The American Heritage dictionary defines a 'Freudian slip' as: "A verbal mistake that is thought to reveal an unconscious belief, thought, or emotion."

An anonymous aphorism goes, "A Freudian slip is when you say one thing, and you mean your mother."

Named after Dr. Sigmund Freud, an early psychoanalyst who postulated that many unconscious thoughts (especially those surrounding early, formative, and sexual experiences) manifest themselves in a person's outward behaviors.

A Joke:
Two psychiatrists are sitting in the Hospital cafeteria one day eating lunch.

One says to the other "I made the classic Freudian Slip this morning to my wife.

The other thinks a bit, but he doesn't have any idea which particular slip of the tongue "The classic Freudian Slip" could be, so he asks "Oh really? What did you say?"

He replies: "Well, what I meant to say was Please pass the salt, dear but what came out was You bitch, you've ruined my life."

Freud referred to this type of unconscious mistake as a Fehleistung or parapraxis, literally 'faulty action'.

The Freudian slip can occur in several ways. The most common slip is in speech (lapsus linguae). Slips could also be made in the written word (lapsus calami), in memory, and in action.

The theory has been used by postmodernists such as Jacques Lacan to suggest that the unconscious comes from the inability of the human mind to understand unintended meanings in language.

More can be found on this topic in Freud's book "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life", written in 1901.

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