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#1 2007-12-17 19:00:30

Registered: 2007-12-17
Posts: 2

"Porthole" to "portal"

I’ve noticed what I believe is a perfect eggcorn: “porthole” misinterpreted as “portal”

Porthole, from
1. a round, windowlike opening with a hinged, watertight glass cover in the side of a vessel for admitting air and light.
2. an opening in a wall, door, etc., as one through which to shoot.

Portal, from

a door, gate, or entrance, esp. one of imposing appearance, as to a palace.

Some examples found in the wild:
“As I look out the small portal window I realize…” … dow-i.html

“a circular chrome metallic portal window” – image is clearly a porthole

“The little round window by the door seems oddly placed to me. It’s like a portal on a boat or something” … ownership/ (in the comments)

image labeled as “portal window” which should be called porthole … 9/original

Last edited by iempleh (2007-12-17 19:01:45)



#2 2007-12-18 03:43:51

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

Re: "Porthole" to "portal"

About a month ago, one of the Database gatekeepers—Arnold Zwicky—pointed out the portal/porthole reshaping over on the Language Log blog, and he noted that it wasn’t yet recorded in the forum. I was astonished—I thought we already had it (I’ve seen it in student papers a number of times), but he seems to be right. In any case, he said in the LL post that he’d eventually get it into the Database. His post is here: … 05103.html



#3 2007-12-19 20:50:49

Registered: 2007-12-17
Posts: 2

Re: "Porthole" to "portal"

Interesting, in that the language log post is about the opposite conversion (i.e. “porthole to hell”) from what I described (i.e. “portal window”).



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