Accidentally On Purpose

Meaning of Idiom ‘Accidentally On Purpose’

Something that is done accidentally on purpose seems to be an accident but is actually done intentionally; pretending something is an accident that one actually does deliberately. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary]. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.,3McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002

See on purpose idiom.


Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Usage

This idiom is usually at least slightly humorous.

Examples Of Use

“I accidentally on purpose forgot to clean my room.”

“He accidentally on purpose shoved the other player.”

“I accidentally on purpose touched his hand at dinner last night, said Alice. I hope he got the hint.”

“How did you get Kate to spring for a new printer?” asked Judy. “I accidentally broke the old one,” said Connor. “Accidentally on purpose, I suppose,” said Judy, grinning.

Accidentally on purpose idiom meaning

Origin

This humorous and oxymoronic idiom first appeared in print in 1862 in the memoirs of Sydney, Lady Morgan, an Irish novelist and poet. Judging by the use of quotation marks, the author was probably using an expression already known:

Dermody neglected the order —
perhaps “accidentally on purpose.” 4Cryer, Max. Common Phrases: –and the Amazing Stories behind Them. Skyhorse Pub., 2010.

More Idioms Starting with A

More Accident Idioms

More On Idioms

More Purpose Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.

Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary]. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
3. McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002
4. Cryer, Max. Common Phrases: –and the Amazing Stories behind Them. Skyhorse Pub., 2010.