Eggcorn Forum

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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2008-12-18 12:28:35

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 1954


jorkel mentioned (responding to an entertaing post by Peter on calls to free Dumphrey Dum) the phrase “Entrees on trays”, and there apparently is a business by that name in London, with branches elsewhere around the world. Other commercial names use the same wordplay. Still, this seems to be a real eggcorn for some people, including quite a few children.

[Lion King lyrics:] Theres more to life than panic, / and being some other guys snack (ick), / i may be delicious, organic, / but this lil ontrays fightin back,

How do you eat out and stay healthy as a diabetic? – MonkeySee – [ Traducir esta página ] You can split an ontray with a dining companion. You can also order off of the appetizer menu. Some restaurant will even let you order off the child’s menu

In a student writing sample, one fourth grader bragged that his school cafeteria served “ontrays.” ¶ Here, you see the researchers with their lunch “ontrays.”


Review: We only eat here twice a year its the best!! even though its sometimes a long wait its worh it! the apitizors,ontrays and deserts are amazing.

Their appatizers compliment their ontrays (did i spell that right!?) exquisitely . They have an aray of fabulous wines, and the atmosphere is perfect.

Duties include doing all ordering, planning a weekley menue, cooking two hot ontrays and to home made soups a day, and setting up a salad bar.

they wanna eat me alive_ im like an ontray

The imagery seems clear enough: entrees are often brought to diners on trays, so one might well think this was the reason for the name.
Given the frenchified pronunciation/spelling split, it is quite conceivable —likely, I would judge— that someone somewhere may have the written word “entree” in his vocabulary, alongside the spoken word “ontray”, both referring to food which is not a whole meal.
The experience, for such a person, of realizing that the two are the same word, is very similar to the experience of running across a good eggcorn. (Like when I realized that the verb mislead was the same as the verb misle .)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-12-20 09:47:44)

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#2 2008-12-20 23:11:08

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2375

Re: ontrays

Good one in the “misheard foreign words that become eggcorns” category.

The first entry in that category is the English language itself.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
Latest book: Boundary Layer



#3 2009-01-25 19:50:22

From: Oakland
Registered: 2006-08-09
Posts: 14

Re: ontrays

There used to be a small chain of cafeteria-style restaurants called Ontra in Los Angeles. The name was pronounced “on-tray” and the entrees were, in fact, served on trays.



#4 2009-10-19 16:29:59

Registered: 2009-10-19
Posts: 5

Re: ontrays

Regarding the “seen in the wild” links in the database entry, you’ve been pranked. The Yahoo! Answers example is a racist joke. The teller knows that the word is entree, not on-tray, and is telling the story from the first-person perspective of a bewildered black employee wo doesn’t know the difference. Gullible readers will think it’s true, and gullible racist readers will hold it up as an example of black people’s stupidity.



#5 2009-10-19 19:23:56

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1413

Re: ontrays

You’re clearly right, Antikythera. That’s a particularly egregious example of the baiting which goes on on Yahoo Answers. Many of the entries on this forum that cite Yahoo Answers posts occurred before we collectively realized that that site should not be taken at face value. In this case, at least, there is no indication in the Database entry of the disingenuous nature of the post and so I’m not sure that a correction is necessary. Would you agree?



#6 2009-10-20 14:01:43

Registered: 2009-10-19
Posts: 5

Re: ontrays

I suppose—on one hand it’s an example of the usage, but on the other it’s a deliberate pun and not an example of the misconception.



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