Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
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:
: “a few childish idiots besmirked the … reputation of all Navy pilots”
: “His General Besmirked By Amateurs”
: “ you’re the one who belittled and besmirked my ride”
Last edited by kem (2013-04-25 15:39:35)
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* .