to get the wrong end of the stick

Idiom Definition

"to get the wrong end of the stick"

to misunderstand what someone has said or to misunderstand a situation

Idiom Definition - to get the wrong end of the stick


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to get the wrong end of the stick

Two friends, Jennifer and George are talking on their cell phones ...

Jennifer: Where are you George? I've been waiting for a half an hour.

George: I'm in the library finishing up a paper. Where are you?

Jennifer: I'm sitting in the restaurant.

George: But we weren't supposed to meet until seven o'clock.

Jennifer: No! We decided on six o'clock.

George: I'm so sorry. I must have got the wrong end of the stick. I'll be right there.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to get the wrong end of the stick

Paul is just arriving home from the grocery store ...

Paul: Hi, Honey. I'm home.

Claire: Did you get the "five" carrots I asked for?

Paul: No, I got the one "fine" carrot you asked for and it's a beauty.

Claire: I clearly asked you for "five" carrots.

Paul: Sorry. The cell phone reception was terrible. I got the wrong end of the stick.

Claire: Could you please go back to the store and get the other four carrots?

Paul: Sure thing Honey.

Idiom Scenario 3


Sally and Nancy are chatting ...

Sally: You'll never guess what I saw this afternoon.

Nancy: Do tell!

Sally: I think Joe is cheating on his wife. I saw Joe at the mall. He was hugging a strange woman and then they went into a hotel together.

Nancy: I think you may have gotten the wrong end of the stick. Joe's sister is in town visiting.

Sally: Oops!

to get the wrong end of the stick - Usage:


to get the wrong end of the stick - Gerund Form:

Getting the wrong end of the stick may lead to all sorts of confusion.

to get the wrong end of the stick - Examples:

1)  Sadly, however, some clients can get the wrong end of the stick. They are still thinking in terms of the hard sell.

2)  I suppose if you get the wrong end of the stick as regularly as Brown you would come to that conclusion.

3)  I sometimes feel that certain people deliberately get the wrong end of the stick to up their own hits and follows.

4)  We will get the wrong end of the stick and we will not look deep enough.

5)  Yes, but they always get the wrong end of the stick, don't they -- you never know with humans.

6)  A few people might get the wrong end of the stick; the poppy is not about supporting the war.

7)  I quite often get the wrong end of the stick so you may want to check this out for yourself.

8)  In each case Bliss seems to have the wrong end of the stick.

9)  I don't think I got the wrong end of the stick, the photo clearly shows supply pipes not waste pipes.

10) If I got the wrong end of the stick, please let me know instead of bemoaning how I've misunderstood. 

11)  I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, and I may be very pedantic.

12)  I think I got the wrong end of the stick, I thought it was a green glass one from this page.

13)  I think you have the wrong end of the stick, plausible deniability is top down.

14)  This seems especially stupid when you grasped the wrong end of the stick in the first place!

15)  I think you have the wrong end of the stick here. What people need is challenge and achievement, not evils.

16)  Sadly they have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

17)  I really think that many people have got the wrong end of the stick with regards to the whole thing.

18)  I can only assume you have completely got the wrong end of the stick and not read them properly.

19)  This isn't it, you've got the wrong end of the stick.

20)  I'm sure I've got the wrong end of the stick here, but the first paragraph suggests that portfolios are actually the problem.