Phrase Wit

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Phrase Wit App Poster Image
Illuminating look at expressions you're using incorrectly.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to correctly say and write common informal or metaphorical phrases that are often misused in English. The phrases in Phrase Wit are probably most meaningful for tweens and up, but not because of any offensive content. ESL students could also benefit from learning the correct expressions. Teens can get a better grasp on quirky phrases; a longer list of sayings would give the app a boost.

Ease of Play

Lists of phrases are in alphabetical order, so they're easy to find. A bar at the bottom of the main screen clearly displays the game, list, and other options.

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Consumerism

There's a store tab that allows users to purchase another app called WordWit by this developer, and perhaps more in the future.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Phrase Wit helps older kids nail tricky phrases in the English language. Those sometimes funny phrases such as "bide your time," "neck and neck," and "nip it in the bud," can quickly cause embarrassment when one uses them incorrectly ("nip it in the butt," for example). But when older students use these phrases and terms correctly when speaking and writing, it shows a particularly refined command of language skills. The game, lists, and explainers on this app are particularly useful for students in creative writing or public speaking, and for people for whom English is a second language.

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What's it about?

Teens can read explanations of each misused phrase as well as quotes from literature to see the phrase in use. There's also a timed multiple-choice quiz section to see if you can fill in the correct phrase in context. If your kid is interested in writing or public speaking, Phrase Wit is a useful tool to identify words and phrases that they may not be using correctly, and also discover some new phrases that might help them speak and write more creatively and vividly.

Is it any good?

For older kids and adults who enjoy the turn of a phrase and speaking in colloquial expressions, PHRASE WIT will hold interest for sure. The "Common Phrase/Mangled Cousin" list, although not definitive by a long shot, is fun to look through and see what you may have been saying incorrectly. The game is also good practice in using the phrases correctly and seeing how many you can choose right off the bat, so to speak. It will be nice to see more phrases added over time, and perhaps more ways to practice putting them to use.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Look through the list with your teen and confess any phrases you've been misusing, or tell a funny story of a misused phrase in your past.

  • Watch for other colloquial phrases in daily life and point them out to your teen.

App details

For kids who love words

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