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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2005-11-14 14:28:13

Registered: 2005-11-14
Posts: 1

"loathe" vs "loath"

The misuse of “loath” (being unwilling) and “loathe” (to detest) is a constant irritation to me. I googled “loathe to” and got more than 700,000 hits.

Examples: While I’m sure that states detest losing their ability to regulate insurance plans, as was described in this article on’s web site, … tId=15775, I think it’s fair to say that they were more unwilling to do so.

(I hope I’m doing this right, I’m a newbie here)



#2 2005-11-14 14:51:51

Chris Waigl
Eggcorn Faerie
From: London, UK
Registered: 2005-10-14
Posts: 115

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

Well, many of us have substitutions or misspelling we find annoying, in particular those who are in the business of teaching generation upon generation of incoming youngsters.

But I’m afraid, this doesn’t make it an eggcorn. See for example Arnold Zwicky’s comment on the entry lose»loose, which is also not an eggcorn: There is no indication of a reinterpretation of one in terms of the sense of the other here. This is just a misspelling by people who don’t know which is which.



#3 2005-11-27 02:45:06

Registered: 2005-11-27
Posts: 8

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

Chris Waigl wrote:

But I’m afraid, this doesn’t make it an eggcorn.

Which is I presume why she posted it in the section which is after all for
“discussions about things that aren’t (necessarily) eggcorns”.




#4 2011-10-07 09:17:45

From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 431

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

I’m waking this one up to mention

“I’m loathed to say/admit/etc”

“I’m loathed to” gets 143,000 hits and could mean “People hate me for __ing” which gets closer to eggcorniness.

On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.



#5 2011-10-14 14:57:05

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1281

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

About 25 years ago when I was working on my MA in Counseling, in a paper I wrote about a client I had in a counseling internship, I mentioned being “loathe to” do something. My teacher (who was a real jerk), took my innocent misspelling as a Freudian slip revealing that I supposedly loathed the client.



#6 2012-01-28 00:12:38

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2614

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

Another variation (not too common, though) is “low to admit” for “loath to admit.” Perhaps the substituter is thinking about feeling low, or perhaps about the despicability of the action.

Bio on classic film site: “Although I am low to admit it, there are many times I would rather live in another place and time. ”

Forum post: “I hate my boss. I am low to admit this, but I am to the point where I now think I may hate her.”

Tattooing ad site: “the folks answering the phone sometimes aren’t very helpful and I am *low to admit*… not always so nice…”

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#7 2012-01-28 06:30:23

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1018

Re: "loathe" vs "loath"

For those who simply can’t be bothered to confess their culpability (and rhyme sloth with both rather than moth) the insertion of a stray sibilant provides yet another variant:

I am sloth to admit it, but I am just slower than I used to be.

They were sloth to admit that they’d done something wrong.



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