bludgeon » bloodgeon

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • On Sunday morning (2:30am), a mexican woman and her 19 year old daughter got bloodgeoned to death here in Fremont. (Livejournal post, 2 Feb, 2004)
  • Democracy is the bloodgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people. (reader comment, accessed Jan 4, 2009)
  • There are waaay too many games out there with ‘rap’ gangster types on it or games that encourage people to bloodgeon their friends to death with bats or whatever. (Forza2 motorsport forum, July 5, 2007)
  • My first day saw the brutal task of bloodgeoning a mouse to death to feed a jaguarundi, and my eyes were the first to behold the 5 hour old baby Spider Monkey. (Blog post, June 07, 2007)

Analyzed or reported by:

A bloodthirsty eggcorn. The origin of _bludgeon_ is not well understood. AHD4 laconically states “[Origin unknown.]”, and the OED offers several lines of inquiry — or speculation:

> [Not found before the 18th c.: origin unknown.
_Blogon_ (with g = j) is quoted by Dr. Whitley Stokes from the Cornish drama _Origo Mundi_ (? 14th c.), but its relation to the English is uncertain. Other Celtic etymologies sometimes proposed are on many grounds untenable. A Du. vb. _bludsen_ to bruise, has also been compared; and it has been suggested that the word is of cant origin, connected with _blood_.]

It is therefore possible — though not very likely — that users of the eggcorn are even going back to the word origin.

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/01/04 |

entree » ontray

Classification: English – cross-language

Spotted in the wild:

  • We only eat here twice a year its the best!! even though its sometimes a long wait its worh it! the apitizors,ontrays and deserts are amazing. (Restaurant review, July 18, 2007)
  • Does anyone know japanese Ontrays, Dinners/main courses, and/or Dessert recipes? (Yahoo! Answers, accessed 2009-01-03)
  • My boss asked me to bring two on-trays to our christmas party, but I honestly don’t know what to put on the trays. (Yahoo! Answers, accessed 2009-01-03)
  • Maybe after you have finished you could have lunch and include some ontrays (i-do.com wedding planning boards, Mar 9, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

This eggcorn is not very common: most people likely would try to look up an unfamiliar word if they recognize it as a borrowing from a foreign language. When it occurs, though, it is a classical cross-language eggcorn. As David Tuggy writes in his forum post:

> The imagery seems clear enough: entrees are often brought to diners on trays, so one might well think this was the reason for the name.

Note that on-tray/entree puns abound in the restaurant business, as a web search quickly shows, and that OnTray is also a brand name for a little tray-like container that attaches to shopping cart handles, used for holding snacks for children sitting in the shopping cart seat.

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/01/04 |

brand-new » bran-new

Classification: English – nearly mainstream – final d/t-deletion

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Ben Zimmer (Word Routes, Visual Thesaurus, Dec. 5, 2008)

Brand-new dates to 1570, but the variant bran-new was already appearing less than a century later. See the Word Routes article for a full analysis, including this eggcornic “etymythology” given by a Wiktionary contributor:

The term ‘brand new’ or ‘bran new’ was when new items were packaged up with unwanted bran grain in the 18th Century to protect the object during transit. When the item was unpacked, the owner would often find traces of bran in the item. Hence the term.

| Comments Off link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2008/12/08 |

quitclaim » quickclaim

Chiefly in:   quick claim (quickclaim) deed

Variant(s):  quick claim

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • Legal property description — the legal description of your property is indicated on certificates of titles, warranties and even quick claim deeds. (The Lufkin Daily News, Nov 14, 2008)
  • We bought a house for our daughter. She is paying the rent, taxes and insurance. We signed a quickclaim deed and put her name on it so that she would receive the proper bills at the house address. Does that deed mean she is part owner of the house now? (Mortgagefit forum, Aug 5, 2006)
  • The company belongs to Elvin Moon, who reportedly paid Herenton $50,000 for private land, but gave the property back to Herenton for $10 in a quick claim deed. (my fox (Memphis), Nov 14, 2008)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Marian Neudel (via our posting interface)

The very common substitution of _quick claim_ (or _quickclaim_) _deed_ for the technical term _quitclaim deed_ qualifies as a very straightforward (mortgage-related) legal eggcorn.

Wikipedia informs us that a quitclaim deed is

> […] a document by which a person (the “grantor”) disclaims any interest the grantor may have in a piece of real property and passes that claim to another person (the grantee). A quitclaim deed neither warrants nor professes that the grantor’s claim is valid. By contrast, the deeds normally used for real estate sales (called grant deeds or warranty deeds, depending on the jurisdiction) contain guarantees from the grantor to the grantee that the title is clear. The exact nature of the warranties vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Quitclaim deeds are sometimes used for transfers between family members, gifts, placing personal property into a business entity, or to eliminate clouds on title, or in other special or unusual circumstances.

For the non-legal reader, this seems to mean that the term is used to describe a particularly light-weight, “quick”, way of signing property over to other people. Or in the words of our contributor Marian Neudel: “Presumably the rationale is that it is faster to process one of these than several other types of deeds, most notably warranty deeds. A quitclaim, after all, is merely a way of conveying all the rights you own in a piece of property — if any — rather than certifying that you actually own something worth conveying.”

The eggcorn is also easily understood phonetically: The hypothetical consonant cluster [tkl] in the middle of _quitclaim_ easily morphs into [ʔkl], even for speakers of dialects that do not generally realize final [t] as a glottal stop ([ʔ]). The latter would be the case for significant numbers of British English speakers (who pronounce even the word _quit_ as [kwɪʔ] instead of using the dictionary-pronunciation [kwɪt]).

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/11/27 |

skimmed » skimp

Chiefly in:   skimp milk

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I drink whole milk too. I find that drinking skimp milk doesn’t fool your appetite — it’ll just demand three times as much in revenge for being short changed. (Nosdiet discussion list, Nov 15, 2003)
  • He also wants women to drink a glass of skimp milk for a dash of calcium. (The Dancer's Diet, accessed Nov 24, 2008)
  • man, I LOVE milk. I was raised on skimp milk…and every now and then Id get treated to real milk! (whole milk!!) when I went to someone elses house or something. (ScratchLounge forum, Jul 20, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

_Skimp milk_ for _skimmed_ (or _skim_) _milk_ is not a very frequent substitution, but one that immediately makes sense. As Pat Schwieterman writes in his forum post, “Skimmed milk does skimp on the fat compared to whole milk.”

As a caveat, there are indications that some speakers intentionally employ _skimp_ for jocular derision:

>Just last week we had an interesting conversation in our office about skim milk. Names such as ‘white water’ and ’skimp milk’ were mentioned. For people who grew up drinking whole milk, the idea of changing to skim milk, also known as fat-free milk, is unpleasant. (link)

The cites above, however, do sound genuine, and the first two appear in texts that do not use a jocular tone. (I am less certain about cite number three.)

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/11/24 |