In a famous fable by Aesop, a fox declared that he didn’t care that he could not reach an attractive bunch of grapes because he imagined they were probably sour anyway. You express sour grapes when you put down something you can’t get: “winning the lottery is just a big headache anyway.” The phrase is misused in all sorts of ways by people who don’t know the original story and imagine it means something more general like “bitterness” or “resentment.”

Back to list of errors


Common Errors front cover