Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2018-04-11
I ran into this one somewhere recently:
I think we should fine people who wear petrulli oil or exude body odor when in public spaces
So, “petrulli” for “patchouli”. A web search yields quite a few other examples, such as:
Rather if these dirty-yuppies, as I like to think of them, keep trying to get us to drive hybrids, wear petrulli oil and hold hands…
One time I was on an overnight drive with a player whose Petrulli oil had so permeated the bus that I had a dream I was at Woodstock!
And most of them are still designed for the Petrulli oil-using, Birkenstock-wearing crowd.
Now when we finely entered to our table, i found it crowded, loud, and stunk of Petrulli oil.
(and I love “finely” for “finally”!)
I think this might possibly be an eggcorn in some cases. On some level, however unconscious, perps may be assuming “petrulli” is from the same root as “petroleum”—thus an oil connection. Or maybe it’s one of those proper-name-based eggcorns (I forget what they’re called—Lehmans?). Petrulli is indeed an Italian surname, though probably not common enough to explain this substitution in most cases.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2014-12-29 02:15:54)
I don’t think this is an eggcorn. It has the perfume of a cupertino. Also out there is another cupertino: petiole oil.
David Bird wrote:
I don’t think this is an eggcorn. It has the perfume of a cupertino.
My understanding is that a cupertino is what you get when you misspell a word (at least by the spell-checker’s reckoning) and the spell-checker replaces it with the wrong word. For that to happen, the word supplied by the spell-checker would have to be more common than other words suggested by whatever string of letters you typed before the spell-checker took over. But the word “Petrulli” is pretty rare—surely rarer than numerous other words that could have been suggested. For instance, if the perp were misspelling “patchouli” as “petch-” when the spell-checker took over, words such as “petulant” would be way more likely to be supplied by the spell-checker than “Petrulli”. Similarly, “petc-” would more likely have triggered, e.g., “Pitcairn”, etc. So “PetrullI” as a cupertino seems very unlikely.
Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2017-09-27 15:11:50)
On some level, however unconscious, perps may be assuming “petrulli” is from the same root as “petroleum”—thus an oil connection.
You mean like this?
Petroli is a fossil fuel in Finnish, Ido, Italian and Swahili. And bad coffee in Helsinki.
There seems to be a lot of strange variations of patchouli out there. Here’s one from the oil patch:
Seen today, and common on the web: petula oil. A natural fragrance of petals and the subway.
David Bird wrote:
listening to Highway To Hell, crying through the haze of pot smoke & petula oil.
Shouldn’t they have been listening to Downtown if there was petula oil?
“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin
I think it is a plain malaprop. But I’m dropjawed at how common “petrulli oil” is. Malaprops, unlike eggcorns, are not required to have been assimilated in shared vocabularies-but this one certainly has.
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.