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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-03-05 01:51:38

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"groves" for "droves"

I woke up to the radio alarmclock this morning, and in my grogginess I thought I heard the announcer say that voters in Texas and Ohio were expected to turn out “in groves” for the primaries today. I can’t be sure I heard that right, but there are about 20 hits for the various permutations of “turn/come out in groves.” There may be many more, but this is time-consuming to search for – lots of things happen in groves.

“Droves” and “groves” both refer to collections of a large number of individuals, and the fact that they rhyme probably helps reinforce the conceptual similarity between them. An alternate explanation occurs to me, however: maybe some users are thinking that a group of people large enough to come out and fill up a grove is a pretty big group. But I think my first explanation is more likely. Examples:

Music enthusiasts came out in groves. … 4290.shtml

She’s a talented actress as films like Election and advance buzz on the forthcoming Walk the Line prove, but these movies pay her well and audiences turn out in groves.

The public and the press turned out in groves, setting a new attendance record of 140,000 attendees. … logies.php

Oh yeah, ya know that the Christian Right would just turn out in groves to vote for a Cross-dressing, pro-choice, pro-gay rights / possible lesbian ticket. … ormat=page

Then why are they turning out in groves to vote for a black man that cannot possibly do what he says?



#2 2008-03-05 12:36:43

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2612

Re: "groves" for "droves"

Had a laugh at your first example of music students coming out “in groves.” To anyone with an academic background in music, “in groves” has a specific meaning: Something “in groves” is “in Grove’s”, that is, in the authoritative Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Perhaps the writer was punning.

“In groves” must be an eggcorn. And there’s another one like it: a Google search on the phrase “in troves” turns up a large number of cases in which “troves” stands in a context that calls for “droves.” Examples:

From a home care newsletter: “I asked one of the store managers who was helping me with a gift what she thought the reason was for the delayed excitement and climax of all the holiday shoppers coming out in troves.” (

Newsgroup posting: “Not only have sales of the game done well, but a general upswing in Wii sales have also occurred, with other titles like Mario Galaxy suddenly selling in troves.” (

Blog posting: “People are coming in in troves.” (

A trove, like a grove, is collection of something, and the notion of a collection greases the way to an eggcornical substitution for drove, another collection.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2008-03-08 02:20:00

Registered: 2008-03-08
Posts: 13

Re: "groves" for "droves"

On a similar note “a treasure grove of” something turns up 194 google hits and they all seem to mean treasure trove



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