cole slaw » cold slaw

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • The popular salad made of shredded cabbage was originally “cole slaw,” from the Dutch for “cabbage salad.” Because it is served cold, Americans have long supposed the correct spelling to be “cold slaw”; but if you want to sound more sophisticated go with the original. (Brians, Common Errors)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Paul Brians (link)
  • Arnold Zwicky (link)

Very common eggcorn, discussed several times on the Eggcorn Forum.

Thanks to final d/t-deletion, cold slaw and cole slaw are very frequently homophonous.

| Comments Off link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2012/06/13 |

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 |

cold » coal

Chiefly in:   coal-hearted

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • There’s nothing worse than reading a story in which every person you meet is either a coal-hearted villain or a pure sweet-blooded soul. ( customer review, May 31, 2004)
  • Some coal-hearted landlords have suggested that they are face-lifting a community in need of maintenance by tearing down and rebuilding at twice the original size and four times the original value, but I ask you: How can you afford to fix a roof that’s caving in if the sky is going to fall on your head first? (The Daily Tar Heel, Jan 16, 2004)
  • Folks, can you imagine how they must have felt at the moment they found out, fairly early in the date, that they weren’t dating a warm and engaging woman but a coal-hearted harpy. (blog post, Apr 21, 2004)
  • Initially I did not want to go to Disneyland because a) Huge chunk of my spending money would have to go there since, well, admission is not cheap izzit; and b) I’m old therefore the Disney magic would be lost on jaded, coal-hearted me. (blog post, June 15, 2008)
  • Were conservatives cruel and coal-hearted before Bush-Cheney? (Deroy Murdock, National Review Online, August 11, 2004)

Analyzed or reported by:

_Coal-hearted_ was first noted by our frequent contributor Ken Lakritz, who immediately pointed out the formal similarity to _goal standard_: deletion of the final consonant _d_, leading to a re-interpretation of the metaphor. A classic eggcorn.

This was, however, not the end. A year later, still in the Eggcorn forums, Peter Forster noted the curious expression _(a hooker with a) heart of coal_, which occurs in a reversal of the wide-spread cliché _… with a heart of gold_. Peter and our poster jorkel both supply numerous examples, and it is jorkel who links this image back to the eggcorn _coal-hearted_.

| Comments Off link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2008/08/25 |

midriff » midrift

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Hilary Robinson (link)
  • Paul Brians (link)
  • Peter Forster, calamityjane01 (link)

Suggested to me by Rachel Cristy, 13 August 2007. Earlier reports above.

Brians: “Midriff” derives from “mid-” and a very old word for the belly. Fashions which bare the belly expose the midriff. People think of the gap being created by scanty tops and bottoms as a rift, and mistakenly call it a “midrift” instead. In earlier centuries, before belly-baring was in, the midriff was also the piece of cloth which covered the area.

AMZ: It’s possible that this interpretation is encouraged by viewing the “midriff” pronunciation as the product of final t-deletion.

| Comments Off link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2007/08/13 |