Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

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Registrations were closed for a long time because of forum spam, but I have re-opened them on a trial basis.

The forum administrator (chris dot waigl at gmail dot com) reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2007-02-28 22:23:47

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

garden angel

A very cute find! I don’t think it’s an eggcorn, but I like it.

We tend to make two related assumptions—one more counterintuitive than the other—about eggcorns. The first assumption is that the altered word must still in some way make sense in the same context for the person who uttered/wrote the eggcorn. The second, weirder assumption follows from that: since our definition of eggcorn depends on how the eggcorn user thinks about the word or phrase, a phrase that’s an eggcorn for one person can be an intentional pun or perhaps even a malaprop for another person.

Of course, most of the time we just don’t have enough evidence about what the eggcorn-user was thinking. With “eggcorn” itself, it’s pretty clear that users are drawing a parallel between the ovoid shape of the acorn and that first syllable of the word—which can sound kinda sorta like “egg” in some dialects.

But I, too, can’t figure out how anyone could plug any usual sense of “garden” back into the usual meaning of “guardian angel.”



#2 2007-03-04 16:07:00

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: garden angel

I was hoping to find an example where garden angel might be considered an eggcorn, but I couldn’t locate such an example. It’s actually pretty tricky… One would have to hear the word “guardian angel” in it’s proper context and truly believe that “garden angel” is the proper term: If someone were to believe—in all honesty—that a garden angel provides protection of sorts, that might be one such context. But, alas, I haven’t located it.

Is it an eggcorn if some people use it intentionally & others dont?

That’s a great question. Usually what’s required is for someone to use the original term properly (not as a pun), and for the listener to misconstrue it on his/her own—and subsequently use it in a way not originally intended. If the “original” usage were a pun to begin with, then the listener didn’t really create the new meaning—the punster did.

That is not to say that the same construction cannot be both an eggcorn and a pun independently of one another. What is essential is that the eggcorn was generated under distinct circumstances where no pun was intended either by the original or the subsequent utterer.

I guess I’m not sure when a malopropism becomes an eggcorn?

A malapropism becomes an eggcorn when the accidental usage actually makes sense. I.e., the utterer of an eggcorn understands the meaning of every word he utters and the usage in the sentence makes sense. By contrast, malapropisms are accidental usages that are usually ludicrous because the utterer doesn’t realize he has switched a word with another one that has a different meaning from what he intends.

I think they understand the meaning of the word “garden”. But I don’t know why they think it makes sense to use it here.
“I really want to know who my garden angel is and also my guide…”
“…my mother is MY hero…she is my garden angel and I hope I can be her garden angel that day she needs ME, ...”
“shes my garden angel i no shes watching over me.”
(and- do people really not know that “no” isn’t “know”? or have we just become so lazy that it doesn’t matter?)

Your instinct here is correct; it is lazy writing. A while back, I proposed that “licker” was an eggcorn of “liquor,” and later someone correctly pointed out that he thought it was actually eye dialect. Which is to say, when people either don’t know the correct spelling—or are too lazy to care—they might write words that read the way the actual words would sound.

Last edited by jorkel (2007-03-05 00:42:14)



#3 2012-08-09 16:58:07

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1096

Re: garden angel

I just ran across this one in another form, as a gardening angel. There are a number of hits that look legit. It brings the meaning a bit closer to guarding and further legitimizes garden angel, I think.

Thinking about these almost moments make me smile for some reason
Maybe it because I can feel you with me always
Or maybe its because I think of you as my gardening angel
But mostly I believe the reason is because soon I no all my almost moments will no longer be
Heartfelt love poetry

da best trust i love her much to let her go..i love wen in third period she plays wit mi hair nd i fall to a lil..babyee that i am….she always dere for mi..bad ..gud..terrible momments..every where i go she there..shes like my gardening angel..
Myspace profile

Angels! What is the first thing that comes to mind? Satan rebelling against authority in Heaven or do you see angels like on various artworks or what ever how you view it. I have always wanted to talk about angels. Just see what people think of them. Do you believe you have a gardening angel protecting you or do you think this is all just tofu.
Religion forum

JC was a great mechanic, and he could say more with less words than anybody I’ve ever known. I bought his 65 wrecked from his Ol lady because I needed an electric start bike, still have it. It has treated me well through the years, kinda like it and I have a Gardening Angel watching over us. Every now and again I dream he comes walking up and I’m so happy to see him and to give him his bike back.

Last edited by burred (2012-08-09 17:23:46)



#4 2012-08-11 09:42:23

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2575

Re: garden angel

The sweet attentions of Cathetel.

“Cathetel – This guardian angel of the garden increases the growth and yield of vegetables and fruits and keeps them healthy and flourishing. Cathetel inspires the human race to love and appreciate all of the beings of nature. When we grow in respect and reverence for nature we can attain harmony with our own natures as well. ”

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#5 2012-08-15 14:02:20

Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 130

Re: garden angel

I can imagine that one’s “garden angel” is the one personally assigned to you. It’s not a big important angel, but a garden-variety one that might live in your garden, watching you through the window.

A ‘gardening angel’ might make sense if you are the flower being tended…



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