Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Hush, hush, sweet Charlotte. You’re about to be chopped and grilled. This Annie Lehman might lean in the eggcorn direction if it derives some flavour from its French origin. Nine unique hits for chopped charlottes.
A distinctive Punjabi dish where fresh meat or vegetables are marinated in fresh sour yoghurt, limejuice and then gently roasted on a griddle plate with coarsely chopped charlottes, courgettes, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Nottingham Speed dating menu
Charlotte pomodoro spaguetti + garlic granary bread
Ingredients: 8 Charlotte onions (finely diced) ... once very hot add the chopped Charlottes + half of the garlic.
As an aside, I had great difficulty explaining to the grocer here in Montreal that I wanted shallots, those tasty little purple oniony things. To him, shallots (or échalotes) are what I call green onions. When I managed to get through to him what I was after (through baragouinage), he led me to the “oignons françaises”.
At first I thought this was a local thing, but in looking for evidence of some dialectical usage in Quebec, I ran into a dispatch from the front of the War of the Shallots.
La bataille de l’échalote dure depuis 1999. Elle oppose les producteurs français à une société néerlandaise qui ose commercialiser des semis d’échalote. Or, selon le Figaro, la bataille « a connu une étape décisive. A Luxembourg, devant la Cour de justice, la Commission européenne a reconnu l’illégalité de l’inscription de ces variétés de semis au catalogue européen ».
The battle of the shallot has gone on since 1999. It opposes the French producers and a Dutch company that dares to sell shallot sprouts. But now, according to Figaro, the battle “has passed a decisive step. In Luxembourg, before the Court, The European Commission has recognized the illegality of including these varieties (with the name of “shallot”) in the European catalogue.”
Vive l’échalote française!
Not local. In the Midwestern U.S. we called green onions “shallots.” I know what shallots are now—not sure when and where I learned—but if you had told me in the 1970s that those purple things were shallots, I would have corrected you.
There’s lots of interesting etymology to be found in that direction. Scallion and shallot are doublets, derived, pardon me, from the same root: Gk. askalonion, L. askalonia, associated with an town in Palestine. Oddly, though, the onion in askalonion has no relation to our onion. That comes from unio, connected eggcornically with the growth form in successive enveloping layers. As has it, it comes from “colloquial rustic Roman for “a kind of onion,” also “pearl,” lit. “one, unity;” sense connection is the successive layers of an onion, in contrast with garlic or cloves.” Hmmm, garlic or cloves?
Cloves, the spice, may be a hidden eggcorn. Kem has mentioned the nature of the word with its two independent and incompatible roots. The online etymological dictionary suggests that the two senses of clove, that of cloven, “split”, and cloved, “nailed”—modern French still calls nails clous—have been a source of confusion since Shakespeare’s time. There is more cloven etymology than you can shake a stick at, . That site confuses the two roots as well. The problem is that spicy cloves are not cleft, unless you count the knobby, unopened flower head, which it’s possible that many do. They are called cloves because they are nail-shaped, so to be hammered into oranges and ——-ered into hams.
Are clubs, the suit of cards, called clubs because the three-leaved pip is clavate, “club shaped”, or cloven, like trifoliate clover? Neither. The four suits of the original cards are lost in antiquity, but they surely changed repeatedly in passage from Asia into Italy and then throughout Europe. The Spanish deck featured oros (coins), copas (cups), espadas (swords), and (clubs). Only the design comes from the French “trèfles”, clovers. So despite the similarity of the L. words clavas, club, and clavus, nail, to “clovers”, none of these have anything to do with it. A fascinating of the game of cards, and of the naming of the suits, leads ultimately, as it should, to the eggcorn:
The French trèfle, though so named from its resemblance to the trefoil leaf, was in all probability copied from the [German suit of the] acorn; and the pique similarly from the leaf (grün) of the German suits, while its name is derived from the sword of the Italian suits.