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#1 2007-05-24 22:56:43

Dadge
Eggcornista
Registered: 2005-11-10
Posts: 77

common or garden, rub shoulders

“a clever web-meets-TV idea where three members of your commoner gardener public get to rough shoulders with a similar number of genuine poker pros”

http://www.ukgameshows.com/page/index.php/Poker_Den

Two eggcorns in one sentence!

Adrian

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#2 2007-05-25 15:59:00

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 827

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

Adrian: I really liked “commoner gardener” so looked for further confirmation from Google and to my disappointment found this on the ‘Letters’ page of Guardian Unlimited:

Common or garden (Letters, October 18) is of course a corruption of commoner-gardener – a now obsolete status once accorded in some Oxford (and perhaps Cambridge) colleges to a poor student who supported his studies by working in the college garden. It is possible that a distorted echo of this found its way into Matthew Arnold’s Scholar Gypsy.
James Burns
London

Perhaps James Burns is wrong but I suppose the expression must have some origin and it does seem fairly compelling. It’s still an interesting find as your example of ‘commoner gardener’ was an eggcornish variant of what must be a ‘sleeper’ eggcorn (common or garden) of ‘commoner gardener’. (I wish that last sentence made more sense).

Peter

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#3 2013-01-26 15:20:12

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

Not only are there two eggcorns in that first sentence, one of them is probably a double-banger. I also love that an apparent folk etymology has managed to seduce its slinky little way into this forum, albeit with considerable sobriety and circumspection on Peter’s part. Growing up, I always heard the expression as “common garden”. Later I started to run into “common or garden”. It seems reasonable to suppose that “common or garden” arose from the habit, demonstrated profusely in seed catalogues and other lists of cultivated plants from the early 19th c., of referring to standard garden plants as, for example, “common, or garden lettuce”. See this collection, with common or garden lettuce, thyme, centaury, lavender, pea and nightshade. “Common garden” would be from the same source. Then it’s a small jump to “commoner garden” followed by the ever-so-tiny perseverant “commoner gardener” and suddenly we’re faced with a phrase of a whole different snootiness quotient. Here are some more hits; see especially number 3.

My fil is a nasty, evil, sly little man masquerading as a commoner garden variety pants and i am SICK of him bullying my husband :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Irish wedding board

Glossary: FIL, father in law, and MIL mother in law, are fairly common acronyms on gossip boards.

it was not a smart-phone, just a commoner garden one.
http://upprio.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/ta-na-rua/

No I swear to God. I thought “commoner gardener” meant like “even the gardener would use it”... That’s the truth. It never occurred to me it might be something else. I’ll concede defeat on that one
First perp account, ireland

I do find it difficult to grasp as to why God made us with longings for marriage, children (I.E. commoner gardener ‘human’ feelings) that do not meet the manner in which God wishes us to live our lives for him.
Religious forum

Might the use of “common, or garden lettuce” instead of “common garden” been to avoid confusion with “Common Garden”, in the sense of public or shared? The Common Gardens arose as an institution in the 18th c., it says in my notes, though I don’t know where I picked that timbit up. Here’s an ambiguous hit from what I suppose was the cusp, in 1789:

if, from this poem he attends only to some of the common flowers of a common garden, his views of nature will be greatly extended, many cheerless moments will be filled with the most rational entertainment, and what at first began in amusement, may terminate in scientific acquisition. Our author is no common guide in this respect and his notes contain a more judicious selection, and a better connected view of the arguments in favour of the sexual system, than any one work that we have yet seen. The oeconomy of vegetation, and the physiology of plants, form the first volume ; but this didactic poem is deferred till another year, to afford time for the repetition of some experiments.
”+The Loves of the Plants, A poem. 1789. http://books.google.ca/books?id=w4JHAAA … 22&f=false

Sorry I let that one run on a bit. I was fascinated by the use of the term oeconomy of vegetation so early in the development of our current scientific view of nature.

Last edited by David Bird (2013-01-26 15:47:57)

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#4 2013-01-29 01:57:58

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

I had always heard “garden variety” with or without “common”, and understood it to mean “ordinary, of the sort you might find growing in anyone’s garden.” I never thought of commoners or gardeners, smooth shouldered or not. Interesting …


*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 .)

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#5 2013-01-30 01:38:20

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

Garden variety is lots clearer. Here are some first circle blends of the above.

The quest is to completely shift the balance of power, we will rub shoulders the wrong way and the wrong people and obstacles will rain in thunderstorms, but we will make it if we persevere
Mixed idioms of support for politician

I am a nice pussy cat normally, however, if someone rough me the wrong way, my claws come out for certain!
Response to bullies

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#6 2013-02-07 07:25:08

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

DavidTuggy wrote:

I had always heard “garden variety” with or without “common”, and understood it to mean “ordinary, of the sort you might find growing in anyone’s garden.” I never thought of commoners or gardeners, smooth shouldered or not…

My experience was exactly the same as DavidTuggy’s. Never heard of “common or garden”; always heard/used “garden variety”. I don’t know if David lived in Mexico his entire life, but I’ve lived mostly in Michigan and California, and I’m thinking that these are regional differences in phrasing (UK/Canada vs.USA?)

Dixon

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#7 2013-02-07 17:11:41

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: common or garden, rub shoulders

The current N-grams are great for time gradients. We need a regional mapping n-gram too, for internet hits, though that might be difficult.

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