Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
In emails or on IM or Facebook, a few friends of mine have referred to little “momentos,” souvenirs or keepsakes dear to them. I checked “momento” in the OED, and they say it has been in recent use to mean MEMENTO. So does this count as an eggcorn? I had just thought the term was supposed to be MEMENTO, but “momento” must be a mainstream-enough variation to have caught the OED’s attention.
This has been submitted a number of times but has never made it into the Database. “Momento” shows up as a variant of “memento” in some dictionaries, so it’s possible our gate-keepers felt it was already too “mainstream.” Or maybe it’s just never been entered. Seems like a good eggcorn (or “folk etymology”) to me.
Some relevant earlier posts:
# 163 Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/11 at 7:44 pm
‘momento mori’ for ‘memento mori.’ some people seem to use this phrase to describe the moment of death or the moment of a commemoration. as in..
I first attended a Momento Mori while I lived in Salt Lake City. …
Momento Mori, He Breathed His Last, Offering Suffering to God …
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/contribute … t-page-42/
# 16 Commentary by Laurie , 2005/05/13 at 2:14 pm
I have noticed for several years the use of “momento” instead of “memento” which,
according to the Oxford Australian Concise Dictionary is an object serving as reminder or
warning, or kept as memorial of person or event (L, imper. of meminisse remember).
# 396 Commentary by Mark Widener , 2005/05/17 at 11:32 pm
Using momento for memento is one that really bugs me. I didn’t find this on your site, but I did notice an entry for the specific phrase memento mori. Google can furnish many illustrations–search for “as a momento” (quotes included, the exact phrase). I have heard hundreds of people misspeak this word, and I think they all believe that a “momento” is something that helps one recall a specific moment. This is a false etymology. In fact, memento is a singular imperative (plural form mementote) of a very old Latin verb and means roughly “remember!”. The word “memory” is much closer in origin than “moment” to this word.
http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:qc … =firefox-a
And Buzhwa, it looks like your nom d’eggcorn may have inspired Kem’s entertaining “bushwalk” post, so double credit for this one….
Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-12-15 22:11:46)
Oh, dang. I did a forum search for memento(s)/momento(s), so I had thought I was the first to notice, but I guess not. Ah well.
Heh, I’ll have to take a look at the bushwalk thread! In one of my signatures on another site, I have: “bushwa = nonsense, bull,” then on a second line: “buzhwa = nonzenze, bull.” I first created buzhwa based on a rough phonetic spelling of “bourgeois” – dunno why I chose that word.