guys finish eighth.”