Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
An acquaintance (who doesn’t get out much) ordered a cappuccino, kinda, when she requested a cup o’ chino.
Even though Lisa placed this in the “Slips, innovations and reshapings” section, Craig is probably correct that it’s an eggcorn. Granted, the “chino” part is ambiguous; The utterer views it as something concrete, yet unknown about the product. Even so, the “cup o’” portion of the utterance seems to be enough for this to be an eggcorn.
could the “chino” be a color reference? Bcs chinos are brown? And a cappuccino, having frothed milk on it, becomes less black and more brown?
Nah, probably not. I think I’m just making it up—and stretching, at that.
It’s probaby that “ambiguous” idea—people think that must be the word they know, and that there’s some sort of connection to “chino” but they don’t know quite what it is.
The color idea has merit. The word cappuccino comes from the capuchin (sp?) monks because the dollop of frothed milk in the center mimicked their shaved pates with the ring of dark hair around it (if my recollections are correct). Hence the original word is based somewhat on color, so why couldn’t the “spin-off” word be based on the (typical) color of chinos?
Feeling quite combobulated.
or are they thinking “china”? That somehow there’s a foreign-language reason it’s chinO instead of chinA?
I don’t think the utterers are thinking anything specific about “chino”- it’s just the exotic part of what their cup is filled with. They don’t have to know what it is that’s special, just that it’s special. Which it is, if you’ve got a good cup of it!
“Would you like a cup ‘o chino?”
“A cup? Oh gee, no.”