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#1 2007-03-17 20:10:34

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 868

sea-mistress for seamstress

Once upon a time I worked in a nautical school; walls were bulkheads, toilets were heads, time was punctuated by bugles. It was an overwhelmingly male environment. The only female element was the seamstress – a lady who repaired uniforms with needle and thread but also doubled as matron, mother-substitute, emotional refuge etc. I suppose it must have been the proximity of the sea, the shared hallucination that we were aboard a ship, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t convince the boys that the seamstress was not the ‘sea-mistress’, and eventually I ceased the struggle and accepted their interpretation – it made more sense than mine. I have no citations, no corroborative evidence, I could google all night but it would be fruitless. There must be many such eggcorns, local, one-off, flesh-in-the-pan (191 ghits!) but their non-universal nature should not deter us from submitting them to the forum – someone, somewhere might be able to support and confirm usage?



#2 2007-03-17 20:39:54

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

Re: sea-mistress for seamstress

I would hope that anyone who had an eggcornish tale as charming and well written as this would post it—no matter what corroboration was available.

A nautical school? Peter, if you ever write a memoir, please tell us—I’d bet it would be a pleasure to read.



#3 2007-03-19 19:57:07

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: sea-mistress for seamstress

Peter! What an outstanding tale! And you’ve written it with such style! You need to write it all up as a novel (punctuated with your scholarly eggcorns if need be). Do you have any idea of how compelling your style is?



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