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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2011-01-12 12:48:53

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

bottle << bottom

In one of the 2005 contributions to the old pre-Forum commentary someone noted that “one of the copywriters at work erroneously wrote ‘the bottle line’ instead of ‘the bottom line’ in an ad yesterday.” The error seems to occur with some frequency.

I’m not sure what semantic rationale could be made to justify the switch. Despite its frequency, “bottle line” for “bottom line” may be a WTF typo. There are, however, other idiomatic “bottom >> bottle” switches that could have been urged by the resulting semantics.

The most common of these switches is “bottle of the barrel” for “bottom of the barrel.” On the web there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these slips. A few of them may be puns on the effects of alcoholism, but most seem to be genuine confusions. Could the motivating picture be the bottle shape (?) of barrels? Or might it be the speaker is remembering that bottles and barrels are both containers?

Political blog: “Last weekend King—who appears best when he is mixed up with Long Island’s Republican congressman Peter King, a notch of two higher up the evolutionary scale, though by any reasonable standards, the bottle of the barrel when it comes to New York elected officials—stuck his hooves in his mouth again.”

Comment on Rotten Tomatoes: “Beck must be scraping the bottle of the barrel for guests. ”

Blog post on a candy bar: “In fact, a little more Googling reveals that Chomps are really bottle of the barrel stuff.”

Much less common on the web (a couple of dozen sites) is “bottle of ones heart” for “bottom of ones heart.” The heart is a blood bottle, right? A few of the examples are mondegreens, mishearings of José Feliciano’s line in “Feliz Navidad:” “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom/bottle of my heart.”

Blog entry: “I’m proud to be one of the millions that support you! I love you, from the bottle of my heart !”

Social networking site: “know it’s very simple, and I’m not very good at this stuff, but it’s from the bottle of my heart, and I really love Elena.”

Tanzanian blog: “I will be happy to do this works because I ‘m willing from the bottle of my heart to help my fellow maasai.”

Christian blog: “Lay on your knees and pray from the bottle of your heart

The funniest of the idiomatically-embedded switches is “bottle dollar” for “bottom dollar.” Is your “bottle dollar” the pin money you set aside to get tanked/smashed/juiced/pissed/stinko/plowed/ripped/sloshed/soused/wasted/wrecked/blotto/crocked? There are about a dozen instances of “bottle dollar” on the web. Here are three:

Australian automotive forum: “We can talk all we want about conspiracy theories but if the technology was workable I would bet my bottle dollar that Toyota/Mazda/Honda etc would have bought into it.”

Web-published fiction: “So you will go back to your class, and you will not disrupt order again, or I will suspend you, and you can bet your bottle dollar that I will have a darn good reason too”

Another automotive forum:
“[W]ould you mind pm’ing me your bottle dollar on the welds?”

Last edited by kem (2011-01-12 12:49:42)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#2 2011-01-12 21:40:59

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2149

Re: bottle << bottom

Fun bunch of data.

A likely factor for some of them is a kind of phonological anticipation, homeoteleuton or something: the last syllable of the upcoming barrel transferring onto the bottom , for instance. The medial ll of dollar is a less likely source, though, and heart doesn’t have any l in it.

*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 .)



#3 2011-01-13 12:13:43

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1010

Re: bottle << bottom

And of course, in Cockney rhyming slang, bottle can mean bottom:
aris = Aristotle = bottle = bottle and glass = arse.
‘Bottle’ has been used in the UK to denote nerve, confidence or courage, and although there is nothing to suggest this notion has inspired any of Kem’s examples, it works reasonably well with the the heart and dollar variants.



#4 2011-01-23 04:58:42

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1265

Re: bottle << bottom

kem wrote:

Christian blog: “Lay on your knees and pray from the bottle of your heart

Forget the bottle/bottom thing; this is priceless for the imagery in the first clause. It seems that anyone who did “lay on [their own] knees” would require a trip to the emergency room immediately thereafter. Unless perhaps “lay” here is a sexual Freudian slip; it is, after all, from a Christian blog, LOL!



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