Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
This is definitely not an eggcorn, but I find it interesting. The Disney animated feature Cinderella has a well-known song “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”, which has also become a minor competitor with “abracadabra” as a universal magic word. In recent years, though, it has become “Bippity-Boppity-Boo”. I’ve heard it twice on television, once even on a Disney Channel program. I just find it odd that something so firmly fixed would suddenly change like this.
“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin
I just find it odd that something so firmly fixed would suddenly change like this.
I don’t. Not when the “acorn” is a nonsense phrase, so that there’s no specific meaning to help fix it in peoples’ minds. And the auditory similarity of the b sound to the p sound and of the d sound to the t sound (especially in light of some dialects wherein t is substituted for d ) makes this substitution unsurprising to me. Add in the musical associations of “bippity-boppity” (as in bop music, scatting, etc.), and I’d say this substitution was nearly inevidaple ;^D
Definitely magic, but the magic is the embedded phonology. Both spellings are rather complete example of English’s ablaut reduplication, moving from a close front vowel to an open back one. The sequence followed by I-A-O. As in “bric-a-brac,” “chit-chat,” “criss-cross,” “ding-dong,” “knick-knack,” “pitter-patter,” “splish-splash,” “zig-zag,” etc.
Cinderella’s fairy godmother is a good fairy godmother because she respects the deep narrative of her language. If she were an evil fairy godmother, she would have said “boopity-bopity-bip” and turned a carriage into a pumpkin.
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.