Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2018-04-11
I heard this one from another family member some time ago and, in the context of eggcorns, googled it. I got one hit, but it was someone citing it in a thread in which he was venting on people’s erroneous use of language. In other words, this is out there. Here’s the hit and the reference:
“My husband knows he needs to watch what he eats but he can’t seem to help himself. He just keeps gouging himself with food.” (http://forums.tvgasm.com/showthread.php?t=164)
This is very similar to what I heard from my family member.
Since gouging implies a sort of forceful pushing action, whether for digging/scooping earth, extracting an eye, etc., it lends itself pretty well to the idea of stuffing food down one’s throat; whereas ‘to gorge’ is a fairly low-use verb, pretty tightly bounded semantically. It’s not surprising to me that people would eggcorn this. When we start hearing about ‘engouged organs’ and such (!) we’ll know it’s well entrenched.
I googled “engouged,” and lots of the hits I got clearly used “engouged” in place of “engorged.” Nearly all of them, unsurprisingly, were from porn sites, though there was one from a discussion of breastfeeding on a site about babycare. There were also a handful in which the writer seemed to have meant “engaged,” though that wasn’t always clear.
From the hits I saw, I can’t really tell whether these uses are truly eggcornish or just malapropisms. For some reason, malaprops are all over porn sites (I think many of the writers are non-native speakers of English), so that sort of evidence is really hard to evaluate.
Here it is going in the other direction, gorge < gouge:
Then I gorge his eyes out, and break every bone in his body.
Parts of me want to forgive and move on, other parts of me want to bash his brains in and gorge his eyes out,
Gorge my eyes out while laughing like a maniac because whomever faces the prophet of the ancient ones goes absolutely insane instantly.
I could gorge his eyes out and stab him.
There are quite a few of these. Maybe someone is thinking that “gorge” is meant in the “wolfing down food” sense, as in eating someone’s eyes right out of their face. Pretty violent imagery that fits the contexts. Or maybe they’re thinking that gorging someone’s eyes out results in empty “gorges” in their face. Or maybe not.