Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but…
We’ve gathered together a handful below to give you an idea of the general consensus, but you’ll be hard pushed to find a single negative Tweet out there.
https://www.comicbookmovie.com/sci-fi/b … ce-a154085
Never having heard/seen “hard pushed” before (instead only having heard “hard put” and occasionally “hard pressed”), I initially assumed it was a straightforward eggcorn. But a little research showed that all three are considered correct, with “hard pushed” perhaps being more British than American. But I’m still left with the suspicion that “hard pushed”, which apparently didn’t appear with this meaning until the mid-18th Century, may have had its origin as an eggcorn of the older “hard put”, which goes back at least to 1601 and probably to the late 16th Century. I haven’t yet found any verification of that, though. FWIW, here is a relevant Google Ngram.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2017-10-15 08:09:43)
with “hard pushed” perhaps being more British than American.
Well that’d be right for me at least, with ‘hard pressed’ being quite acceptable but ‘hard put’ a very distant and awkward third place. It’s amazing that we can communicate at all. We’d have real trouble all sat in a room letting rip with our native dialects. Interesting, though.
I’m most used to hard put to it to (Verb). I think it is mostly reading vocabulary, however; I don’t know whom I have heard it from, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I had used it and provoked more puzzlement than enlightenment.
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .