Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Give me your eggcorns, your folk etymologies

I used to think the word "memento" was spelled "momento," as in, a trinket by which to remember the moment. I'm convinced many others have made this mistake. What are your eggcorns? John used to think "bedraggled" was pronounced "bed-raggled," as in, all raggled from bed.

Also: An undisclosed number of people, not knowing what a French exit is, have assumed it to be a sex act. Praytell, if it were, what would it be?

15 comments:

  1. I assume the French exit qua sex _act_ would refer to premature something, ejaculation and/or withdrawal. Leaving dissatisfaction and a faint odor of garlic in its wake. This is colored by knowing the def'n though. I frankly assumed it was anatomical at first.

    Tons of folk etymologies. Two that come to mind: I used to think "corny" had to do with corns on your feet -- maybe by analogy with hackneyed. And I used to think smarmy had something to do with schoolmarms.

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  2. kitten caboodle for kit and caboodle.

    i've always thought "the french exit" sounded vaguely sexual. if it were, it would have to be something unspeakably dirty, even for the internet.

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  3. When I was very, very young, so my parents say, I loved me some orange juice. And so, by extension, I loved Jesus and told my parents so. When they asked why, I said, "Because he was Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Juice!"

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  4. A French exit is clearly to sex what it is elsewhere: slipping out of bed and house without saying goodbye.

    The eggcorn that stuck with me the longest is "just desserts." I figured the misdeed was the meal, and the punishment was then the dessert.

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  5. Um do you remember on Webster when Webster thought mementos were "men's toes"

    That has stayed with me for some reason

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  6. when i was a kid, i thought the word "chic" was pronounced phonetically. i told my mom how much i loved my "chick" brand jeans.

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  7. Folling Dan C's lead, my brilliant son always wanted to go to Chucky Jesus for his birthday parties.

    Also there was a church hymn we sang on Easter, Up From The Grave He Arose which I always heard as up from the gravey arose, being as easter was our only fancy the meal of the year-- the rest of the year was miracle whip and white bread and fried baloney and shit. I've been tracking ok as an adult though. And I learned to cook at about twelve.

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  8. Chucky Jesus, King of the Juice!

    I liked that hymn as a kid. I also liked fried baloney, truth be told.

    Carrie, I remember telling someone the real pronunciation of "chic" as a kid, but they didn't believe me. I also remember arguing with someone that it was "Valentine's Day," not "Valentimes" -- oh, they hated me around the playground.

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  10. Recently heard "pedal stool" for pedestal, and "damp squid" for "damp squib" on The IT Crowd, a British comedy.

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  11. The one that comes to mind right away is "blackguard" -- it was probably only a year or two ago that I finally figured out that it's the word people usually pronounce "blaggard."

    Also a couple from young childhood -- when I learned the song "Silent Night" at a very early age, I thought "round yon virgin" was "onion virgin," and I thought "sleep in heavenly peace" was "sleep in heavenly peas." I pictured a baby lying in a crib among lots of green peas rolling around.

    When I was five years old, in kindergarten, and we said "I pledge allegiance to the flag" etc., when we said "and to the republic for which it stands" I thought it was "for witch it stands," and I invariably pictured a witch with a broom and black coat and black pointed hat.

    Probably one of the more enduring ones (tbough wasn't one of mine, I only know of it second-hand) is the old church hymn, "Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear." I first heard of that one from my mom when I was a kid. Kenneth Rexroth also mentions it in one of his poems.

    My thinking on "French exit" is similar to Sarang's comment above -- leaving, or, um, exiting, early without saying goodbye. And also, possibly -- following one of the definitions in the Urban Dictionary website -- without paying one's share of the tab.

    Word verification is "cuplash," which looks like it could be an eggcorn for something.

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  12. Doesn't that Alanis Morrisette song reference the cross-eyed bear? Or is she just saying "cross I bear"?

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  13. My parents always said "making the ends meet" as in "we have to make the ends meet" which I thought was some kind of a poor people's bologna.

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  14. OMG. Like end's meat? Post-apocalyptic meat.

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  15. In that song Blinded by the Light, I thought duece was douche. This is very common, according to Wikipedia:

    The Earth Band's recording of the song features several changed lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen's "cut loose like a deuce" is replaced with "revved up like a deuce."[1][2][3]

    This is commonly misheard as "wrapped up like a douche."[4]

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