3

In my line of work I am confronted with people who blatantly or ignorantly misspeak.

Ex: Customer - "Hi. Can I get a bagel" Me - "I'm sorry, we only sell pretzels here sir." Customer - "Yeah, that's what I meant."

It happens so frequently there has to be a term for this. It's not parapraxis (Freudian slip), catachresis (no mixed metaphor), malapropism (no humorous intent), or mondegreen (person is articulate and literate).

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    It should be noted that the reasons for not being malapropism or mondegreen would be more likely to be related to the fact that bagel doesn't sound like pretzel, rather than humorous sound-alike [accidental] replacement. – SrJoven Feb 21 '15 at 22:56
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    Um, not an answer, but I think you may be misusing blatantly and ignorantly in your question. He wasn't being offensively conspicuous, nor did he lack knowledge of his mistake when pointed out to him. He "misspoke". It's a "mistake". You made a couple today, I'm sure. We all do. – anongoodnurse Feb 22 '15 at 1:12
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    There are people who simply make a mistake every now and then (as we all do), and there are people who suffer from mental disabilities of one sort or another that make such mistakes quite common. Then there are people who use the wrong words intentionally, and there are people who use the wrong words out of ignorance. It's unclear which group you're referring to. – Hot Licks Feb 22 '15 at 4:28
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    In the case of "bagel" and "pretzel" (presumably of the soft variety), they are made in a similar fashion, smell similarly, taste much the same. It's not at all unusual that someone would pull up the wrong term. – Hot Licks Feb 22 '15 at 4:30
6

Probably a “slip of the tongue”:

something that you say by accident when you intended to say something else:

"I called her new boyfriend by her previous boyfriend's name - it was just a slip of the tongue."

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3

Also misnomer:

  1. a wrong or inaccurate name or designation.

Synonyms: inaccurate name/label/designation, wrong name/label/designation, inappropriate name/label/designation

  1. a wrong or inaccurate use of a name or term.

The verb misnomering is the present participle of misnomer.

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2

It could be a mild form of DYSPHASIA. Though commonly used in medical context where brain injury is involved (see this article: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/dysarthria-and-dysphasia ), I think it could apply to the condition you describe. The person may "know" the right word, but be unable to come up with it at the opportune moment. If this is the case, it might, like stuttering, be triggered or exacerbated by fear or shyness in social situations.

Callng this behavior "blatant" or "ignorant" may be unkind to someone with a genuine disability, even if it is intermittent. And if it is chronic, then it is probably not intentional. Try not to be so "judge-mental".

Edit: another possibility is ANOMIC APHASIA

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    Agree overall, but really, dysphasia is really a medical diagnosis. Many people have problems with nouns, either misspeaking or tip-of-the-tounge type stuff. It's so common, it can't be called dysphasia unless present to a pathological degree. – anongoodnurse Feb 22 '15 at 3:57

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