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Chris -- 2015-05-30

#1 2007-09-28 23:37:47

klakritz
Eggcornista
From: Winchester Massachusetts
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 674

'ward-healer' for 'ward-heeler'

I’m not sure why small-time political operatives are called ward-heelers; presumably it’s because they spend a lot of time walking around their assigned territory. But part of their job is to fix their constituents’ problems (e.g., parking tickets), so one can see them in a therapeutic or healing role. About 1600 ghits vs. 19,000 for the original. Examples:

Former Speaker of the House, the great Boston Irish ward healer, Tip O’Neill, a Democrat no less, said, “All politics is (sic) local.”
www.dealydaily.com/bb2/index.php?s=doyenne

Despite the former council member’s obvious flaws, he was one of the few people in the community capable of playing the role of ward healer.
www.citypages.com/detail.asp?ArticleID=9861

My grandfather was a ‘ward healer’ who believed FDR was God and Lyndon Johnson was the second coming.
www.seacoastconnects.com/forums/archive … hp?t-3514.

The influence of the “Southern Pacific Machine” was popularly supposed to extend from the Governor of the state to the lowest ward healer in San Francisco …
books.google.com/books?id=4WdgAQbv13EC…

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#2 2014-05-03 01:39:45

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 743

Re: 'ward-healer' for 'ward-heeler'

Here’s a variation:

My Blue Healer is an amazing mountain biker! He needs to ride with me… where can I take him? Where do you ride legal single track or fire roads with your dog?
online bulletin board

A blue heeler is a breed of dog. The “healer” substitution seems more like a misspelling than an eggcorn, though some people do consider the presence of a dog to be healing. There are even “therapy dogs” that visit hospitals.

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