So, I am reading this book called Animal Farm where this stallion named Boxer is forgets he has iron-shod hoofs and he gives this stable-lad a blow to the head, which knocked him lifeless, though he had no intention of doing so. What one word, if there is any, would describe that sort of action... one that you did not mean to do?

  • I'm not sure there is one word to describe such an action. But there are a few ways we talk about this. Killing the stable boy was an unintended consequence. He killed the stable boy on accident. He didn't mean to kill the stable boy.
    – KumaAra
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 2:21
  • @KumaAram Please see this post: english.stackexchange.com/q/215/18655
    – JLG
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


Inadvertent: done or happening unintentionally

  • Please fix the spelling.
    – JLG
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:36
  • @JLG - It was inadverdent.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:42

A mishap, an accident, a contretemps.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Please explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.
    – NVZ
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:51

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