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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2007-07-10 19:58:45

Registered: 2005-11-10
Posts: 77

"a bum rep" vs. "a bum rap"

The general slang meaning of “rap” is “blame” or “criticism”, so the literal meaning of “bum rap” isn’t confined to “wrong conviction”.



#2 2007-07-10 22:36:32

From: Austin, Tx
Registered: 2007-04-01
Posts: 179

Re: "a bum rep" vs. "a bum rap"

Sounds like you on to something here. Some examples where “rep” seems synonymouse with “reputation”:

So I guess my question is, why do adverbs get such a bum rep? Aren’t they all right sometimes? Post Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:17 pm, View user’s profile Send … – 50k – Supplemental Result – Cached – Similar pages

I’m not getting a dig at the scene, just pointing out it gets a bum rep because of these idiots. Putting that aside, can you recommend any club nights to … … error.html – 62k – Supplemental Result – Cached – Similar pages

Most of that state has got a bum rep. It’s actually a pretty nice place. Lookin’ f’wd to Petit Jean!) ‘53 B-model N146YS SN:25713 … … d=d6a6d… – 78k – Supplemental Result

The similarity between “rap” meaning “blame” or “criticism”, and “rep” meaning “reputation”, I think makes the case of an eggcorn stronger. I don’t believe the understanding of “rap” as slang is as commonplace as the understanding of the word “reputation”. In this context “rap” could easily be misunderstood to have been uttered “rep”- a classic method of eggcorn creation.



#3 2007-07-11 01:27:00

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1455

Re: "a bum rep" vs. "a bum rap"

I think this eggcorn was inevitable the minute street-talking people started using “rep” as shorthand for “reputation.” It was only a matter of time before the adjective “bum” joined up with it …and was subliminally reinforced by the already-existing “bum rap” construction. So, that’s my take on the sequence of things.



#4 2007-07-13 16:58:21

Registered: 2007-07-06
Posts: 23

Re: "a bum rep" vs. "a bum rap"

How do we know they don’t mean “panhandler’s agent”? If so, I guess it’s a double-yolked eggcorn!



#5 2013-08-01 17:57:20

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1812

Re: "a bum rep" vs. "a bum rap"

Might “a bum (=undeservedly bad) representation” fit in there somewhere too?

*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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