brim » rim

Chiefly in:   rimming with , rimmed with , rimful of

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Eyes rimming with tears, she added, “Hopefully, I’ll be like that when I’m that age.” (New York Times, Oct 5, 2005)
  • Finally, she covered her eyes with her hands; when she removed them they were rimmed with tears. (link)
  • and i’ve had a Rimful of the Catholic Church. (link)

brimming with [tears] > rimming with [tears] appears to be by far the most common eggcorn in this group. It was its appearance in the cited New York Times article that brought this group of eggcorns to my attention

brimful > rimful is barely attested.

rimmed with [tears] > brimmed with [tears] is intermediate in frequency (all quantitative claims are justified by nothing more than a Google search), and I would even have guessed that “brimmed with” was the eggcorn in this case, were it not for several late-19th-century citations in the OED (not that that’s determinative, of course).

| link | entered by Lee Rudolph, 2005/10/13 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/10/13 at 12:24 pm

    I imagine that red-rimmed eyes somehow factors into rimmed with tears.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Brenda Shaw , 2005/10/25 at 7:38 pm

    ‘Rim’ and ‘brim’ are synonyms anyways. This substitution doesn’t really change the meaning of the expression.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Aaron , 2005/12/14 at 3:08 pm

    The old advertising slogan “Fill it to the rim with Brim” (for Brim decaf coffee) may have contributed to this confusion.

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