get (your) (lines/wires) crossed


1. have a misunderstanding or miscommunication with somebody






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we seem to have our wires crossed

Check Icon Analysis

This expression takes a term originally used in a literal sense to describe a misplacement of a call at a telephone operator's switchboard and transfers it to a figurative miscommunication between people. It can be used in reference to any form of communication and is often heard in a professional context where a breakdown in communication is more likely to occur and have greater consequences. To 'get your wires crossed' means to experience a miscommunication between two people or groups. Expressions with similar meanings are 'get the wrong end of the stick,' and 'be at cross purposes.'

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. We seem to have got our wires crossed. You thought your appointment was today but I have you down in my diary for next week.
  2. Tom must have his lines crossed. I ordered 200 units, not 20!
  3. Sorry, I seem to have served you the wrong main course. I've been getting my wires crossed all evening!

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. Sorry, I think this was a big misunderstanding I didn't mean to upset you. I think we got our wires crossed.
  2. Did we get our wires crossed? I thought we were meeting today at lunchtime.

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