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#1 2008-06-13 04:25:07

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

aghasp

She was just aghasp [at what had happened]

I was further left aghasp when plugging it in and turning the power on for the first time.

We were all aghasp and daring not to move a muscle their eyes were as big as dinasaur eggs.

A good bit more common is the spelling agasp, which also is listed in some dictionaries as essentially = “left gasping, left with your mouth hanging open”, which is of course rather close in meaning to “appalled, aghast”.

When Gerry McCann was agasp at the irony of the same sentence for neglect as manslaughter, he could not contain himself.

Still, the spelling aghasp implies that some users, even having read aghast, pronounce agast and think they are dealing with the same word.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-06-13 04:26:08)


*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 14:26:19

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

Re: aghasp

Another good find, DavidTuggy. It has a great visual element, and again, uses or adapts a more familiar word (gasp, which we do when we’re aghast) to indicate horror or shock.


Feeling quite combobulated.

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#3 2008-06-13 15:48:29

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: aghasp

I don’t quite know what to make of this. Visually, as David says, it’s a blend of aghast and agasp. And as Jon points out, the semantics of the two words are compatible (“gasp, which we do when we’re aghast”).

But is the intended meaning of aghasp simply that of aghast? or simply that of agasp (that is, ‘in the condition of gasping’)? Or does it combine the two (aghast, ergo gasping)? I would say that only the third possibility is really eggcorn-like.

A typo seems unlikely here, but not impossible. The string <gh> is fairly common from words like light and high, and I know that I often type <th> when I intend only <t> because I so often type those letters in that order. So in the relatively unlikely event that one wanted to type agasp, aghasp might be a plausible typo. On the other hand, if one intended the (more common, but still rare) aghast, <p> for <t> seems far less likely.

Obligatory Google search: I find 14,900 raw hits for agasp versus 2,160,000 for aghast. For comparison’s sake, there are 17,100,000 raw hist for gasp.

There are 29 raw hits (18 unique) for aghasp.

It’s an interesting find, at any rate.

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#4 2008-06-13 16:28:40

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: aghasp

“Typo” is of course another category (like “eggcorn”) that is squishy. “gh” is a possible fingerslip typo (single finger hitting two keys) on a qwerty keyboard, but not a terribly likely one (“fg” would be a bit more likely, I think). If it’s the commonness of “gh” that causes the error, then presumably the typist would use both index fingers in sequence, and this is less susceptible to analysis as a finger slip. I think this is more a more likely explanation in this case. But then what we have is a sort of malapropism: a very common typing sequence inserted where it does not belong. I agree that it is then parallel to the extraneous “th”s that I also occasionally catch myself doing. So are those typos? At least if they are they are a different kind.

Anyhow, I aso think a blend of aghast with gasp is more likely what’s happening. I don’t suppose that a survival of “agasp” is active in most cases: I have a very broad vocabulary but did not know the word at all. Of course it is transparent enough to figure out once you see it written. But then that is true, if not definitional, of eggcorn and other eggcorns as well.


*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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#5 2008-06-13 16:33:00

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

Re: aghasp

I think it’s an eggcorn—esp. bcs it shows up in the exact same sentence structure.

And I think it’s a fun one!

and boy, does it make sense—what is a ghast, anyway? (a ghoul or ghost, in D&D and some fiction I’ve read, but I’ve only seen it there) so how would you be a-ghast?

(though of course, it comes from “gasten” to frighten, but nobody knows that root)

There is “ghastly,” from the same “to frighten” root, but I think people don’t make the connection.

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#6 2008-06-13 17:02:53

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: aghasp

TootsNYC wrote:

<snip> There is “ghastly,” from the same “to frighten” root, but I think people don’t make the connection.

I expect many don’t and some (many?) do. I know I did, I believe since childhood (long ago now!)


*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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#7 2009-03-13 06:39:17

Craig C Clarke
Eggcornista
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 232
Website

Re: aghasp

Just found myself losing two points in Prolific on facebook for having typed this one in.

(Anyone else here play Prolific? If not, you should!)

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#8 2009-03-16 01:02:24

Sandi
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2005-11-10
Posts: 30

Re: aghasp

Reading the references to agasp, I also get a mental picture of agape. I would think that agape a little more common that agasp (a word that I’m struggling to find in online dictionaries, found in only one so far).
When one gasps one’s mouth is agape. If I type agasp into my word proceesing aplication, agape is one of the spellchecker’s suggested replacements, however ahgast is the only suggestion for aghasp.

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#9 2009-03-16 02:23:39

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: aghasp

Ah, gast.


*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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#10 2009-05-05 19:31:54

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2121

Re: aghasp

We failed to note in this thread that the word “aghast” may already be an eggcorn. The original spelling is “agast,” the past participle of a word derived from an “a” prefixed to the Old English word “gasten,” meaning frighten, alarm. The extra “h” in the current spelling of the word may have sneaked in when the word was influenced by “ghost” or “ghastly.” The OED comments that the “unetymological spelling with gh appears first in Scotch c 1425 (probably influenced by ghast, ghaist, ghost); it became general after 1700. “

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#11 2009-06-08 21:56:36

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: aghasp

Ran across this one again today, and noted that I had not mentioned (and none of us above did so) that another possible/likely ingredient in the egg-blending mix is the word agog .


*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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