Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The terms “ordure” and “odor/odour,” with their similar sounds and intertwined meanings, are sometimes confused. The semantic rationale behind the switch is as strong as the smell: ordure is usually odiferous and bad odors/odours can often be traced to human/animal excrement.
Below I have given examples of the confusion going in both directions. Since “odour/odor” is much more common than “ordure” (The “odor:ordure ratio in the COCA database is 300:1), “ordure”–>”odor/odour” is the more likely eggcorn.
Further evidence that the terms are being confused comes in the form of a spelling blend, “odure.” The “ordure”–>”odure” transformation could be a written off as a typo, to be sure, and the “odor/odour”–> “odure” flip could be a phonetic respelling. Still, one wonders if semantic priming is at work in some instances of “odure.”
Examples of “odor/odour” for “ordure.” Frequency: rare, but hard to be certain.
: “If Microshaft wrote a worm/trojan/virus that only affected older operating systems ie Vista, XP, 2000 so they could trumpet the success of their latest & greatest. Then 2 or 3 years down the road, mod the code for the next steaming pile of odour.”
: “Well done for dragging this piece of steaming odour out from where it was festering in his post archives”
Examples of “ordure” for “odor/odour:” Frequency: low.
: “Even at the time, though, the brand seemed a little old-fashioned, something with the ordure of musty velour.”
: “Jaeger pulled himself up as the man fell to his knees, the stench of body ordure and blood burning the snipers nostrils ”
Examples of the “odure” blend in place of “ordure:” Frequency: low.
: “I use Fresh Step and neither the odor of cat odure or perfume is noticeable (but I clean the box at least once a day and feed them a high-quality meat-based diet).”
: “It was called Pig Alley because of the numerous small, black pigs who were always rooting about eating the offal and odure that always seemed to litter this street.”
Examples of the “odure” blend in place of “odour/odor:” Frequency: medium.
: “Did you find that when applying the gel, it has a very strong odure to it? ”
: “Does anyone know how to get the waxey residue caused by deodrants out of business shirts? Also, any tips for getting body odure smells out of shirts?”
Last edited by kem (2010-01-04 20:51:54)
This is the first eggcorn I’ve seen that works equally well as a poteau rose – i.e. it smells as sweet in French. I’ve not included any of the hits as I found as this is probably not the place (in fact I don’t know any outlet for my little collection of pots aux roses).
Is there also a whiff of the eggcorn in the close links to hors d’oeuvre?
Last edited by David Bird (2010-01-04 21:58:28)
I’m just getting into a new book, The Origin of Feces, which tries to connect dung with the underlying Ground of Being, and which kicks off in style with a discussion of the various epithets hurled at excrement. There I learned that ord is from O.Fr. for ‘filthy’, deriving from L horridus which I’ll leave to the reader to divine the meaning of.
I might have looked more closely, above, for malaprops going from hors d’oeuvres to ordures (though the book is more about ordures as main course, ecologically speaking).