Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
It’s a bit early for this I know. This is a strange one because “faux” obviously isn’t pronounced anything like “Fawkes”. But if you’d never seen “faux” before, and you didn’t know French, you probably would think it was pronounced like “Fawkes”. Perhaps influencing people’s use of “faux” here is the fact that you’re burning an effigy of Guy, i.e. a representation, rather than the real thing, but it’s probably just a misspelling rather than any kind of eggcorn.
This is the 2008 guy Faux day celebration in cambridge:
tonight is Guy Faux night in #England .. Remember remember the 5th of November.
https://mobile.twitter.com/belalmd12/st … 9924457473
Hey Happy Guy Faux night 5th November
Someone goes on to say: I just remembered it is the 5th of November. When we were kids my sister and I used to spend hours building our own bomb fire. [I don’t even have to check the forum to know that you already have “bomb fire”!] Then we would put a big scarecrow ontop.
To my surprise, it appears that the Guy Faux spelling was in use at one time, alongside Guy Fawkes. Here are some very old examples:
On 5 November 1673 John Evelyn observed that ‘the youth of the city burnt the Pope in effigy after they had made procession by it’. A century on it was the plot’s best-known protagonist, Guy Fawkes, who was increasingly singled out—the Times newspaper reporting that ‘Guy Faux in his usual state was carried about the street in commemoration of the gunpowder plot’ (6 November 1788).
http://blog.oup.com/2013/11/remember-fi … wder-plot/
1606 Guy Faux executed in Parliament Yard
Vox Stellarum, or A Loyal Almanack, Francis Moore, 1787
https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=hBF … th&f=false
The father of this Peter Heywood … he is stated to have been the person who apprehended Guy Faux, with his dark lanthorn, in the vaults under the Parliament House, Nov. 5th, 1605.
The History of the Siege of Manchester by the King’s Forces, John Palmer, 1822
https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=7_U … th&f=false
I would agree, it looks more like a classic misspelling. There are, for example, at least as many instances of “Guy Fox night,” which seems even harder to make semantic hay with.
In the 1960s in Melbourne, we used to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night. None of us kids knew who this guy was or what it was all about; it was just an excuse to let off fireworks (like on New Year’s Eve in Germany). We used to say Guy Fox Night – completely wrong, but no one knew or cared.
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
Thanks kem. In the UK we learnt what it was all about at an early age, but like that Aussie, I never gave that a moment’s thought on the night itself.
Guy Forks is also out there (and of course for most people in the UK, NZ and Australia, it’s pronounced just like Guy Fawkes). It makes about as much sense as Guy Fox.
Here’s one from Wellington:
Guy forks is on this Wednesday and I am wonder if anyone is keen to do something to celebrate one of the best days of the year?
The “Guy Forks” guy is immediately corrected.