Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
An acquaintance on copyediting-l reported that she received an invitation to a repass after a funeral. Urban Dictionary lists it with that meaning (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=repass). Seems like an apt eggcorn on this basis: The person passed away. Now we’re going to tell stories—in essence passing over the life of the deceased. So this is a second passing. Therefore, it’s a re-pass.
Very interesting. You’re clearly on to something. “Repass” is being defined and explained as a post-funerary meal in several places. This one, on Answers.com, corresponds directly with your interpretation.
Q. What is a repass dinner?
R. The repass meal, is a meal immediately following funeral and burial service. It is traditionally held at the church were the funeral occurred. Additionally, the meal is meant to bring together members of the family and friends for a time of remembrance and fellowship.
To add to Dick’s post, this term is well-established in the African American community, so much so that it has a literary trail by now. See Alice Randall, Rebel Yell (Bloomsbury, 2009) and Nikki Turner, The Glamorous Life (Random House, 2005).