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 2013-04-25 10:22:40

From: Tucson AZ
Registered: 2008-12-15
Posts: 24


CNN reporter yesterday, during coverage of the Jodi Arias trial: “I don’t know if she was trying to besmirk Travis Alexander’s reputation. . . .”

On On,
Paul Woodford
Paul’s Thing



#2 2013-04-25 11:37:43

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2725

Re: Besmirk

Good spotting. The fabrication “besmirk” makes sense in context—making wry fun.

“Besmirch” from “smirch.” There’s another lost radical. At least I think it’s lost. I haven’t heard “smirch” without the “be-” in my lifetime. OED indicates that it was not a lost radical in the nineteenth century.

Quite a few examples of “besmirk” on the web:

Lulu-published novel: “a few childish idiots besmirked the … reputation of all Navy pilots”

Amazon review: “His General Besmirked By Amateurs”

Thread on motorcycles: “ you’re the one who belittled and besmirked my ride”

Last edited by kem (2013-04-25 11:39:35)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2013-04-25 13:45:37

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2390

Re: Besmirk

I remember struggling unsuccessfully not to laugh in church when I heard the preacher say

the woman who washed Jesus’ tears with her feet [sic] had a smirky reputation

*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 .)



#4 2013-04-25 16:45:33

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1644

Re: Besmirk

There’s a murky bunch: besmirch, besmutch, besmut, besmudge, that go way back. And now besmirk. And …

Tourism is dead in this country due to the mistakes of Liberals and the left to besmurk our once pristine image in the face of the world.
Conservative homophobia forum

Last edited by David Bird (2013-04-25 16:45:59)



#5 2017-10-19 03:10:52

From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 442

Re: Besmirk

spread malicious lies to besmudge my reputation

Any negative statements that you may have read or heard are fabricated by my competitors in an attempt to besmudge my name.

‘Murky’ is right. There on the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘besmudge’

is a Nearly Eggcorn, a Nearcorn:

Thomas Penn was most upset that his reputation as an honorable man had been besmudged by Sir William’s insinuations. —Beth Fowkes Tobin, Picturing Imperial Power, 1999

Whether or not ‘besmirch’ was what the writer meant we’ll never know.

Both words are smoky words, besmirch meant to cover with soot (or mud) and a smudge is a smoky fire, as in smudge-pot.

On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.



#6 2017-10-25 15:36:48

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2725

Re: Besmirk

A nearcorn. Good one. The sound isn’t really close enough to call it an eggcorn.

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