Surviving Christmas without offending your loved ones with a careless remark makes Christmas a linguistic minefield, says comedienne Lucy Porter.

The Mock the Week contestant and actress was speaking on behalf of new research from Vodafone UK which revealed the top ten most common sayings we're likely to say or hear this Christmas – and what we actually mean by them.

The most frequently uttered - and most easily deciphered - phrase is "just what I've always wanted" while other fake festive sayings in Vodafone's list included "I'm just going to have the one drink", "Of course I don't mind if your parents come to stay" and "I couldn't eat another mince pie".

Porter admitted she gets "quite excited" about Christmas, despite the potential verbal complications of the holidays.

"It's interesting that we communicate in different ways and have to deal with various issues - buying and receiving presents, cooking Christmas lunch, dealing with relatives who wish to help you out in the kitchen, chatting with colleagues at the office party and when out for a drink.

"Christmas is a linguistic minefield and an entertaining time for communication."

The top ten White Lies at Christmas are:

1 That's just I always wanted
2 No, I'm not drunk
3 I'm just going to have the one drink
4 I don't really want you to spend much on a present for me this year
5 I'm happy to help in the kitchen
6 I won't be home late
7 I couldn't eat another mince pie
8 No, of course the turkey isn't overcooked
9 Of course I don't mind if your parents come to stay
10 Do you think this new jumper/shirt/dress suits me?

19/12/2008 00:01:01