bed » bread

Chiefly in:   bread and breakfast

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Finding the right hotel, hostel, bread and breakfast or temporary lodgings at the right prices for the East Village and New York City area.” (link)
  • “The Athena Hotel is a lovely family run bread and breakfast hotel, in a restored Victorian listed building, professionally designed and tastefully decorated, offering guests the ambience and warmth necessary for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.” (link)
  • “Information on rural real estate, hunting land, acreage, recreational property, farms, ranches, hunting & fishing retreats, timber, bread and breakfasts, motels, hotels, country stores, bars, cafes, taverns, more… “ (link)

Cites supplied to me by Tommy Grano.

Some Google statistics (on 18 May 2005):
“bed and breakfast”: ca. 6,030,000 web hits
“bread and breakfast”: ca. 13,400 web hits
“bred and breakfast”: ca. 872 web hits
(a great many of them from non-US/UK sites)

The “bred and breakfast” cites probably have “bred” as a misspelling for “bread”. The very large number of “bread and breakfast” cites argues that this is no inadvertent error (with the “br” of “bread” anticipating the “br” of “breakfast”).

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/05/06 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Brian , 2005/05/16 at 9:05 pm

    I would consider bread and breakfast more an alliterative error like sparking spaces for parking spaces which is an existing linguistic group.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Arnold Zwicky , 2005/05/18 at 7:22 pm

    In response to Brian’s comment: no doubt the alliteration helps the reshaping, but it seems pretty clear that a lot of the people who typed “bread” intended to refer to the foodstuff. Hence the very small number of “bred” cites from native speakers of English.

    As for “sparking spaces”, a Google web search turns up fewer than a hundred examples, many of them repeats. These might well be inadvertent errors. Though it’s possible that a few people heard or read (an erroneous occurrence of) “sparking spaces” and decided this must be some sort of odd idiom involving the word “spark”.

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