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24 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You’re Catholic

Church lingo at its best.

1. Sister

What it means to everyone else: A female sibling.

What it means to Catholics: Someone you never want to piss off.

2. Mass

What it means to everyone else: A scientific measurement of the amount of space something takes up.

What it means to Catholics: Where you try to spend at least one hour of your week no matter what.

3. Lent

What it means to everyone else: Past tense for the word “lend.” As in “I lent him some money.”

What it means to Catholics: The time of the year when you determine what addictions you still have some control over.

4. Christmas Eve

BBC / Via youtube.com

What it means to everyone else: A night spent eating delicious food and opening up presents.

What it means to Catholics: An evening spent trying not to fall asleep at Midnight Mass.

5. Wafer

Wikimedia Commons

What it means to everyone else: A delicious vanilla-flavored cookie.

What it means to Catholics: Holy bread that is absolutely flavorless.

6. Dream Schools

Shutterstock

What it means everywhere else: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

What is means to Catholics: Notre Dame, Boston College, and Georgetown.

7. Elbows

What it means to everyone else: The main hinge joint in an arm.

What it means to Catholics: What your mom throws into your ribs when you fall asleep during homily.

8. Organ

Shutterstock

What it means to everyone else: Internal body parts that serve a specific purpose.

What it means to Catholics: The scariest instrument you’ve ever heard.

9. Sex

What it means to everyone else: A fun couples activity that may involve whips.

What it means to Catholics: Something that is never talked about, and supposed to happen only after you’re married.

10. Confession

What it means to everyone else: Admitting a secret or personal fact.

What it means to Catholics: Engaging in a 17-prayer penance because you royally messed up.

11. Wedding

What it means to everyone else: A quick exchanging of vows.

What it means to Catholics: An entire mass featuring a wedding that many guests skip to go straight to the reception.

12. Sleeping in

What it means for everyone else: Waking up after 11 on weekends.

What it means for Catholics: Between CCD, Sunday school, and mass, something you rarely got to do.

13. Dance

What it means to everyone else: An organized event where dancing occurs.

What it means to Catholics: Always leaving room for the Holy Spirit.

14. Confirmation

What it means to everyone else: Getting something verified.

What it means to Catholics: One of the most satisfying days of your life.

15. Latin

What it means to everyone else: An old Romance language.

What it means to Catholics: A beautiful language you hear every Sunday that makes no sense to you at all.

16. Saints

What it means to everyone else: A sports team.

What it means to Catholics: Spirits to whom you can pray about anything, without remembering any of their names.

17. Father

Mario Tama / Getty

What it means to everyone else: A more formal term for “dad.”

What it means to Catholics: A spiritual mentor whom you wouldn’t dare swear in front of.

18. Sunday

Tom Sama / Getty

What it means to everyone else: A fun day for relaxation.

What it means to Catholics: Waking up extra early to attend mass.

19. Incense

Dan Silverman / Getty

What it means to everyone else: An aromatic gum or other substance producing a sweet odor when burned.

What it means to Catholics: Red, itchy, and bloodshot eyes because the priest always uses too much of it.

20. Dating

St. Vicent’s Faculty Publications / Via bookstore.stvincent.edu

What it means to everyone else: A courtship ritual. Sometimes fun, sometimes super annoying.

What it means to Catholics: A path that must only lead toward marriage.

21. Wine

What it means to everyone else: A delicious adult beverage.

What it means to Catholics: Something you acquired a taste for at a very young age.

22. Easter

What it means to everyone else: A day of egg hunts, bunnies, and pastels.

What it means to Catholics: The Catholic church’s equivalent of the Super Bowl.

23. Collection

Shutterstock

What it means to everyone else: A group of objects kept or stored together.

What it means to Catholics: Trying to scrounge up a crumpled one-dollar bill to put it the collection basket so you won’t feel like a heathen.

24. Catholicism

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

What it means to everyone else: One of the world’s largest religions.

What it means to Catholics: A major staple in your life, and something that will always be an enormous part of who you are.

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