Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Registrations are temporarily closed as we're receiving a steady stream of registration spam.

Anyone who wishes to register, please email me at chris dot waigl at gmail dot com with the desired username and a valid email address, and I will register you manually.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2008-07-03 13:54:37

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1796
Website

in the dull drums

I fully empathise with anyone in the dull-drums of application hell. Hang in there.

Thanks for bringing Spring to all of us still stuck in the dull-drums of our midwest winter!

the maritime industry has been in the dull drums because the personnel are ageing and getting out of service

Don’t get stuck in the dull-drums! You can soon put the sizzle back into your furniture. At least 60 colours are available thanks to the Dulux in-store

About 178 ghits.

This I hadn’t known:

It is widely assumed that the phrase ‘in the doldrums’ is derived from the name of this region. Actually, it’s the other way about. In the 19th century, ‘doldrum’ was a word meaning ‘dullard; a dull or sluggish fellow’ and this probably derived from ‘dol’, meaning ‘dull’ with its form taken from ‘tantrum’. That is, as a tantrum was a fit of petulance and passion, a doldrum was a fit of sloth and dullness, or one who indulged in such. … For example, this piece from The Morning Herald, April 1811: ¶ “I am now in the doldrums; but when I get better, I will send [for] you.” ¶ The earliest known reference to the region’s name in print is Matthew Maury’s The physical geography of the sea, 1855

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/in-the-doldrums.html

(I’m still a bit confused: so did ‘doldrum’ mean ‘dullard’ or ‘fit of dullness’? Wasn’t it ‘dol’ that meant ‘dullard’? Did something get left out in the discussion about ’-trum/drum’)

There’s something about the voicedness of that /d/ that’s appropriate to the dullness: if it were a doltrum it wouldn’t sound as bored.

Anyhow, the idea of drums drumming dully on fits the notion pretty well, as it applies to a psychological state of humdrum boredom bordering on depression. It fits less clearly with the calmness of the weather in the geographical area, but sailors on sailing ships would get bored there. “Day after day, day after day …”

The “dull” part is, then, a recapturing of the etymology (but not necessarily un-eggcornish for that). The drums are more newly eggcornish.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-07-03 13:59:01)


*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 .)

Offline

 

#2 2008-07-03 16:17:06

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

Re: in the dull drums

Very nice – it is easy to see a connection between being in the doldrums (either nautical or metaphorical) and dullness. It sounds like an eggcorn to me.

By the by, it’s interesting how the drum of dull drums gets dragged along despite making no apparent semantic contribution. If the source you cite on the origin of doldrum is correct, I would suggest that the original -drum is similarly opaque. At least, I never imagined a tantrum in relation to doldrums.

Offline

 

#3 2008-07-03 23:24:35

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

Re: in the dull drums

Yeah, the etymology is odd, and it’s oddly presented pretty much everywhere that I’ve seen it discussed. “Dull drums” has been on my “maybe” list for years, but I’ve never been able to make up my mind about it. The fact that its etymology is a bit uncertain may help its claim to eggcornicity, though—if the lexicographers aren’t quite sure how it got that way, then it’s easy to imagine that such a link never even occurs to lots of people using it. The OED makes an endrun around the “dullard” thing by mentioning only “dull.”

Offline

 

#4 2013-02-07 20:14:52

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1796
Website

Re: in the dull drums

Fwiw, droll is taken by many to mean “dull”.

Nestled by parklands, the hospital façade itself was unremarkably droll and dreary.

I hope you do not mind, but it became ever so droll in the parlor without you.

I trust that you would make any subject, no matter how droll, to be the most amusing and exciting.

If you should be so lucky to speak to him, and he so lucky to meet you, I caution you that droll topics of the weather and the appearance of the roads will only discomfort him and no doubt, frustrate you. … Be assured my
dear brother; we only spoke of the drollest of topics.

Ladies do not ramble in the woods. Ladies do not giggle and have fun. How droll it was to be a lady!

It is probably a malapropistic guess at the meaning of an unfamiliar word which looks and/or sounds so much like dull, drab, dry, dreary, humdrum, droning on and on, doldrums , perhaps old and cold (or do they mentally pronounce it to rhyme with doll ?), and so forth.


*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 .)

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts