Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.


Registrations are currently closed because of a technical problem. Please send email to if you wish to register.

The forum administrator reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2011-11-14 17:53:16

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1554

"Falls do Iguazu" for Foz do Iguaçu

My apologies in advance, but this post meanders all over the place.

At 11:11, on Friday, 11-11-11, the provisional list of New 7 Wonders of Nature was announced by a foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. The 7 were chosen from among 440 contenders suggested by the public and voted on by some kind of dodgy phone-in/internet process. The subject of this post is one of the wonders, on the Brazil-Argentine border, written as Iguazu Falls by the foundation.
The Falls of Iguaçu is rightly proclaimed as one of the most magnificent spectacles on the planet . Waterfalls figure prominently:

and you might be forgiven for thinking that the Portuguese name, “Foz do Iguaçu”, was Portuguese for “Falls of Iguaçu”. But foz comes from popular Latin fox, focis, written in classical Latin faux, faucis, and means “the throat”. The Foz do Iguaçu is then the mouth or outlet of the Iguaçu river. Like the faucet.

For waterfalls go to Falls de Iguacu on the Brazil/ Argentina border
Travel advice

But we can press on. The Foz is a target for eggcorning in many languages, not just English. For example, French tourists see it as a fosse and the Argentinians as a fossa.

Picture of Fosse d’Iguaçu (Brésil)

Une fosse in Bordeaux is related to the Latin fossa for “ditch or trench”. You can see that the Foz do Iguaçu fits that bill as well, on a grand scale. Fosse in French is the pot behind one of my favourite poteaux roses. When there was a public clamour over nonfunctional septic tanks around lakes leading to algal blooms here in Quebec, the media did not always get the concept quite right. The septic tanks were not properly described as fosses septiques, but as the homophonic fausses sceptiques...

Les écoulements d’eau de vaisselle, chargée en phosphore, en provenance des fausses sceptiques désuètes des résidents riverains, les rejets agricoles et ceux de certaines usines génèrent une pollution propice à l’éclosion des algues bleues.
Translation: Runoff of dishwater, loaded with phosphorus from the worn out false skeptics among shoreline residents, with agricultural wastes and those of industry generate pollution conducive to the outbreak of blue algae.

We can pursue this groove. Here’s an excerpt from the Anatomy Almanac:

Anatomically, a fossa is a depression or hollow. It is the most commonly used descriptive term in anatomy, seen in 64 different structures in the Terminologia Anatomica; the most frequently cited structure (on the Internet at least) is the iliac fossa, followed by the popliteal fossa, fossa ovalis, mandibular fossa, and olecranon fossa. A word that shares Latin roots with fossa is fossil, coming from the Latin fossalis, dug up. Fossa and fossil ultimately stem from the Latin verb fodera, to dig. … rench.html

Sitting ducks. A combined eggcorn/Lehmann’s term to start.

fossil of Alice region” of the atrial septum?
[Response] The answer is fossa ovalis.
Help for medical transcriptionists

The fossil of Alice is a scar left over from the closing of the opening between heart atria in newborns, an opening that allowed the blood to bypass the lungs in the womb (you know what I mean). The opening itself is called the foramen ovale. When it does not close, it is patent, and the sluices remain open. Or …

36 wks premature infant with resp distress at birth, in NICU x 12 days, fine since. moderate size patent adductus with left to right shunting, patent foraminal valley with left to right shunting.
Patient record

“Patient has a history of a patent foraminal valley...” (patent foramen ovale). Cracked me up.
Medical transcription



#2 2011-11-14 20:08:28

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2149

Re: "Falls do Iguazu" for Foz do Iguaçu

Tour de fausse, Tocayo.

*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 .)



#3 2011-11-15 00:42:53

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2589

Re: "Falls do Iguazu" for Foz do Iguaçu

Foraminal valley for foramen ovale. Amazing.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts