Accidentally on Purpose

Meaning of “Accidentally on Purpose”

The phrase “accidentally on purpose” means to do something deliberately but pretend that it was an accident. In other words, it means that the person doing something intentionally and is successful in pretending that it is an accident.

Origin of “Accidentally on Purpose”

The phrase was used for the first time by Jose Francisco de Isle in his book The History of the Famous Preacher Gerund de Campazas printed in 1772. It goes: “Tell us what Modesty of Voice is, for you happened accidentally on purpose to drop this word, and I don’t rightly know what it signifies.”

Examples of Literature

Example #1

Accidentally on Purpose by Robert Frost

The Universe is but the Thing of things,
The things but balls all going round in rings.
Some mighty huge, some mighty tiny,
All of them radiant and mighty shiny.

They mean to tell us all was rolling blind
Till accidentally it hit on mind
In an albino monkey in the jungle,
And even then it had to grope and bungle,

Till Darwin came to earth upon a year
To show the evolution how to steer.
They mean to tell us, though, the Omnibus
Had no real purpose until it got to us.

Never believe it. At the very worst
It must have had the purpose from the first
To produce purpose as the fitter bred:
We were just purpose coming to a head.

Here, Robert Frost discusses the issue of the creation of the earth. He has beautifully woven the major concept behind this phrase into this poem, connecting it with the creation of the universe. He debates if the creation of the universe is accidental or deliberate. This is a challenge to the readers to find out the answer to this question inserted in the title in the shape of this phrase.

Example #2

Accidentally on Purpose by Linda Winchell

Accidentally on purpose
I fell in love with you.
Accidentally I did it purposely
my purpose was to give my heart to you.

Accidentally on purpose
we married and accidentally had two sons
Accidentally on purpose dear
Could we accidentally on purpose this time
have another one?

I know that accidents can happen
and they happen every day.
Accidentally on purpose dear
they purposely can accidentally happen just that way!

The poem is written on the ‘Accidently on Purpose.’ However, the interesting thing about Winchell’s poem is the theme of love that starts immediately after the first line. The phrase has been repeated six times in each stanza, transforming it into a refrain of the poem. The use of this phrase for love, then for marriage and then for twist and turn of the same accident and use of this phrase makes it an interesting read.

Example #3

Accidentally on Purpose by J. M. Snyder

This novel sheds light on the use of this phrase as the title of the story of an accidental but on purpose meeting of Alan Travers with a detective, Jim Garrison, to make it appear as an accidental meeting. However, it happens that they miss the chance, but Travers re-tries and meets him with the expectations that it may happen in the future. In the meanwhile, the person who manages their meeting, ‘Travers’ nephew, Bryce, goes missing. This story of thoughtful and purposeful missing and finding continues until Bryce goes missing. The main title of the novel, Accidently on Purpose, reflects the true meanings of this phrase in its entire story.

Example #4

Accidently on Purpose by Mary F. Pols

Mark Pols has been a movie critic. When she turns thirty-nine, she decides to have a child of her own. This story involves her resolve to have a baby. The story shows not only her accidental but also careful thinking and then full and minute planning. This has been unexpected for her sibling as well as her Irish Catholic father who would have never approved such an act of decency. However, it goes as planned but appears as an accidental, which shows the meaning of this phrase in the autobiographical narrative.

Examples in Sentences

Examples #1: “Jenna demanded Linda to stop screaming. ‘Someday, I will slap you accidentally on purpose if you keep yelling like that,’ she said.”

Examples #2: “Bob is so good at science, and he always got an A-plus. I suspect he failed accidentally on purpose.”

Examples #3: “Mother assumed that Richie spilled the chocolate milk on his shirt accidentally on purpose. Maybe he wanted to wear the other shirt.”

Examples #4: “Dan and his friends didn’t arrive at the party. So, accidentally on purpose, she has managed to include only her selected friends at her party.”

Examples #5: “There was no way Tommy and Oliver met by chance. It was Merlin who arranged everything and made it appear as if they met accidentally on purpose.”