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#1 2008-06-13 04:03:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Greatfruit

I read somewhere that I shouldn’t be drinking greatfruit juice (I am on birth control pills) and that is mixed badly with some medications.

Contains: greatfruit peel, orange peel lemon peel lemon juice.

greatfruits with no sugar is my favorite. My little treat is Unsweetened White GreatFruit juice mixed 50/50 with Unsweetened Ruby Red GreatFruit juice.

It is greater than a grape, to be sure.

Was the original grapefruit named from a cannonball full of grapeshot, backwards from how a grenade is from a pomegranate? With today’s nearly seedless grapefruit that wouldn’t make much sense, but a generation ago you could get 8-10 seeds from a section of grapefruit.

I find the explanation “because it grows in bunches, as grapes grow” totally unconvincing: no self-respecting grapefruit would recognize such a characterization of itself and its siblings. http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/Archives/2004-9-Sep.htm suggests that in fact “greatfruit” may be the original form, modified phonetically (by labial assimilation) to “grapefruit”. So the eggcorn recreates the original meaning, perhaps? Or perhaps the apparent eggcorn is a survival of the original form?

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-08-03 14:56:29)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#2 2008-06-13 05:55:52

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2135

Re: Greatfruit

Ken Lakritz noted “greatfruit” in a 2005 post:

http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/contribute … omment-243

His comment about grapefruit being a “great tasting” fruit is not as appealing as your suggestion that the “great” comes from the size of the fruit.

You will find almost as many unique ghits for “gratefruit” as for “greatfruit.” I don’t know what to make of “gratefruit”-not much eggcorn potential there (I have grated many lemons, but no grapefruits.). Perhaps “gratefruit” is a spelling mistake by writers who had heard the word “greatfruit” (If so, this would, interestingly, reverse the common substitution of “greatful” for “grateful.”).

The grapeshot derivation of grapefruit is creative, but unlikely. I share your skepticism of the analogy between grape clusters and grapefruit fruiting patterns, though. So far no one seems to have suggested a taste similarity between grapes and grapefruit. Wouldn’t that be a possible source of the name? The sour/bitter/sweet flavor of grapefruit has some resemblance to the taste sensation of a wine grape. If the grapefruit had been developed a century later, we might suspect a marketing ploy behind the name (“You like grapes? You’ll love grapefruit.”).

The grapefruit’s ancestor, the pomelo, is “great fruit” (Citris maxima or Citris grandis). As you point out, it is possible that “grapefruit” is a transform of “greatfruit.” If so, this would reduce the eggcorn potency of the modern use of “greatfruit.”

Last edited by kem (2008-06-13 06:00:59)

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#3 2008-06-13 12:51:47

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Greatfruit

I’m still finding my way around the forum and site. How does one find for sure if something has been reported before? I did a search on greatfruit and did not find any.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#4 2008-06-13 14:41:19

JonW719
Eggcornista
From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-09-05
Posts: 285

Re: Greatfruit

There are two unconnected search engines, one for the forum, and one on the main (home) page for the database. But sometimes they’re both a little flaky.


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#5 2008-06-13 16:36:23

TootsNYC
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: Greatfruit

The grapefruit’s ancestor, the pomelo, is “great fruit” (Citris maxima or Citris grandis).

This seals it for me—well, OK, not “seals it,” but “makes it MUCH more credible.”

and I don’t think that the modern eggcorn loses any strength because it travels backwards on an ancient path. It just makes it much more fun.

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#6 2008-06-14 17:26:21

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2135

Re: Greatfruit

As long as the original expression disappeared from usage, the rediscovery of the original expression as an eggcorn is as good as any newborn eggcorn. The problem with these rediscoveries is that the original expression can lurk in backwater speech communities. When we see the eggcorn candidate, we can’t be sure whether we are dealing with a new eggcorn or with the original and now outmoded expression.

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