Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
“Dregs” refers to the sludgy stuff left over in the bottom of the cup. “Dredging” brings up sludgy stuff from the bottom of the bay or channel, though most of us are probably likely to use “dredgings” to refer to the product of that activity, rather than “dredges.” Perhaps the writers are thinking of the bottom rungs of society as the “dredges” doing the “dredging.” “Dredge” and “dregs” appear to be unrelated. “Dredge” seems to be derived from the same root as “to drag,” and “dregs” appears to be a borrowing from Norse. Calvert Watkins gives two different IE stems for the two words (“dhrag-” “to draw, drag”, and “dher-” “to make muddy,” respectively).
“Dredges” turns out to be the tip – or maybe the bottom – of the sludgeberg. “Dregs of society” has spawned a bunch of reshapings, and here’s a quick inventory of the ones I thought of:
Dregs of society 105,000 rghits
Dredges of society 2480/225 r/ughits
Drudges of society 426/31 r/ughits
Drags of society 140/21 r/ughits
Rags of society 6 r/ughits
Dredgings of society 1 r/ughit
There are probably others. Below I provide only citations for “dredges”:
I’d like to see comments from folks who are actually contributing members of society, out earning a living, proud of what they do, and just want to be left alone by the dredges of society.
Those below him, the dredges of society, are fearful or indifferent, lest they too are dragged into darkness.
http://www.filmmonthly.com/Noir/Article … ePast.html
Jehovah is probably sick in heaven right now, vomiting over the filth the dredges of society put out, hiding behind a well-intentioned but foolish idea.
http://www.cinemablend.com/music/Rant-U … -9584.html
Last edited by patschwieterman (2008-09-07 04:13:49)
Primo. You’ve been turning up some good ones lately, Pat.
“Dredge” for “dregs” is almost a flounder eggcorn. It occurs in several other contexts besides “dredge of society.” “Dredge of humanity,” for example. You can see some other contexts by googling “dredge of” and “dredge of the.”
When I encounter an Eggcorn or other interesting usage that I haven’t mentioned hereon yet, I like to post it even if it’s been addressed here before, in order to point it out to members who haven’t seen it before and to add my example to the pile. So now I’m resurrecting this thread from some time back because I just encountered this one on the Internet:
“These are the final dredges of an old and dying era, thank God.”
I think “dredges” for “dregs” is a real eggcorn because the pronunciation and meaning similarities are both there. I don’t know why it hasn’t made it onto the official eggcorn list yet (along with lots of other seemingly perfectly good eggcorns I’ve seen mentioned here). Just too large a backlog of work for our eggcorn experts, maybe?
I’ve found many instances of ‘drecks of society.’ (‘Dreck’ is Yiddish for ‘junk’ or ‘trash.’ I don’t think it has a plural form.) Examples-
Dexter only kills bad people, the drecks of society who deserve it.
Put a gun and a military uniform on the poor uneducated drecks of society, teach them how to march, and then send them off to Africa (or Asia) ...
They were the DRECKS of ‘society”, religious zealots, freaks, criminals, pretty much anybody they didn’t WANT in england, france, etc.
Lets hope one of these drecks of society do not come back and kill 100s of Americans.
... idiotic its followers are, and basically how the party is that of the drecks of society – super criminals and brainless lackeys who keep them in power. ...
I’ve found many instances of ‘drecks of society.’ (‘Dreck’ is Yiddish for ‘junk’ or ‘trash’...)
That’s another good one, which I don’t recall having encountered before. I think that it, too, deserves canonization as a true eggcorn.
Most of the stuff in there is complete dreg.
Another poster recognizes that it is an eggcorn
I follow word usage in both UK and US English quite extensively. “Dreg” for “Drek” is what we call an “eggcorn”.... In this case, “drek” heard as “dreg”. It’s a somewhat logical error since “the dregs” are the most undesirable part.
Kem—I’m always impressed with how often you spot specifically eggcornical discussions on non-linguistic sites. Do you go looking for them, or do you just read a heckuva a lot of sites online?
I have been using Google Alerts. I have a daily search programmed with the string
Last edited by kem (2010-03-01 16:00:56)
Ah ha! Thanks—that’s a tool I’d been looking for without knowing it.
I’m pretty sure the guy who mentioned eggcorns on the photography site is a forum member here with one post from a few years back.
Last edited by patschwieterman (2010-03-02 00:40:48)