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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-03-29 19:36:39

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 635

"be holding" for "be beholden"

From a personal email from a friend of mine: “While I negotiate a possible rental with several people, I’d be holding to you if you went over again so driveway and house are not left empty.”

This one is apparently new to the Eggcorn Forum. I think it’s an eggcorn; it has sufficient similarity in both pronunciation and meaning, and it’s surely not just a misspelling.

But what a rare one, in this form, at least! Googling “be holding to you” yielded 105 hits, none of which were the eggcorn! (Nearly all of them were the lyrics to some sappy song by one Amy Grant.)

I then googled “be holding to them” and found a few unambiguous examples of the eggcorn, e.g.:

”...it seems that that is their goal…to keep the people be-holding to them and to keep the people depenadnt on them under theguise of helping them…”

“Democrats want the voters to be holding to them. They buy their votes with handouts…”

“I had a business and I know that when some do you a small favor they think you should be holding to them but not all think that way.”

Googling “beholding to you” yielded quite a few examples, many of them in archaic English, including Shakespeare. This led me to look up the etymology of “beholden”; my dictionary says: “former past participle of behold, in the otherwise unrecorded sense ‘bound.’” So it looks like there’s an etymological connection between “be holding” and “be beholden”, but I don’t think that disqualifies it from being an eggcorn. What say y’all?

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