So many words in English (and most likely in every language) are so close to other words, both in spelling and pronunciation. These similarities contribute to phrases that are close, but no cigars will be distributed:
• Statue of limitations You want the legal term statute.
• Pass mustard At the dinner table, fine. But the expression is to pass muster, meaning to pass inspection.
• Free reign No royalty involved. It’s free rein (as in giving your horse freedom to ride however she wants).
• Baited breath I’m squirming. Leave the bait in the boat. It’s bated breath, meaning the people holding their breath are waiting anxiously for something to occur.
• Heart-rendering The expression is heartrending. To rend is to tear.