A standard electrocardiogram is called a '12-lead ecg' even though it only actually uses 10 leads. Is there a name for such a phrase?

(I know there is a reason behind the example I have given, but in your answer please can you assume there isn't a reason and it is just badly named)

  • 2
    That's called a misnomer – Jim Dec 3 '15 at 15:07

As Jim says in a comment, the word misnomer is probably what you're looking for. From Dictionary.com:

  1. a misapplied or inappropriate name or designation.
  2. an error in naming a person or thing.

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