soup » supe
Spotted in the wild:
- Noxious fumes spurted from the oversized exhaust pipes as suped-up engines revved to deafening effect. (Chapel Hill News, Oct 22, 2005)
- And the current generation are technology hot-roders who want to supe up cars like the Prius — not with tail fins, but technology and hardware like advanced battery packs. (smartmoney.com, October 20, 2005)
- Participants ranging from suped-up SUVs to military behemoths will be graded on how well they can self-drive on rough road, make sharp turns and avoid obstacles — hay bales, trash cans, wrecked cars — while relying on GPS navigation and sensors, radar, lasers and cameras that feed information to computers. (Globe and Mail, September 28, 2005)
- Forget cars. The new hot think is suping up your chainsaw. (collegehumor.com)
Analyzed or reported by:
- Paul Brians (Common Errors in English)
On October 25, 2005, our contributor Kaz Vorpal entered the putative substitution _supe up»soup up_ in the database, with the following note:
> When you supe up a car, you are making the car super, or supercharging it. Not adding a liquified meal.
> The supercharger was patented in 1900.
This only goes to show how easy it is to create an eggcorn. The original form is indeed _soup up_. Arnold Zwicky supplied the following references:
> AHD4 and NOAD2 both have *only* “soup up”, AHD without further comment, NOAD suggesting that “super-” might have influenced the formation. OED2 has no entry for “supe” v., but does have “soup up” v. from 1931 (in “souped up”), which it suggests might have been influenced by “super-”, but otherwise derives from the following sense of “soup” n.:
> 1911 Webster’s Dict., Soup, any material injected into a horse with a view to changing its speed or temperament.
NSOED and Merriam-Webster Online also cite _soup up_ only.