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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2006-06-19 03:10:19

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

I keep a list in my computer of things I run across that look like eggcorns; the ones I find most convincing or interesting get posted, but others languish for months. I’ve decided to clear out the wannabes that appear below. Some are convincing eggcorns, but they appear in just a small number of citations – too few to constitute evidence of a widespread usage. Or I find them boring. Or I find them charming but can’t convince myself they’re truly eggcorns rather than typos or malapropisms. Or the two words in question are so close etymologically that I feel like I’m cheating. Or something. And some of them I just don’t feel like writing up.

My faves are probably “in random with” (200 raw hits), “inedible ink” (1000 hits), ”(kill the) fated calf” (70 hits), “lepercon” (9450 hits), “privy hedge” (30 hits), and “spitting headache” (1050 hits). The list:

“collidoscope/collideascope” for “kaleidoscope”
“conscious objector” for “conscientious objector”
“coolie loach” for “kuhli loach”
“food stable” for “food staple”
“fore-eyed” for “four-eyed”
“gape-toothed ” for “gap-toothed/gat-toothed”
“grand sphere of things” for “grand scheme of things”
“hardfelt” for “heartfelt”
“give it a wide birth” for “give it a wide berth”
“ill-faded” for “ill-fated”
“in random with” for “in tandem with”
“inedible ink” for “indelible ink”
“it’s high tide that” for “it’s high time that”
“kill the fated calf” for “kill the fatted calf”
“lean on the property” for “lien on the property”
“lepercon/lepercorn” for “leprechaun” (probably a phonetic spelling of a dialectal variant)
“like a bull in a Chinese shop” for “like a bull in a china shop”
“made name” for “maiden name”
“motive lights” for “votive lights”
“passivist” for “pacifist” (Or vice versa? This one’s impossible to disambiguate in most cases.)
“penal enlargement” for “penile enlargement”
“privy hedge” for “privet hedge”
“proto call” for “protocol”
“reins true/rains true” for “rings true”
“really bakes the cake” for “really takes the cake”
“ride him/her/it off” for “write him/etc. off”
“seal lion” for “sea lion”
“shark-eyed” for “sharp-eyed”
“Shepardic jew” for “Sephardic jew”
“shuttlebutt” for “scuttlebutt”
“spitting/spiting headache” for “splitting headache”
“a bit tasking” for “a bit taxing”
“trimmer of fear” for “tremor of fear”
“Weighs and Means Committee” for “Ways and Means Committee”



#2 2006-06-19 17:22:16

From: Winchester Massachusetts
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 674

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

Pat – You’re too modest (or too lazy). At least 10 of these look like perfectly charming eggcorns.

But I like your wholesale (wholesail, wholescale) approach. Appearances to the contrary, I toss back a lot more candidate eggcorns than I keep. I don’t usually save the rejects. However, here are a few from the back of my closet:

‘the mind bobbles’ for ‘the mind boggles’

‘livesome’ for ‘lithesome’

‘zoo suit’ for ‘zoot suit’

‘mile mannered’ for ‘mild mannered’

‘autosclerosis’ for otosclerosis’ (and ‘otodidact,’ denoting a self-instructed musician)

‘taughtology’ for ‘tautology’

‘consummit’ for ‘consummate’

‘some pump’ and ‘sun pump’ for ‘sump pump’

‘white wale’ for ‘wide wale’ (i was hoping to find some bookish sailors wearing ‘white whale corduroys’ but didn’t)

‘tea test’ for ‘t test’

‘folio deux’ for ‘folie a deux’

‘annuals’ for ‘annals’ (especially when the annals are published periodically)

‘light motif’ for ‘leitmotif’

‘ambien noise’ for ‘ambient noise’

‘real liable source’ for ‘reliable source’

‘toad’s tool’ for ‘toadstool’

‘sly trombone’ for ‘slide trombone’



#3 2006-06-20 12:23:32

Chris Waigl
Eggcorn Faerie
From: London, UK
Registered: 2005-10-14
Posts: 115

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

You know what—you’re bad, both of you. We’re all so behind entering (and in many cases, researching at least a little) all these wonderful finds of yours (and, to be sure, of many others). I just had to explain to a friend why ”... is not a pancreas” is only a garden-variety malaprop, even though a fine one.



#4 2006-06-26 00:41:06

From: Brookline, MA
Registered: 2005-12-13
Posts: 38

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

I want to thank Pat for “Shepardic Jew”—it puts me in mind of my late uncle Shepard Delfin, a Shepardic Jew if there ever was one. Only after Shep was no longer with us, and I saw his Hebrew headstone, did I understand the eggcornish origin of his mysterious name. I often heard Shep called by his Yiddish nickname “Shepsel”—little sheep—but why should anyone be called “little sheep”? Well, Shep’s headstone identified him as “Shabbatai,” meaning “Saturn” the seventh planet and therefore the one identified by astrologers with the Jews, the keepers of the seventh day. The Yiddish pronunciation of “Shabbatai” is “Shabse,” hence “shepse” hence the diminutive “shepsel.”

BTW, if a self-taught musician is an “otodidact,” surely a self-taught oboeist is an “obodidact”?



#5 2006-06-26 03:53:31

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

Thanks! “Shepardic” gets 1100 hits—I knew there had to be a good story in there somewhere, but I just couldn’t find it. (I know lamb is impt. in Sephardic cuisine, so I considered the possibility that was influencing things—but I don’t think so.) And since he had a Yiddish nickname, I assume your Shepardic relative was Ashkenazi. Paradox upon paradox….

If you put spaces around the dashes, I think that’ll keep the program for scoring out part of your text.



#6 2006-06-27 00:43:53

From: Brookline, MA
Registered: 2005-12-13
Posts: 38

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

Hi, Pat. We’re probably getting totally off-topic here, but I’ve always assumed that with a name like “Delfin,” my uncle’s family was Sephardic – or Shepardic – at some point, if you pushed back far enough. The name “Shabbatai” may point in the same direction, for reasons I won’t go into here.

I”ve been investigating the surname “Delfin” on the Web, with little success, but for the interesting suggestion that it began as “D’Auvergne.” It occured to me after our exchange, though – I swear I wasn’t consciously leading up to this plug – that if you see the film “Wordplay” – and what eggcornologist would miss it? – you can see Uncle Shep for yourself and draw your own conclusions. My cousin Jon Delfin, Shep’s son, is the five-time national crossword puzzle champion and figures prominently in the movie. Jon’s the rehearsal pianist and for a split second he appears in a still photograph, maybe from the early eighties, with his father. It’s a really enjoyable movie, too – certainly the best independent movie I’ve ever seen that features my relatives (except perhaps for “March of the Penguins” . . . )

Is there a way to go off-line with a silly and irrelevant post like this? David F.



#7 2012-05-07 20:20:09

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

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

A slight return to Pat’s “made name”. The made-in name is clearly the name you were made in.

hi this is audrey’s daughter hacking her profile and this is what i have 2 say about her-well her name is audrey moore and her made in name was arentz.
Friendly hack

My made in name was Pulliam. I have a bikini pic from the 80s is my FB pic.
Housing search

my made-in name was from my mom’s ex husband, not my daddy, who i have, and will always have, a great relationship with!
Complicated family ties on Mom’s forum



#8 2012-05-17 06:22:29

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1276

Re: House-cleaning: 34 eggcornish also-rans

Great lists! Pat and klakritz, your standards for what you think deserves its own post are much higher than mine. I would have posted many of the ones you listed. Even if something isn’t strictly an eggcorn, it could be interesting or, better yet, funny. We need all the laughs we can get in this rough world.



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