Make Your Editor Cry: Another thing coming vs. Another think coming

Make Your Editor Cry:  Another thing coming vs. Another think coming

This is an example of a misheard expression (an eggcorn) that makes a little bit of convoluted sense on its own. The phrase “you’ve got another thing coming” seems to make sense as in: “You think one thing, but you’ll turn out to be incorrect and realize it is really another thing.”

Of course, anyone who grew up in the 1980s remembers the Judas Priest song entitled “You’ve got another thing coming” and we see this phrase written this way in common use. But if you think this phrase should be thing then you have another think coming.

The original usage was “you’ve got another think coming,” meaning another thought or belief will soon replace the one you currently hold true. An example might be something like: “If he thinks I am going to kiss him on the first date, he has another think coming.”

In their article on the topic of this idiom, Webster makes a point that “thing” has won the popularity contest recently, but grudgingly admits that it is likely an eggcorn, is much more recent with think going back to the 19th century, and that “Semantically, the noun think is more fitting than thing” while simultaneously putting forth that either is just fine to use.

When you’re familiar with the entire phrase, you understand that the misuse “thing” misses the mark and “think” is the more correct. So at least in the narrative, perhaps not the dialogue if your character isn’t partciularly bright, I would encourage you to use the proper idiom.

Example:

If she thinks I am getting married after just one date she has another think coming.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 13 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)