accidentally on purpose
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Used in the United Kingdom since about 1880, in the United States since about 1885.
- Deliberately, though apparently accidentally.
- 1860, Cornwall Simeon, Stray Notes on Fishing and Natural History, page 159:
- However, having accidentally-on-purpose got hold of a piece of the fish, down it went; and, apparently thinking that under the circumstances he might do worse, he set to work with no ill-will or appetite, and soon got through a good part of a haddock.
- 2003, The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature, edited by Steven R. Serafin and Alfred Bendixen, page 512 (entry "Hemingway"):
- When a buffalo charges at her husband, Margot, directly in back of him and standing up in Wilson's open car, fires toward the buffalo and kills Francis — whether accidentally, on purpose, or accidentally on purpose, H. leaves ambiguous.
- 2008, Karen White, The House on Tradd Street:
- “Or maybe,” Jack added, “her mother accidentally on purpose lost it.”
deliberately but seemingly accidentally