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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
This article was in the newsletter today, about eggcorns—which are words or phrases that are misheard or wrongly remembered and regurgitated in a slightly different form—which then enters usage. This could be one way in which language evolves.

"Eggcorns" Are Language Mistakes That Somehow Still Make Sense

I've heard number 5) Bad wrap (bad rap) said as "bad rep" in bad reputation.

One phrase not on the list, that I don't know which came first, is Dull as ditchwater or Dull as dishwater. I grew up saying the former, but the washing-up option is more common nowadays.

Dull as ditchwater (not dishwater) ... specific questions thereon

Mishearing song lyrics or poetry leads to what are known as Mondegreens.

Mondegreen - Wikipedia

For a while, I thought that Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits was singing "Money for nothing and your cheques for free," in their song Money For Nothing, rather than the actual lyric "your chicks for free." Some listeners thought he was muttering "your chips for free."

A close relative is a Malapropism, which can be humorous.

Malapropism - Wikipedia

Can you think of any examples?

I can't think off the top of my head of any eggcorns (not heard them called that before either), but misheard lyrics abound. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody produces loads in my brain when I'm trying to sing along. '... bells above, has the devil got a light for me...' etc.

But some lyrics are odd even though they are what is actually sung by the artists.
For instance, at the very end of Queen's One Vision, the line ends with, "just gimme, gimme, gimme, fried chicken." Apparently they did it as a joke because they all kept singing "fried chicken" instead of "one vision" during the recording sessions and kept ruining the takes.
Another odd lyric is on the original release of "Message in a bottle" by The Police. At the end, as it gradually fades away they are repeating, "...Sending out an SOS. Sending out an SOS..." and then at the very end (and you have to turn the volume right up to hear it) they sing, "sending out an S O Blue."
When my littlest brother and sister were tiny, 'spaghetti' was 'obstogetti, 'and a dressing gown was a 'dressing gallon.'
And a human being was a 'fuman' or 'fuming' being.

They were 8/9 years younger and I learned the baby ropes this way, doing bottles and nappies, bathing them and putting them to bed.

And because I thought it was funny, and cute, and I am a bad, mischievous mother, I thought it was funny to teach the same thing to my own children.
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Hello Everyone

Happy Easter