Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
In my Anthropology class tonight we were discussing the origins of agriculture and how different cultures in different environments ended up inventing various farming techniques. The example I gave was of rice paddy farming. I asked if anyone knew where paddy farming was primarily practiced and the first girl to answer suggested Ireland. It took me about two seconds and then I burst out laughing. A few of my more mature students got the joke as well. While this is not a traditional eggcorn, I think it’s pretty funny. The spelling is the same but there is a bit of a twist on the meaning, though still very close. I was exploring examples of regional farming innovations and got Paddy farming in Ireland. I think a lot of the younger students didn’t realize that Paddy is a pretty ubiquitous nickname for Irishmen of a certain generation as well as a bit of a slur against Irishmen in general of a certain era.
As a Pat of Irish-American origins, I plan on being offended as soon as I stop laughing.
Glad I could make an Irish-American’s day!
: Could it be that the perps are thinking about the flat, patty-like shapes of the paddies?
A paddy, a plot for growing rice using the flooded field method, is actually an extension of the original meaning. “Paddy,” from the Malaysian word “padi,” once referred, as the Malaysian forebear did, to the rice grain itself. “Paddy” is occasionally still used this way in English. The Economist magazine in 1931 reported, for example:
“Thousands of acres of paddy are being planted in isolated plots that were merely abandoned swamps.”
And the 1970s translator of one of Aziz Ahmed’s Urdu novels came up with this sentence:
“Dotted about the plains are muddy bluish pools which from the air look like big pieces of blue glass set in the fields of green waving paddy .”
For modern speakers, the field usage of “paddy” seems to have largely supplanted the grain usage.
Dang, I missed an earlier mention of “rice patties” in the old Commentary section of the Database: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/contribute/#comment-1437