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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-06-16 05:12:31

Craig C Clarke
Registered: 2005-11-18
Posts: 233

"Owness," "ownness" and "oweness" for onus

“The ownness is on the customer and business owner. Do your research and you’ll be fine!”

“I don’t have to back up anything the owness is on you to prove me wrong. ” … 8-p-2.html

“In any event, the oweness is on the aggressor – Israel – to show that it was both necessary and unavoidable, and that it was proportionate.” … -a-debate/

In addition, there are hyphenated versions, – “own-ness,” etc., plus at least one non hyphenated “owe ness is on…”

With the two spellings “ownness,” and “owness,” I think the imagery suggests that the person indicated is somehow the possessor of the problem or debt.
The “oweness” version is somewhat different, stressing not the possession of the responsibility but rather the responsibility or debt itself.



#2 2008-06-16 13:02:04

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2653

Re: "Owness," "ownness" and "oweness" for onus

David Vinson noted these two onus variants in his 2006 blog:,month,2006-10.aspx

This appears to be the first notice of them here, though jorkel earlier pointed out an “ownus” (i.e. “own us”) variant:

Onus has yet another eggcorn variant. Those who have only seen the word “onus,” and not heard it pronounced (standard pronunciation of “onus” is OH-ness), can read it as conflation of “on us,” thinking that a burden is something that is on us. Here are some web authors who have made this slip:

“The on us is on you to let your boss know about your plans.” ( … 100800.htm)

“I think that the on us is on the ESA to prove that membership in it is good for the company and good for consumers.” ( … ship-.html)

“Often a substitute product will be used to suspend a ceiling grid system. The on us is on the Specifier to ensure that components, which comply with minimum standards, are used.” (

That’s four plausible eggcorns constructed around one word. I wonder-does “onus” hold the English record for the number of eggcorn variants of a single word?

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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