Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.


Registrations are currently closed because of a technical problem. Please send email to if you wish to register.

The forum administrator reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2007-04-14 03:47:36

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1085

"heart of coal" for "heart of gold"

heart of gold – 1, 500,000 ghits
heart of coal – 12,700 ghits

The stereotype of a whore/hooker with a heart of gold is so well established that I am surprised to find a ‘heart of coal’ variant. Even more surprising is the frequent change of sense, with compassion deleted and alternative negatives strongly suggested. I’m beginning to suspect that ‘heart of coal’ is an entirely separate expression that I’m simply not familiar with, but since coal provides warmth when it’s cold and light in the darkness it should surely keep the same sense as ‘heart of gold’?

And, unlike Bogart and Bergman, Clooney’s war correspondent returns to Germany to discover Blanchett is a hooker with a heart of coal. ... … side_x.htm – 38k – Cached

That the killer is a woman is a novelty in this genre, but “Monster” is not a one-dimensional portrait of a killer hooker with a heart of coal. ... – 31k – Supplemental Result – Cached

She really played a character with a heart of coal. I mean this was a dark and evil character that didn’t have any remorse for what she did. ... – 39k – Cached

Off she went, the tart with a heart (of coal), driven off and away, pausing outside the house she shared with Des before telling the cabbie, “OK, drive on”. ... – 40k – Cached



#2 2007-04-14 08:25:36

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1456

Re: "heart of coal" for "heart of gold"

Peter: I thought someone had posted that one before because it sounded so familiar. Looks like I was wrong, but I’ll add this below for further reference on the topic…

‘coal-hearted’ for ‘cold-hearted’ by klakritz Contribute! 0 2006-07-15 10:12:44 by klakritz



#3 2007-04-14 18:21:15

Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: "heart of coal" for "heart of gold"

These all sound not like fallacious reanalyses based on phonological similarity, but like humorous allusions to the well-know cliche. Especially when there is explicit mention of “a killer” and “a dark and evil character”, the “hooker with a heart of gold” notion doesn’t seem possible. Isn’t it much more likely that the authors were making ironic plays on the original?



#4 2007-04-14 21:47:12

Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1456

Re: "heart of coal" for "heart of gold"

On closer inspection, I’m beginning to believe that “heart of coal” might actually be a reshaping of “coal-hearted.” This latter term, of course, would be the eggcorn of “cold-hearted.” The reshaping that brought on “heart of coal” might have been inspired by the subliminal template “heart of gold,” but I still think the whole morphology originated with “cold-hearted.”

Nilep suggests that the utterances in Peter’s examples might have been intentional (by way of irony). He may be right about a couple of them, but the third example Peter cites seems to be a genuinely naive utterance. It’s even possible that “heart of coal” has begun to entrench itself as idiomatic usage with its 12,900 appearances. Many critics seem to use it without batting an eye…

Why Didn’t Moviegoers Surrender to Phantom of the Opera …Minnie Driver is uproarious as campy, over the top La Carlotta, the temperamental diva with a heart of coal. Patrick Wilson’s Raoul hits all of the right … … antom.html – 43k – Cached – Similar pages

Bright Lights Film Journal | Pickup on South StreetIn The Naked Kiss (1964), a hooker with a heart of coal wallops a john while the camera records the assault subjectively from his perspective. ... – 11k – Cached – Similar pages

Hillbilly Lit (Gleanings) Ann MagnusonI always dreamed of playing a hooker with a heart of coal. Sarah was surrealistically tweaked yet seemed a bit far-fetched to me. ... – 22k – Cached – Similar pages

Eudemons Online – A Relentless Killer – By marshmallowThe murderer fell to the floor with a blood curteling scream, Then you heard his black heart of coal stop beating. A large mass of light shed threw all of … … 7513.shtml – 44k – Cached – Similar pages

TimeoutWhile the act of rape is about to take place, Rubel, the man with the heart of coal flies in from somewhere and pulverises the goons. ... – 14k – Cached – Similar pages

Barnes & – Books: All Creatures Great and Small, by …Any one who doesn’t like this book must be colder than the Grinch with a heart of coal. Also recommended: All Herriot Books. Brittany, an avid book-reading … – 32k – Cached – Similar pages

adhousebooks Plus, the ending is emotionally resonant, and you’d have to have a heart of coal not to be moved by it. Recommended for all. ... – 19k – Cached – Similar pages | Wicked JackMean as he is, Will’s rendering with pipe and coffee pot hints that there may be an ember of goodness in this heart of coal. ... – 15k – Cached – Similar pages – Blogs: Eating My Words » 2006 » JuneDo I have a heart of coal? Some would argue yes, but they’re jilted ex-lovers and their opinions no longer matter and are therefore invalid. ... – Similar pages

Last edited by jorkel (2007-04-14 22:22:42)



Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts