Definition of get (hold of) the wrong end of the stick in English:

get (hold of) the wrong end of the stick

phrase

British
  • Misunderstand something.

    • ‘I'm sorry to say that Leo Lewis got the wrong end of the stick in another respect, with major potential for cross-cultural misunderstanding.’
    • ‘‘I think you've got the wrong end of the stick,’ the chap at the other end of the phone replied.’
    • ‘If you think I'm saying that any single person can post something out of the blue to the web and have thousands of people read it then you've obviously got the wrong end of the stick.’
    • ‘You all seemed to get the wrong end of the stick - but that's fine, that's OK; I appreciate the thought, really I do.’
    • ‘It's a minefield where it's so easy to get the wrong end of the stick.’
    • ‘The game was probably the most sensitive treatment and realistic treatment of battle displayed in a video game at that point, so obviously, the media got the wrong end of the stick.’
    • ‘So members of the public get the wrong end of the stick but at least they can see a stick is there to be waved.’
    • ‘She mispronounced things, she got the wrong end of the stick, hilariously, and although I shook it all off in a way, or thought I did, something remained.’
    • ‘‘The teenagers were play fighting with each other, and it appears my client got the wrong end of the stick and became involved when he should not have,’ he said.’
    • ‘A number of those who did try to understand him got hold of the wrong end of the stick and, often unfairly, used it to beat him with.’
    misunderstand, misinterpret, misapprehend, misconstrue, misconceive, mistake, misread, take amiss
    View synonyms