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#1 2012-12-04 10:54:08

jcdill
Member
Registered: 2010-09-23
Posts: 8

Lob sided

“Finally, there is a chance that the lob sided activism in Marin will come under fire.”

http://www.sfgate.com/science/articleCo … 0a8c989903

Google finds thousands of examples. https://www.google.com/search?q=“lob+sided”

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#2 2012-12-04 14:47:00

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1264

Re: Lob sided

What do you think the lob siders are thinking, jc? Is there a new imagery associated with being lob sided, or is a pure malapropism? Lob apparently comes from words associated with hanging, suspension, as if a ball lobbed in the air would hang up there for an instant. Is that sense playing a role?

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#3 2012-12-04 14:52:57

larrybob
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-12-26
Posts: 94

Re: Lob sided

Native Americans and French Voyageurs would trim pine trees as landmarks – these were known as lob pines

This discussion notes that “Lob as I understand it is to throw. Lop is to cut off or remove. Just an observation…”
The tree pictured in the discussion looks fairly symmetrical, not at all lop-sided—it just has some middle branches removed but some high ones remaining.

The OED doesn’t have this usage of “lob,” but does have “lop-stick n. (also lobstick) (Canadian) a tree which has had its branches lopped and the name of the lopper cut in its trunk.”

It seems a bit odd that Native Americans and French Voyageurs would use a word with Middle English roots. Perhaps there is another derivation.

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#4 2012-12-05 02:11:06

jcdill
Member
Registered: 2010-09-23
Posts: 8

Re: Lob sided

There are many instances of “lob sided” referring to haircuts where the hair is shorter on one side than the other: https://www.google.com/search?q=“lob+sided”+hair&tbm=isch

In that case, it appears to be a blended word, made from lop+bob, used by people who don’t know the meaning of “lop”. They know they want a word that sounds something like “lop” and they end up with lob instead.

The visual they end up with makes sense, in a way. Imagine 2 tennis hits, one a smashing hit and the other a high arc lob. This visual is lop-sided, or lob-sided. Lob sided activism sounds like a group that gets all riled up but then doesn’t do anything substantial – like a lob that goes high up in the air, but doesn’t win (is easily returned by the other player).

Or maybe it is just a dumb mistake and not an eggcorn after all. :-)

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