When I was a child, I would read fairy tales in which most characters were either royalty or peasants. I did not know the word peasant and misread it as “pheasant.” So I would visualize these tales, in which many characters were pheasants that spoke and lived like people. I imagined the pheasants’ wives and children to be human, unless they were also specifically identified as p(h)easants. I did not understand why the fanciful convention of having pheasants, in particular, in such large roles was a feature of the genre, but I read fairy tales this way for years. I still find myself visualizing them in this manner.
What words have you misunderstood?