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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2007-12-17 14:00:30

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 14:01:45)



#2 2007-12-17 22:43:51

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 15:50:49

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”).



#4 2017-05-30 21:53:18

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1263

Re: "Porthole" to "portal"

There are quite a few of these portal >> porthole examples online.

are the predominant power people of this planet some how connected to a lizard species that utilises an interdimensional porthole to take on a human physical appearence in order to control?

inside each truck is an interdimensional porthole. when the “garbagemen” collects the “trash” they then activate the porthole by”compacting” the “trash”...
Q&A site

The only thing I could do is jump through the interdimensional porthole to save my boss from a certain death.
round-robin story

Before she morphed totally into a Brill-hater, she’d introduced him to her buddies, filmmakers on the outskirts who might have oozed through an interdimensional porthole but had a clear vision of the future.



#5 2017-06-03 17:04:26

Registered: 2006-04-11
Posts: 25

Re: "Porthole" to "portal"

Right away this started me looking for porthole >> pothole. These may be cases of poor spelling, but they occur in both the header and the body, so they don’t seem to be typographical errors.

Considering a cruise on Carnival Breeze. Could book for the same price an interior cabin midship on the Riviera deck, or a cabin with pothole windows all the way to the front.
Pothole cabin in the front on the Riviera deck on Carnival Breeze

Hi all not been finding much at the bootsales of late but picked this Vintage Coventry Astral 123 movement ships pothole clock today, I cannot make the mark out on the face but is a triangle with ? P or F & S
Vintage Coventry Astral 123 movement ships pothole clock bootsale find

I’m thinking of porthole → porthole cover → manhole cover → pothole cover → pothole. Maybe I’m overthinking.

Last edited by Eoin (2017-06-03 17:18:25)



#6 2017-06-08 07:12:45

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2589

Re: "Porthole" to "portal"

The “pothole” for “porthole” substitution is a credible eggcorn, IMHO.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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