Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
“Hock” for “hawk” is in the Eggcorn Database, but the reverse has apparently only been mentioned in passing once or twice on this site, in discussions of other eggcorns. Here’s the example that got my attention:
”...he is not an incompetent corporatist like his predecessor nor is he in hawk to religious fanatics like his Republican opponents” (from an online political discussion). Googling “in hawk to” yields around 60 unique hits that are this eggcorn.
Hawk is linked to republicans via the Dove and Hawk eco-political philosophies, with republicans typically being “Hawkish”, thus establishing the word association shown in the quote above.
My first thought is that it is simple word substitution, but I’m working on some angles….
Chief concern is that I think the core meaning is changed through the substitution.
I tried to get creative with google, looking for:
hawkish about being in debt pawn shop
and variations, but not getting anything golden….
Next I’m thinking of a hawk taking advantage of a situation like unattentive prey – so a pawn shop could be taking advantage of a Hock-er similar to how a Hawk would…
But I’m not seeing anything…
Something to think about, event though “hawking goods on the street” type of meaning for “to hawk” is a bit antiquated…. but this link from 11 may 2012 shows it in the first sentence: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/its-free-blog … ild-abuse/
“The Republicans have been hawking a doozy of a lie for several years now,...”
Maybe it is related to “hawking goods” – to pitching your wares. Hawking is selling, which means getting money for some item – While hocking is borrowing, where by you are getting money for some item… ??
So while it could be a spelling type of substitution, maybe there is also a slight shift of meaning, making it related/similar but having a distinction?BUT the problem is I can’t find supporting evidence via google. Any thoughts?
czearfoss, I never really figured out any likely meaning-similarity that would justify calling “hawk” for “hock” an eggcorn rather than just a substitution. I’m calling it an eggcorn simply because its converse, “hock” for “hawk”, is listed as an eggcorn in the “Browse Eggcorns” list, and I assume that such meaning-confusions work equally well in either direction. But I don’t know what the reasoning was for including that pair in the eggcorn list in the first place. I do know that a page associated with “hock” for “hawk” ( specifically, the page at http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/329/hock/ ) classifies it as “English – cot/caught merger”, which makes sense but tells us nothing of any meaning connection between the two words. When I originally posted in this thread, I read most or all of the Eggcorn Database links on the subject, but don’t recall whether there was any info thereat that would answer your question. If you want to read those links, google-searching “hawk hock” from the Eggcorn Database search page will get you the list.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2012-05-19 02:59:47)
Thanks for the comments! I would have to agree with the “English – cot/caught merger” assessment explains the vast majority of usage examples. I guess I was just going “stream of consciousness” trying come up with some alternate connection. Just not finding anything, but have a nagging feeling that there is something out there…I’ll just have to hope for a random encounter. Of course some single instance isn’t going to prove anything either.
Perhaps Ben Zimmer, who authored the “hock” for “hawk” listing in the Eggcorn Database several years ago, could enlighten us as to the reasoning behind its inclusion in the list, if he still remembers. Ben, are you out there?