crossed wires: meaning and explanation
When you get your wires crossed, you are confused about something or have misunderstood a person or a situation.
Although this expression can be used about an individual (e.g. I got my wires crossed), it is usually used to describe a situation in which two people have taken a different understanding from the same situation (such as when or where to meet each other). e.g. He wasn’t expecting me for hours – I suppose we got our wires crossed.
A good time to use this expression is when you are dealing with or explaining a misunderstanding. The expression is used to say that the situation is an accident, and no one is to blame, e.g. Oh well! We must have got our wires crossed I suppose.
This expression can also be used as a noun phrase – crossed wires. e.g. I waited for him for ages but he didn’t turn up. It’s a case of crossed wires I suppose.
Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?