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Chris -- 2018-04-11
I just encountered “skiddish” for “skittish” for the first time in a post that showed up on a local email bulletin board yesterday:
“She comes from a feral litter and, as such, is a little skiddish, but she is very sweet and affectionate.”
It’s been mentioned on this site a couple times before, but it’s new to me and, I’m sure, to some of you, too.
I’m guessing this is a case of misspelling (or ear spelling based on pronouncing the Ts of skittish as a D sound) more than anything else. I don’t see any evidence that the user thinks the animal referred to in the post is “skidding.” The misspelled word is used exactly as the correctly spelled one would be used.
Feeling quite combobulated.
The skittish/skiddish mistake is all over the net. I see some eggcorn potential. “Skiddish” conveys images of sliding around. “Skittish” can refer to being undependable, variable, restless. The semantic engine could be at work in this substitution.
Joe Krozel analyzed this substitution as an eggcorn in 2006 (http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/forum/view … hp?id=1180), calling attention to the phrase “put the skids on.”
Last edited by kem (2008-09-24 13:21:27)
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
I think this could go either way—simple ear mistake, vs. ear mistake accompanied by meaning shift.
I’d need more evidence, but I think it’s got possibilities.
Because, I know what skidding is, and how out-of-control it is, but I don’t know what “skit” has to do with being jumpy or unstable.