Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Looking at variations such as “tow the line” on this site inspired me to google “toad the line”. Of the 94 purportedly unique hits, only a few appeared to be eggcorns as opposed to puns. Examples:
After a few hard blows with the shocking hammer the draught horse toad the line and gave no further trouble! [from an account of a blacksmith shoeing a recalcitrant horse]
He’s promised to toad the line this time. [from a contentious discussion in a car enthusiasts’ chat room]
I must know that I toad the line when it came to this challenge, whatever danger I might place myself in from coolly-clad pooch-protected dough-ladies.
Though the last example seems to indicate that the woman who wrote it confuses “toad the line” with “held the line”, the first two are more consistent with a substitution of “toad” for “toed” (in the first example) and “toe” (in the second). Possible eggcornish meaning-confusion could be based on the submission implied by the word “toady” or by a more general impression of toads being lowly. I think “toad the line” is a real live eggcorn!