lip-sync(h) » lip-sing

Variant(s):  lipsing, lip sing

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “After baseball, Congress tackles lip-singing. Ashlee Simpson writes new book exposing the ugly rumors of lip singing on a national level…” (link)
  • “Lindsey Lohan Caught Lip Singing. Seems like all the celebrities are getting busted lately!” (link)
  • “To the audiences dismay, almost the whole performance was lipsung.” (link)
  • “I greatly enjoyed the Caroline Rhea gala, but was brought to tears by the opening act, the acrobatic Italian who dressed Like Luciano Pavorotti and lipsang …” (link)
  • “Well she lipsinged….lol” (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Douglas Wilson (American Dialect Society mailing list, 22 February 2005)
  • Ken Lakritz (link)

Doug Wilson reported “hundreds of Web examples”, and Larry Horn added: “I’ve been using that one for years, at least since a 1994 “Words and Meaning” final exam, so it’s been around that long. I first came across it on a religious web site, of all places, in the gerundive form (”lip-singing”).” Wilson noted that “lip-sung” and “lip-sang” were also to be found (see examples 3 and 4 above) — and “lip-singed” as well (example 5 above). Examples 1 and 2 are from Ken Lakritz’s commentary in the Eggcorn Database.

Lakritz explained the motivation for the eggcorn: “Lip-syncing is the practice of pretending to sing by synchronizing your lip movements with a vocal soundtrack. This gets turned into ‘lip-singing,’ which I would understand as appearing to sing with your lips but without a voice, i.e., much the same thing.” It might be that some people are unaware of the fact that the “sync(h)” of “lip-sync(h)” is a clipping of “synchronize”/”synchronization”.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2006/06/18 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Simon Beck , 2006/06/30 at 1:18 pm

    It could also be influenced by the phrase “lip-reading”, implying the visible movement of the lips.

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