eggcorns


misheard words

TRANSLATION

eggcorns = häufige Rechtschreibfehler, die aus einer Fehlinterpretation resultieren; Verhörer, Verballhornungen (z.B. Altersheimer für Alzheimer, Strebergarten für Schrebergarten)

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“When people have misheard a word or phrase, they sometimes repeat it back incorrectly but not completely nonsensically. The term EGGCORN refers to this linguistic phenomenon.”

MasterClass (26 January 2022)

Did you
know?

eggcorn
noun (humorous)

- a word or phrase that a person wrongly thinks is another word or phrase that sounds similar

- a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one which sounds very similar

- a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase either on its own or as part of a set expression

Oxford Languages / Cambridge Dictionary / Merriam-Webster


WORD ORIGIN

In September 2003 Mark Liberman, a linguistics professor at Pennsylvania University, reported the case of a woman who had mistakenly substituted the phrase “egg corn” for the word “acorn”.

Lacking a word to describe such a mishearing, Geoffrey Pullum (another linguist) suggested using "eggcorn" itself as a label; it entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010.


EGGCORN QUIZ

Can you guess the correct word or phrase which has been misheard in these common mistakes (answers below):

- do diligence

- ex-patriot

- for all intensive purposes

- far-gone conclusion

- financial heartship

- French benefit

- holland day sauce

- internally grateful

- lack toast intolerant

- mating name

- no stings attached

- old-timers’ disease

- physical year

- spread like wildflowers

- take with a grain assault

- two sense worth

- water turban

- zero-sum gain
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- do diligence ~ due diligence

- ex-patriot ~ expatriate

- for all intensive purposes ~ intents and purposes

- far-gone conclusion ~ foregone conclusion

- financial heartship ~ financial hardship

- French benefit ~ fringe benefit

- holland day sauce ~ hollandaise sauce

- internally grateful ~ eternally grateful

- lack toast intolerant ~ lactose intolerant

- mating name ~ maiden name

- no stings attached ~ no strings attached

- old-timers’ disease ~ Alzheimer’s disease

- physical year ~ fiscal year

- spread like wildflowers ~ spread like wildfire

- take with a grain assault ~ take with a grain of salt

- two sense worth ~ two cents worth

- water turban ~ water turbine

- zero-sum gain ~ zero-sum game


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“My favourite EGGCORN is ‘Holland day sauce’, what’s yours?”


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and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

More Word Quizzes:

Land of Nod

3 months ago

heaven, paradise, nirvana

SORRY,
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suspended animation

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imaginary land of sleep

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

sycophant

3 months ago

a daydreamer

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a follower

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

an illusionist

SORRY,
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pull rank

3 months ago

to begin work

SORRY,
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to slow down

SORRY,
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to show authority

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

inveigle

3 months ago

to persuade

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

to annoy

SORRY,
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to hide

SORRY,
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upspeak

3 months ago

an upper-class accent

SORRY,
please try again...

a challenging question

SORRY,
please try again...

a rising intonation

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

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