mondegreen


a misunderstood song lyric

TRANSLATION

mondegreen = ein missverstandenes oder falsch interpretiertes Wort oder eine falsch interpretierte Phrase, das sich aus einem falsch verstandenem Liedtext ergibt; Verhörer

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“This process of near-homophony has many wonderfully named literary variants, from MONDEGREEN to malapropism, earslip and mumpsimus. But whatever its forms or origins, perhaps what we mishear and re-express is a reflection of what we want to hear, of what interests or matters to us. This creativity is something to be cherished.”

Peter Kimpton - The Guardian

Did you
know?

mondegreen
noun

- a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song

Oxford English Dictionaries

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WORD ORIGIN

Although the term mondegreen is generally used to describe misheard song lyrics, it can be applied to any type of speech. The term was originally coined by author Sylvia Wright, who as a child heard the lyrics of The Bonny Earl of Murray (a Scottish ballad) as:

“Ye highlands and ye lowlands
Oh where have you been?
Thou have slay the Earl of Murray
And Lady Mondegreen”

The last two lines are actually:

“…slay the Earl of Murray
and laid him on the green”


EXCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THIS GUY

Enjoy the following and do drop me a line if you have any personal examples:

— There’s a bathroom on the right = There’s a bad moon on the rise (Bad Moon Rising, Credence Clearwater Revival)

— Sweet cream is made of cheese = Sweet dreams are made of these (Sweet Dreams, Eurhythmics)

— Slow motion Walter, the fire engine guy = Smoke on the water, fire in the sky (Smoke On The Water, Deep Purple)

— The ants are my friends = The answer, my friend (“Blowing in the Wind, Bob Dylan)

— I’ll never leave your pizza burning = I’ll never be your beast of burden (Beast of Burden, The Rolling Stones)

— Excuse me while I kiss this guy = Excuse me while I kiss the sky (Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix)



SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“A nice English-to-German mondegreen is ‘I’ve got the Power’ interpreted as ‘Agathe Bauer’”.


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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