Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Recently when I located a couple really good eggcorns, I Googled the eggcorn word and found Paul Brians’ discussion of it in “Common Errors in English Usage” ( http://wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html). Since this reference is a potential source of other eggcorns, I’ve decided to sort through the index for items that might be of some use…
1. Items already in Eggcorn database or Forum index
(all goes well/augurs well)
(all of the sudden)
(beyond the pail)
(could of/should of/would of)
(drips and drabs)
(flesh out/flush out)
(for all intensive purposes)
(hold your peace/say your piece)
(in the mist)
(nip it in the butt)
(old wise tale)
(on the lamb)
(once and a while)
(pedal to the medal)
(right of passage
(ring its neck)
(road to hoe)
(slight of hand)
(statue of limitations)
(stock and trade)
(throws of passion)
(to the manor born)
(tongue and cheek)
(trite and true)
(whim and a prayer)
(wet your appetite)
(you’ve got another thing coming)
2. Items that might be eggcorns, and worth looking into (or which I might have overlooked as belonging in the above list)
(all and all)
(all for not)
(barb wire, bob wire)
(calm, cool, and collective)
(fit the bill)
(now and days)
(one in the same)
(pawn off/palm off)
(peal out/peel out)
(pit in my stomach)
(reap what you sew
(shutter to think)
(take a different tact)
(veil of tears)
3. Homonyms that are likely misspelling of each other, but might also be a source for eggcorns.
accept/except ad/add adapt/adopt aisle/isle altar/alter aural/oral bail/bale bare/bear born/borne brake/break breach/breech bullion/bouillon by/’bye/buy canon/cannon capital/capitol carat/caret/carrot/karat cite/site/sight click/clique close/clothes coarse/course complement/compliment core/corps/corpse cue/queue currant/current dew/do/doo/due disc/disk discreet/discrete drier/dryer dual/duel dyeing/dying feint/faint fair/fare faze/phase flair/flare flier/flyer for/fore/four foul/fowl gaff/gaffe gild/guild heal/heel hear/here hoard/horde hole/whole leach/leech medal/metal/meddle/mettle naval/navel passed/past patience/patients payed/paid peak/peek/pique peace/piece personal/personnel plain/plane pole/poll pore/pour pray/prey premier/premiere principal/principle prophecy/prophesy resister/resistor role/roll root/rout/route rye/wry sail/sale/sell seam/seem shear/sheer soar/sore sole/soul staid/stayed stationary/stationery summary/summery taught/taut threw/through throne/thrown to/too/two tolled/told troop/troupe vain/vane/vein vary/very weather/wether/whether yoke/yolk
4. Words sometimes confused—source for malapropisms, or substitution words in eggcorns.
abstruse/obtuse accede/exceed adapt/adopt affect/effect adverse/averse advice/advise adviser/advisor aesthetic/ascetic affluence/effluence alliterate/illiterate allude/elude allusion/illusion allusive/elusive/illusive appraise/apprise apropos/appropriate anecdote/antidote auger/augur beat/bead breath/breathe broach/brooch bought/brought cache/cachet callous/callused collaborate/corroborate collage/college conscience, conscious, consciousness council/counsel/consul crevice/crevasse degrade/denigrate/downgrade depreciate/deprecate device/devise elicit/illicit drastic/dramatic emergent/emergency eminent/imminent/immanent emulate/imitate exasperate/exacerbate entomology/etymology epic/epoch epigram/epigraph/epitaph/epithet exalt/exult exorcise/exercise fatal/fateful flaunt/flout flounder/founder forbidding/foreboding/formidable formally/formerly furl/furrow gamut/gauntlet gibe/jibe/jive incidences/incidents/instances install/instill instances/instants least/lest (liable, libel) loath/loathe mantle/mantel militate/mitigate moral/morale nauseated/nauseous notate/note parameters/perimeters peasant/pheasant pen/pin persecute/prosecute perspective/prospective precede/proceed prescribe/proscribe (prodigy, progeny, protégé)prostate/prostraterack/wrack raise/raze ravaging/ravishing/ravenous rebut/refute recent/resent refrain/restrain repel/repulse risky/risqué reticent/hesitant scone/sconce sense/since set/sit stand/stance suit/suite taken back/taken aback taunt/taut/tout tenant/tenet though/thought/through tragedy/travesty tussled/tousled veracious/voracious verses/versus wander/wonder wrangle/wangle
5. Misspellings/Misuses (with some eggcorn potential?)
accessory acrossed adultry agreeance/agreement (all be it) (already/all ready) alterior amature angel/angle arthuritis artic ascared bonafied (born out of) conversate crucifiction (daring-do) desert/dessert ensuiteepitomy (every since) excape/escape excrable exhileration expresso intercession interpretate liaise libary (mono e mono) morays oggle orientate ostensively paralyzation percipitation pernickety/persnickety playwrite perogative/prerogative pompom/pompon practicle preemptory prepone quiet/quite recreate reoccurring revelant rondezvous sacreligious segway sherbert (slog it out) (sluff off) spicket Wensday (wile away) (ying and yang)
bumrush * butt naked * credible/credulous * critique/criticize * deviant/deviate * ethics/morals/morale * gratis/gratuitous * hysterical/hilarious * impertinent/irrelevant * masseuse/masseur * perverse/perverted * plead innocent * reactionary/reactive * reluctant/reticent * revert/reply * service/serve * setup/set up * sowcow * tentative * tounge * track home
OK, Jorkel, you’re now officially scary. Good heavens, how long did it take you to do this? I’ve thought of trying something similar, but I knew I’d never have the gumption to bring it to the end.
I spotted a few in section 5 that are already in the Database: amature, bonified, daring-do, playwrite, and segway. There may be others; I haven’t had a chance to finetoothcomb it.
I’ve always wondered about “bonified”; I’m not sure it should be in the Database. Or Segway. Or amature.
I’m glad to see “bonified” (bona fide) is already on this board. It was one of my favorites when I stumbled upon it!
A nice example of “staid/stayed” (your category 3) from the Times of London, no less:
“But tennis is now a sport that is struggling to attract the youth of many countries and a stayed and stuffy attitude does not help.” With reference to the permissibility of red knickers on female tennis players!
Your observation is probably worthy of its own thread, fishbait. I simply sorted through Paul Brians’ book and tried to categorize the entries. In one sense, all the items in his book could be considered to be “found” already—except to the degree that the eggcorn term hadn’t been coined yet—so I personally didn’t feel I should hunt them down and claim credit for them. But you obviously located the eggcorn usage before you searched the forum for duplication.
I’d like to hear your take on the imagery. It’s probably worth elaborating.
I did find the mistake by accident, and found your post through a search. “Stayed” for “staid” is no eggcorn, because they are variant spellings of the same word: “After dinner to the office, where we staid late, and so I home, and late writing letters to my father and Dr. Fairebrother, and an angry letter to my brother John for not writing to me, and so to bed.” Pepys’ Diary, February 1, 1661/62. The secondary meaning of “constrained,” and so “prim, proper” must come from corset stays and the like-
perhaps the “stays” of ships, by which the masts are “stayed”-kept upright and in their proper place. It’s still interesting, because it seems that the same process, at least in some minds, has twice generated the same secondary meaning.
I would question duck tape. I don’t think it has been definitively established that duct tape is the original. It’s certainly easy to argue that the T in duct has been assimilated into the T in tape but could be equally well argued that adding the T is an overcorrection. Dave Wilton discusses the issue on the Big List of his wordorigins site. I have also heard that duc(k,t) tape is useless for taping diucts. If this is true it could be construed as evidence that duck tape is the original and duct tape the eggcorn
I’m glad to see “bonified” (bona fide) is already on this board. It was one of my favorites when I stumbled upon it
I’ve started hearing “bony fido”, presumably from the ancient Dog Rescue ‘joke’, as in:
“Are you sure that dog’s starving?”
“Oh yes, it’s totally bony fido!
Too frivolous for me – I prefer ‘bonified’ with it’s calcified, fossilised, set-in-stone feel…