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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2009-04-04 17:53:08

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

"Acorn" for œcern

Was eggcorn an eggcorn of an eggcorn?

Discovering Palmer’s Folk-etymology on the web as outlined in this post: … hp?id=3647 led to the discovery of another resource. This is “A Dictionary of True Etymologies” by Adrian Room, from 1988 ( Browsing through it I came upon this passage, on page 12:

acorn (fruit of the oak)
The word has long been popularly associ-
ated, understandably enough, with `corn’
and `oak’, and was spelt as akecorn and
okecorn only a few centuries ago. Its real
origin lies in Old English _œcern_, related to
Latin ager, `field’ (as in `agriculture’) and
modern English `acre’. The link is in the
source of the acorn, which is the natural
fruit of a tree that grows in fields.

So acorn is closer to agriculture and acre than to the oak! A more detailed etymology is given by Palmer, as above. The jump from œcern, to okecorne and cognates, to acorn was not random change.

This led me to kem and nilep’s posts on wiseacre and the wise egger.

Last edited by burred (2009-04-09 02:15:10)



#2 2009-04-09 02:23:12

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

Re: "Acorn" for œcern

This possibility was discussed in far greater depth, with greater chariness and based on more authoritative references in the post on Eggcorn criteria, messages 37-40: … p?id=2773.

Last edited by burred (2009-04-09 02:23:32)



#3 2009-04-09 09:48:02

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2148

Re: "Acorn" for œcern

If it was “okecorn”, i.e. (I suppose) oak-corn , that looks like an eggcorn to me.

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



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