It would be particularly satisfying if The Eggcorn Database became, little by little, a collaborative tool.

There are several ways for you to help improve or support it, to contribute your knowledge, insight, discoveries or resources:

* **Drop off your eggcorns in the Eggcorn Forum.**
You have captured an eggcorn in the wild? Excellent! Mind you, check that it is the right species of animal. Ask yourself whether the non-standard spelling that caught your attention indicates a reinterpretation of the meaning of (part of) the original expression. If so, in the database it goes. But if you are unsure, the forum is the right place to discuss whether your find is an eggcorn or not. The posts referenced on the About page might also be helpful.
* Commentaries on individual entries are, of course, welcome. Unlike the forum, however, the comment area is not a discussion space: It is a place to add data to an existing entry. If you wish to post whimsical observations or questions, or something that is not closely related to a particular entry, please do so in the Eggcorn Forum.
* If you are committed to the eggcorn quest and have a taste for adventure, you can register and post draft entries of your own. These will be found and edited by the more experienced contributors. Eventually your submission will appear under your name. Once you have shown that you produce high-quality entries, we will give you full poster status.

Posting directly into the database is not quite as simple as leaving a comment or participating on the forum. The posting back-end is not particularly user-friendly and still needs a lot of work. I consider this project as work in progress (thus the “alpha” version label on the main page), and will add features and improvements as I figure out the needs and get more familiar with coding in PHP. If you wish to familiarize yourself with the process, you can read the [**Posting HOWTO.**](…)

* If you appreciate this site and the effort that has gone into creating and maintaining it, a supportive e-mail to is always welcome. Or, in case you can spare a dollar (pound, euro) or two towards hosting fees and bandwidth, I will gratefully accept a donation. The Eggcorn Database is a purely personal endeavor and is not supported by any institution or commercial entity whatsoever.

**NEW, 2005/10/25!** Changes are afoot at the Eggcorn Database. There is now a forum, with its own space for your contributions and submissions.

While I upgrade the software and work out some problems with the server, I have disabled commenting on the static pages, i.e. those that aren’t part of the eggcorn collection. The existing comments will reappear as soon as I have worked out a persistent bug with the comment display. This page has over 700 comments — some part of the code is choking on them at the moment.

Furthermore, I have disabled direct posting access to the Eggcorn Database for newly registered users. Several of us — Arnold Zwicky, Ben Zimmer, and several occasional contributors in addition to myself — have converged to what could be called a minimum standard of quality for entries. Our own early posts haven’t always conformed to it, and I have edited and improved quite a number of them. More importantly, we seem to agree reasonably well on what exactly an eggcorn is, and what kind of common word substitutions and lexical errors aren’t really of the type we are looking for. The new forum should make it easier to further refine the definition and to bring new posters up to speed.

| permanent link | Chris W. (admin), 2005/02/13 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by CA McGee , 2005/02/15 at 3:09 pm

    Noticed the other day someone using “what spurned” in place of “what spawned” in the comments of a blog and did a Google search on it and sure enough, there were plenty of folks repeating the same error.

    Google link

  2. 2

    Commentary by David Vinson , 2005/02/15 at 5:35 pm

    Here’s one that I just stumbled across:
    “In this day and age”»”In this day in age”
    (~660K Google hits vs. ~10,600).

  3. 3

    Commentary by J Glauner , 2005/02/15 at 5:41 pm

    I have a coworker who consistently uses the phrase, “beings we…” The context is usually something like this: We have a program written to solve a problem, so we’re going to simplify a bigger problem so that it fits the scope of the program we’ve already written. This person will say something along the lines of, “Well, beings we’ve already written THAT program, can we just massage this data to fit it?”

    I assume it’s a combination of misuse of “being” where it should have been “seeing” combined with a lack of an apostrophe that would make it “being as…” instead of “seeing as…”? This person writes this in e-mails.

  4. 4

    Commentary by chris waigl , 2005/02/15 at 5:52 pm

    New eggcorns are already coming, in — thanks a lot!

    Spawned>spurned is a classic example (new to me, though). I’ll research it a little and add it as soon as I get to it.

    Beings is an interesting and strange one. Definitely needs looking into. I suspect a blend with that being and other expressions.

    David Vinson’s and>in belongs to a larger class that I have held back for the moment: eggcorns that turn preposistions/conjunctions (and sometimes adverbs and derterminers) into each other. I’ll start adding those as soon as it is clear how to classify them.

  5. 5

    Commentary by Suzanne , 2005/02/15 at 6:02 pm

    New eggcorn: Phase/Faze

    Mary was not phased fazed by the final exam.

    Definitions (taken from Merriam-Webster Online):

    PHASE: 1. to adjust so as to be in a synchronized condition 2 : to conduct or carry out by planned phases 3 : to introduce in stages — often used with in (phase in new models)

    FAZE: to disturb the composure of : DISCONCERT, DAUNT (nothing fazed her)

    Hope this helps your database!

  6. 6

    Commentary by Suzanne , 2005/02/15 at 6:06 pm

    Sorry for the double post, but I have a second eggcorn observed on regarding comets:

    Astronomers have pieced together what appears to be the first direct evidence that solar storms can reek wreak havoc with comets, destroying the ion tails of icy wanderers in a collision of highly charged particles.

    I see this one all the time. It’s plain wrong.

    REEK: 1 : to emit smoke or vapor 2 a : to give off or become permeated with a strong or offensive odor b : to give a strong impression of some constituent quality or feature

    WREAK: 2 : to give free play or course to (malevolent feeling) 3 : BRING ABOUT, CAUSE

  7. 7

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/02/15 at 6:11 pm

    Here are some and/in confusions noted on Paul Brians’ “Common Errors in English” site:

    and -> in
    by in large
    one in the same
    part in parcel

    in -> and
    once and a while
    tongue and cheek
    case and point
    (I’ve also seen this inverted as “point and case”)

    Larry Horn notes some others here

  8. 8

    Commentary by Samuel Ethan Fox , 2005/02/15 at 6:40 pm

    One very common misunderstanding is in the phrase “He’s a real trouper” where the original reference was to an actor who can be relied on to perform in any circumstance. This is often taken to be “He’s a real trooper”, a hardy soldier.

  9. 9

    Commentary by Andrew Simmonds , 2005/02/15 at 6:46 pm

    One I’ve seen a fair bit that doesn’t _seem_ to be in the list yet: “no stings attached”. Google has 14,000-odd hits, some of which are obviously intentional puns (there appears to be an album of this name), but others seem to be genuine eggcorns - “it’s just three free issues, no stings attached”, “I am a 23 year old male living in the Dundee area. I am looking for no stings attached fun…”

  10. 10

    Commentary by david toccafondi , 2005/02/15 at 6:59 pm

    drug addict >> drug attic

    I’ve heard people say this for years, but only recently started noticing it in print:

    “many people have experienced one of their peers whose mother was a drug attic”

    I’m not a drug attic..i just need a puff

  11. 11

    Commentary by rich lafferty , 2005/02/15 at 7:08 pm

    paprika » pepperika

    Overheard this one in the elevator (in a conversation where everyone else was subtly trying to correct the person using it, to no avail). In parallel with “pepper”, since both are seasonings.

    Citations: [1], [2], [3].

  12. 12

    Commentary by Lane , 2005/02/15 at 8:14 pm

    A friend, Brendan G, e-mailed me “death throws”. It’s kind of like you’re being thrown into the big sleep, see? And google has about 1/10th as many “death throws” as “death throes”, a pretty significant prevalence.

  13. 13

    Commentary by Philip Newton , 2005/02/15 at 8:15 pm

    “battened down the hatches” > “battered down the hatches”.

  14. 14

    Commentary by J Glauner , 2005/02/15 at 8:35 pm

    Perhaps not incredibly common is the “wont”>>”want” substitution. “I awoke at 6:30 as is my wont.” vs. “I awoke at 6:30 as is my want.”

  15. 15

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/02/15 at 8:40 pm

    What about well-circulated pseudo-mistakes like “old-timer’s disease” and “carpool tunnel syndrome”? (See Language Hat.) Most often these are used just for humorous effect, but occasionally they may be genuine eggcorns.

  16. 16

    Commentary by chris waigl , 2005/02/15 at 9:07 pm

    Re: #15, Ben Zimmer: Maybe we need a category for “obsolescent eggcorns”. I imagine both used to be more common, when their frequency in the press was lower. In general, I have found substitutions that are very common in jokes and puns rather difficult to document, but uses that look like authentic eggcorns are, should of course, be added. (I have been duped already, though. Must delete an occurrence example.)

    All: Duly noted, with thanks.

  17. 17

    Commentary by Anthony , 2005/02/15 at 11:36 pm

    bottom line >> button line
    In an email from a colleague as our application development approached a deadline:
    “The button line is we don’t have time to change all the search screens.”
    I suppose we had to get the product out the door, get dressed and get out the door ourselves! I couldn’t find any other examples of this one on Google.

  18. 18

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/02/15 at 11:43 pm

    Another one that frequently appears in joke form is “circus-sized” for “circumsized”. Paul Brians has it on his list of errors, but I can’t find any authentic examples online (it tends to appear on lists of “medical bloopers” and the like).

  19. 19

    Commentary by Tim Hollebeek , 2005/02/16 at 12:00 am

    I’m surprised you don’t have copyright -> copywrite yet. At over 300,000 googles, it’s a rather impressively common mistake/pun!

  20. 20

    Commentary by such , 2005/02/16 at 12:21 am

    Not sure if this counts as an eggcorn but when I was in school, there were two versions of this saying:
    “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
    (15,900 hits on Google)
    “A rolling stone gathers no mass.”
    (a poor 36 hits on Google, but I have an idea it may be more prevalent than the statistics suggest)

    I’ve head satisfactory explanations for both!

  21. 21

    Commentary by alison , 2005/02/16 at 5:03 am

    i’d just assume as soon go buy cookies rather than make them!

  22. 22

    Commentary by david , 2005/02/16 at 10:02 pm

    This one is in dictionaries as a variant, so is kind of an archaic eggcorn, but I haven’t seen anyone mention minuscule -> miniscule, which is very common. It definitely represents a reanalysis of minuscule, which originally had penultimate stress, into mini+scule, based on analogy with mini-, which comes from miniature.

    It’s most common when used in the extended sense of anything that is very small, but is even sometimes found when describing lowercase letters.….….

    I’ve fixed them in the current revisions of these pages, but these entries from the history show them as they were originally entered.

  23. 23

    Commentary by David Scriven , 2005/02/16 at 11:12 pm

    pale >> pail

    chiefly in “beyond the pail”

    2,150 Google hits, most of which appear to use it as a pun. Here’s one that apparently uses it seriously:…

  24. 24

    Commentary by Philip Newton , 2005/02/17 at 8:49 am

    Tim Hollebeek: “playwrite” is a similar mistake, also easily understandable (hey, he writes plays, so he must be a playwrite, rite? Er, right?)

  25. 25

    Commentary by joe , 2005/02/18 at 6:39 am

    Cool site. I’ve heard “play it by year” used in place of “play it by ear” a few times. Google reports about 300 hits too, but mainly forum and blog posts.

  26. 26

    Commentary by Frank Sennett , 2005/02/18 at 6:53 am

    One of my favorites, commonly spotted in business articles, is the description of a person or company making a “360-degree turnaround” instead of the 180-degree pivot the writer’s likely thinking of. When it’s clear the so-called turnaround is merely cosmetic and/or temporary in nature, the use of “360-degree” becomes doubly amusing…

  27. 27

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/02/18 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve frequently seen “moot point” written as “mute point”. I’m sure that this must be exclusive to North American dialects; to me (RP), /mu:t/ and /mju:t/ are quite distinct pronunciations.

  28. 28

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/02/18 at 6:54 pm

    Argh - I wish I’d worked out how this site worked before posting that duplicate!

    Anyway, here’s another that appears to be new. This one has long ago become a fully-accredited expression, but appears to have started from an egg corn: “[as long as a] donkey’s ears” > “donkey’s years”

  29. 29

    Commentary by Don Porges , 2005/02/18 at 8:11 pm

    Previously unknown to me: “hold hat” for “old hat” (meaning “not new”).

    “To carry on for just a moment,the religious zealots knocking on the door bit is hold hat.”
    “Coverups - Hold Hat for Bush and Republicans”
    “64-bits is very hold hat - don’t get caught up in all the hype”

    — any re-analysis escapes me.

  30. 30

    Commentary by Philip Newton , 2005/02/18 at 9:34 pm

    “rest bite” for “respite” (presumably under the impression that that word rhymes with “spite”, rather than “spit”)

    Examples include:
    the understated piano sound is
    welcome rest bite from intenseness of the rest of the album.

    the lake
    is so beautiful and a welcome rest bite from the heat.

    provides some welcome rest bite form the bustle of city centre life.

    (Brought to my attention by NTK)

  31. 31

    Commentary by Nigel Morphine , 2005/02/18 at 9:59 pm

    One I particularly despise is “poured over” for “pored over.” In the example below, a teacher has written to his students the following sentence:
    “I’ve poured over your quizzes several times…”…

    I wonder if anyone was tempted to answer: “Well, if you’ve poured anything over my quiz, you can keep it.”

  32. 32

    Commentary by Nigel Morphine , 2005/02/18 at 10:06 pm

    “Tough road to hoe” instead of the correct “tough row to hoe.”

    A headline: Tough road to hoe for NIFL visitors…

    As the site below points out, out in the cotton patch you have a tough row to hoe. This saying has nothing to do with road construction.…

  33. 33

    Commentary by Karen , 2005/02/18 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve recently seen “affectionado” used for “aficionado”. That may not qualify as an eggcorn though, since it seems to sort of mean the same thing. I still love it though!

    There also seems to be some confusion on the internet and elsewhere, about whether something is a “sea change” or a “seed change”.

  34. 34

    Commentary by John Ings , 2005/02/19 at 4:49 pm

    as malaproped by Archie Bunker. Credit to All in the Family’s writers.

  35. 35

    Commentary by Katy Jennison , 2005/02/19 at 10:38 pm

    “Baton down the hatches” - in the London UK Guardian’s Saturday Travel supplement, 19 February 2005, in an article by Joanna Moorhead. “Everyone knows kids make the worst neighbours on a long (or even a short) distance flight. What most passengers do is probably what you’re about to do right now - baton down the hatches, ram on the headphones and avert your eyes…”

  36. 36

    Commentary by Katy Jennison , 2005/02/19 at 10:40 pm

    “Tarnished with the same brush” - a guest on BBC radio Today programme, 15 February 2005.

    “Deemed to failure” - a guest on BBC radio You & Yours programme, same day.

  37. 37

    Commentary by Nicholas W , 2005/02/19 at 10:46 pm

    Here’s an interesting one I discovered this afternoon. “Third Right” for “Third Reich”:

    Came across it here:

    What I see reminds me of footage from the third right the way patriotic imagery is thrown around bugger all.

    A google search turns up several others, including:

    “Some SS staff did little different in the Third Right in Germany,” he said.

    Dorothy Thompson [an American anti-Nazi newspaper correspondent who was banned from the Third Right in the mid thirties.]

    The followers of the Third Right are focusing now on Racial Biology and Eugenics. It is crazy stuff.

  38. 38

    Commentary by Emma Craib , 2005/02/20 at 8:40 pm

    A friend was shocked to learn it was not “a doggy dog world”. The world is a place where a lot of down to earth sniffing of a variety of things and places is a part of our daily grind…that’s how she saw it; a kinder, gentler canine behavior.

  39. 39

    Commentary by 7om , 2005/02/20 at 10:35 pm

    Infamous loop instead of infinite loop. This site… malaprops with this: “Music includes hip-hop, funk, reggae, soul and other beat-heavy material utilizing breaks, samples and of course the infamous loop/the infamous loop/the infamous loop/the infamous loop/the infamous….”

  40. 40

    Commentary by Paul B. Gallagher , 2005/02/20 at 11:15 pm

    Mano a mano, construed as “one-on-one” or “man-to-man” instead of the original “hand-to-hand” — the reference to action without an intermediary is lost. Sometimes also used in the sense “to go it alone against” an opponent, who need not necessarily be singular.

    Ready to go the distance? Then get your gloves on, since this knockout fighting game boasts a variety of bouts and boxers, and offers four modes of play: versus, exhibition, career, and tournament. Whether you just want to go mano a mano with a buddy, or for the championship, you will need to do more than just randomly punch a few buttons to progress to the higher levels. We found the controls for each hook, punch, or block to be fairly easy to learn. However, to really land some punches, you’ll need to master an assortment of advanced combo moves.
    Gregory now stands virtually alone in court; the next scared child who needs protection may not be as bright and determined as Gregory. Most are stuck in the system; it should be held accountable. Children shouldn’t be forced to go mano a mano with their parents in a court where they could so easily become pawns in a much larger chess game.

  41. 41

    Commentary by Tom Phillips , 2005/02/21 at 1:41 am

    First of all, could somebody close that damn tag?…

    On the matter at hand, and teacher once told me that she was marking a P.E. exam where the kid had been asked “What is the term for a person who is paid to play sport?” His answer - “Armchair”. The teacher said it took her about a day to work out that he’d meant to write “Amateur”. Which, obviously, would have been the wrong answer anyway.

    Now, if not just an apocryphal exam-horror story, I think that’s a fully fledged eggcorn - but it’s one that’s quite difficult to track down in the wild, because, well, it’s just a bit too eggcorny. The conceptual transition between “armchair” and “amateur” is already so strong (2,400 Google hits for “armchair amateur”), combined with the pleasing half-rhyme, that it’s hard to tell if it’s ever truly being used mistakenly. It’s not just “armchair scientists” and “armchair historians” - even in sports, it can refer to a fan, or a player of sporting computer games, or someone involved in a “fantasy league” game (e.g.). Suffice it to say, if anybody can find a genuine, undeniable example of this roaming the wild, I will love them longtime.

  42. 42

    Commentary by Philip Jones , 2005/02/21 at 2:05 pm

    In today’s (2/21/050 New York Times, in an article about a controversial episode of “The Simpsons”, comes the following quote:

    “The issue was mainstream to some degree, but now that they’ve deigned it worthy of the show it is interwoven into the fabric of popular culture,” said Ray Richmond, a television columnist for The Hollywood Reporter and co-editor of the anthology “The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family.”

    Google only finds 17 instances of “deign it worthy”, vs. 3000+ of “deem it worthy.” Is this an eggcorn, or a legitimate use of “deign”?

  43. 43

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/02/21 at 10:58 pm

    breach > breech

    Seen in the wild here: “Looks like the evil Pop-Up advertisers have finally breeched the wall.”

  44. 44

    Commentary by M Smith , 2005/02/22 at 4:58 am

    As a pose to = As opposed to

    Encountered in teaching a Year 12 high school student. On being asked about the phrase, the student explained that it was used when someone or something was taking a stance against something. “Pose’ here is analysed as meaning “stance” and “to” as equivalent to “against”, indicating that the phrase is a genuine eggcorn rather than a simple error. The student spoke English as a first language.

    Googling for “as a pose to” produces 2100 results.

  45. 45

    Commentary by Athena Janiszewski , 2005/02/22 at 11:20 pm

    “Hidesight” wasn’t in your database and I’ve noticed it being used in place of, “hindsight”. Google returns close to 500 results with this eggcorn.

  46. 46

    Commentary by codeman38 , 2005/02/23 at 3:18 am

    This one would be rather difficult to find due to the scooter of the same name, but I’ve seen “segue” mis-parsed as “segway” on a number of occasions. I’ve also seen the rather interesting conflation “segueway”.

  47. 47

    Commentary by Mike Gremel , 2005/02/23 at 7:19 pm

    I have no *quarms* about that. (instead of *qualms*)

  48. 48

    Commentary by Wade Hassler , 2005/02/24 at 12:10 am

    “as a matter of fact” is often (see Google) rendered “as a matter a fact”
    First saw it in a thank-you note from a teen-ager

  49. 49

    Commentary by Matt Kuzma , 2005/02/24 at 2:05 am

    My history teacher in high school once lamented that he heard the term “Phyrric” of “Phyrric victory” confused with “empirical” as in “empirical evidence.” And I found it!…

  50. 50

    Commentary by Michael , 2005/02/24 at 5:59 pm

    From a newsletter to parents: “Although the Delta Phi chapter has many talented singers (in addition to a few tone-death members)…”

  51. 51

    Commentary by Nigel Morphine , 2005/02/24 at 8:12 pm

    “I shutter to think” in place of the correct: “I shudder to think.”

    Comment #10 on this site:…

  52. 52

    Commentary by J , 2005/02/24 at 9:28 pm

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned “ripe with” instead of “rife with.”

  53. 53

    Commentary by josh finkler , 2005/02/24 at 11:17 pm

    chester drawers > chest of drawers

    (i see this *all* the time in local for-sale papers. wacky, eh?!)

  54. 54

    Commentary by rob , 2005/02/24 at 11:21 pm

    You haven’t yet included my favourite, but I’m used to this sort of hardship: after all, it’s a doggie-dog world, is it not?

  55. 55

    Commentary by Adam , 2005/02/25 at 12:09 am

    Many of my students write “populous” in place of “populace”.

  56. 56

    Commentary by Bill Bevis , 2005/02/25 at 12:18 am

    all told >> all tolled

    As in “accounted for” or “tabulated”. Initially, I thought that this expression was much more mathematical, analytical than just “after we’ve considered all of the talk…”.

  57. 57

    Commentary by Wade Hassler , 2005/02/25 at 1:17 am

    “keep tract” for “keep track”
    The ‘correct’ version far outnumbers the ‘incorrect,’ though

  58. 58

    Commentary by Steve , 2005/02/25 at 1:26 am

    I am amazed and a little - well, not exactly concerned, but…OK, I am concerned - about the number of people who use the word “loose” instead of “lose”.

    e.g. I have the URL of the eggcorns website and I really hope I don’t loose it.

  59. 59

    Commentary by Steve , 2005/02/25 at 1:28 am

    further to my previous post:

    1) I must learn to be more vigilant about fields…I thought it was “subject” not “your site”

    2) for some classic examples:…

  60. 60

    Commentary by David E.B. Smith , 2005/02/25 at 2:23 am

    The Quick Takes column of the Chicago Sun-Times on February 24, 2005,…, notes:
    “Anthony Coletta, a Des Plaines reader, writes:

    “Is it “calm, cool and collected’ or ‘calm, cool and collective’? I keep hearing it both ways.”


    I can’t imagine what would be “calm, cool and collective” other than a farm under Communism in Russia.

  61. 61

    Commentary by Alex Smaliy , 2005/02/25 at 3:03 am

    I’ve recently noticed “hickup” for “hiccup.” Google delivers some 17k hits for it spelt as one word, and 7k for split and hyphenated versions.

  62. 62

    Commentary by Robert Brady , 2005/02/25 at 3:14 am

    Back in my college days, a friend used to say “to all intensive purposes…”

    I have a lot more; I’ll be back…

  63. 63

    Commentary by Ken Stewart , 2005/02/25 at 4:15 am

    I was very surprised not to see “tooth-comb” or “fine tooth-comb” (with or without the hyphen, and presumably by analogy with toothbrush) for “fine-toothed comb”; perhaps I’m just not searching the database right?

    I’ve also noticed the term “any more”, originally only seen (AFAIK) in the form “not any more” as in “we don’t go there any more”, used without the negative particle, and in the sense “these days” eg “it’s so hard to find a really fine tooth-comb any more”, or “I get tired so early in the evening any more”.

  64. 64

    Commentary by hobodog , 2005/02/25 at 1:53 pm

    “self of steam”/”self-esteem” [English]: an elusive (allusive?) and nebulous concept which is slowly losing theoretical ground in the varied attempts by sociology to isolate and define the root factors and formative causes of less than optimal levels of personal performance by certain underachievers on the world (whirled?) stage.

    example: “The social worker blames my low self of steam for my failing grades in English.”

  65. 65

    Commentary by hobodog , 2005/02/25 at 2:00 pm

    and, ya gotta love the recent substitution of “ashcroft” for “asshole”

    example: “You ashcroft!” “No, YOU’RE the ASHCROFT!!”…

  66. 66

    Commentary by hobodog , 2005/02/25 at 4:16 pm

    Re: the earlier post on “death throws/throes”, how about this:

    “The electrocuted man was thrown from the throne when the restraining straps were thoroughly ripped apart by his death throes, which were throwing him about so violently.”?

  67. 67

    Commentary by Stewart C. Russell , 2005/02/25 at 4:24 pm

    groundhog work, as in:

    “Martyn Williams is a great link player, and he can do the groundhog work if he needs to. He’s an out and out footballer, as are Michael Owen and Jonathan Thomas,” said Ruddock.

    from this rugby article, Jones Lives The Dream For Wales, from the UK Press Association newswire.

    Groundhogs aren’t known for their sporting prowess; sleeping, burrowing and weather predication, maybe, but sporting, no. I suspect the term the writer was looking for ground work, or variant thereof.

  68. 68

    Commentary by J Francis , 2005/02/25 at 5:53 pm

    “Vocal chords” for vocal cords. I’ve yet to hear anyone vocalize in chords, but I see the expression much more often than “vocal cords.” For example, at the Carnegie Mellon University (!) site:…

    There’s an a cappella singing group that calls itself the Vocal Chords. Whether they really get their own joke, I don’t know.

  69. 69

    Commentary by penguin , 2005/02/25 at 10:51 pm

    “hunger pains” instead of “hunger pangs”

    I know that they mean the same thing technically, but the second one is actually an expression whereas the first is not. is this an eggcorn?

  70. 70

    Commentary by chris waigl , 2005/02/26 at 2:30 am

    Excellent contributions, some of them new and very interesting. Let me here simply comment on a few suggestions that, while all interesting slips or linguistic errors, aren’t, in fact, eggcorns:

    Frank Sennet (n° 26): 360° instead of 180° is more about mathematical metaphors in everyday language.

    7om (n° 39): “infamous loop” is a classical malapropism. It doesn’t sound anywhere close enough to “infinite”.

    Katy Jennison (n° 36): “tarnished with the same brush” — an interesting idiom shift, but “tarnished” is too far from “tarred” to be a direct reanalysis.

    Paul Battley (n° 43) breech»breach could be and eggcorn, but we have one of the cases here where we just don’t know if it’s not a phonetic typo, like speach for speech. The same goes for Steve’s suggestion in n° 58.

    Mike Gremel, n° 47: this is certainly an error born out of a certain amount of ignorance about the standard form; but I am not sure how what meaning “quarm” might add.

    Adam, n°55: there is no reanalysis, at least not on the lexical level.

    Ken Steward, n° 63: “fine tooth-comb”, a reattachment eggcorn, has been documented on Language Log and will be added; however, the shifting sense of “any more” is not an eggcorn.

    hobodog, n° 65: “ashcroft” looks quite a bit like a strategy to avoid a word that is considered an obscenity, and not like a genuine production. Correct me if I am wrong!

    Quite a number of the other commenters will notice that their contributions have been added to the database, and duly credited. We are working our way through all of them.

  71. 71

    Commentary by Carl Hart , 2005/02/26 at 6:15 pm

    “cachet” instead of “cache”, very commonly: “a cachet of weapons”

    “Tips indicated that a man who lived at the residence had stored a cachet of weapons and knew something about the shooting, according to police.”

    “…when he was involved in preparations for an armed raid against Cuba and a cachet of weapons in his possession was seized”

  72. 72

    Commentary by Carl Hart , 2005/02/26 at 8:19 pm

    “forward” for “foreword” Google returns more that 21,000 hits for “a forward by”

    This is from The Writers Digest web site:

    Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life
    edited by Barnaby Conrad with a forward by Monte Schulz”

  73. 73

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/02/27 at 6:36 pm

    I love your site and I have one borderline and two definite eggcorns to offer:

    1. ‘eggclair’ for ‘eclair.’ They do have a lot of eggs in them.
    2. ‘fit to be tried’ for ‘fit to be tied,’ to refer to someone so angry that legal intervention may be needed.
    3. The last, and borderline case, is from an episode of ‘Seinfeld’, in which Kramer insists that the legal phrase is ’statue of limitations’ rather than ’statute of limitations.’

  74. 74

    Commentary by Amanda , 2005/02/28 at 2:06 am

    How about “to cut off one’s nose despite (to spite) one’s face”?

  75. 75

    Commentary by suchi , 2005/02/28 at 3:12 am

    Two eggcorns I heard about on the Australian ABC radio channel (RJ Red Simons I think):

    1. “Hone in on” instead of “Home in on”

    2. “slashed across (newspapers or the media)” instead of “splashed across”. Reportedly used by singer Delta Goodrem.

  76. 76

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/02/28 at 10:37 pm

    populace > populous

    “And the PC-hating populous these products are designed for are quite happy watching TV…” (Seen in a computer magazine.)

  77. 77

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/02/28 at 11:14 pm

    People routinely confuse the prefixes ‘ante-’ and ‘anti-’ This leads to such neologisms ‘antibellum’ and ‘antinatal’. Both words yield rich google searches. I haven’t found anyone who thinks that ‘antibellum’ means ‘ against the war’ but the meaning of ‘antinatal is all over the map.

  78. 78

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/01 at 3:02 pm

    ‘impassive resistance’ for ‘passive resistance.’ Presumably, this refers to those who block traffic and don’t smile while they’re doing so. See,

    … I strongly believe that many of these so-called Indian Agents practiced a subtle
    impassive resistance campaign against the mobility of the Indian people in …… - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

    Some who recognize this distinction have interposed only impassive resistance: having
    grasped the deep flaws in the case for animal rights, they find it hard … archive/articles/0500rattlingcage.htm -

  79. 79

    Commentary by Carl Hart , 2005/03/01 at 9:04 pm

    “spread like wildflowers” for “spread like wildfire”

    Little wonder Buddhism spread like wildflowers.…

  80. 80

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/02 at 2:58 am

    ‘hypermania’ for ‘hypomania’. ‘Hypomania’ is a standard term of psychiatric nosology, referring to a state of elevated mood less severe than mania. ‘Hypermania’ is not in official use, although it has an obsolete meaning- severe mania. But it’s much more evocative .

    See, e.g., ‘As is common for many people with manic-depressive illness, I had a series of mild depressive episodes interspersed with probably mild hypermania…’…

  81. 81

    Commentary by andrew cosand , 2005/03/02 at 9:56 pm

    I’ve seen “run rapid” used instead of “run rampant,” in the phrase “My mind is running rapid.” This phrase seems like a reasonable description for having a lot going on in one’s mind, so the confusion is understandable.

  82. 82

    Commentary by Malte , 2005/03/02 at 9:58 pm

    saturdate for saturate”

    Spotted here:

    Moment Magnitude Scale (we use this one now, seems the Ricther [sic] scale ’saturdated’ at the upper end of the scale.)

    A brief googling doesn’t turn up any definitions. I’d love to know how that weekend feeling gets in there.

  83. 83

    Commentary by Paul Pellerito , 2005/03/03 at 9:43 am

    Spotted in an Ebay auction written down for the first time, I’ve heard this egg corn several times. People say “in tack” and mean “intact”. Ebay auction here:

  84. 84

    Commentary by Matthias , 2005/03/03 at 4:21 pm

    A co-worker just said, “Talk about a polarmetric difference: Nixon and Carter, huh?”

    Confounding “polar opposite” and “diametrically opposed”, I suppose.

  85. 85

    Commentary by unrealious , 2005/03/03 at 7:43 pm

    Several young people I know have taken to using the phrase “Old timers” in place of the word Alzheimer’s (a degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized especially by premature senile mental deterioration)

    In several places on the internet I have seen the phrase “Statue of limitations” instead of “Statute of limitations”.

  86. 86

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 12:51 am

    ‘augers well’ for ‘augurs well.’ This is a surprisingly common mistake (78,000 google hits for ‘augers well’ vs. 107,000 for ‘augurs well.’) I’d call it a borderline eggcorn except when predictions about drilling are being made. See, e.g.,

    … It augers well for the productivity of sands within the Tiof channel system although a lot more work needs to be done before any field-wide commercial … rnsitem?id=1108450867nRNSO6061I

  87. 87

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 1:05 am

    ‘bullion cube’ for ‘bouillon cube.’ This is another very common mistake (13,000 google hits). Gold and dessicated soup are both dense, concentrated, and often formed into a cuboid shape.

  88. 88

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 1:11 am

    ‘bridle party’ for ‘bridal party.’ 125,000 google hits for the eggcorn version. Readers can insert their own joke about ‘getting hitched.’

  89. 89

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 1:35 am

    ‘dental’ for ‘dentil,’ especially in the phrase ‘dental molding’ to describe the architectural feature.

  90. 90

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 1:48 am

    ‘hanger’ for ‘hangar.’ You store your clothing on a hanger; why not your airplane too? See,

    … The advantage of owning these airplane hanger building systems is the low cost … Whether
    you need a low cost single aircraft hanger for your plane, or an …

  91. 91

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 2:05 am

    ‘mantel’ for ‘mantle,’ especially in the phrase ‘mantel of greatness.’ Perhaps it comes to mind because people display their trophies and other signs of ‘greatness’ over their fireplaces. See,

    Glory of Racing’s Triple Crown… When you get right down to it, thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown just may be the most elite mantel of greatness in all of sports. …

    KU Basketball 2002-03: Oregon vs. Kansas… We bestowed the mantel of greatness on them for several reasons. Firstly they are the University of Kansas Jayhawks where the margin for error is small. ……

    Wine Club - Tastings of Charlottesville… I have no doubt that with time will come the mantel of greatness and the veneration of the wine world. And the wines? Why Oregon Pinot Noir of course. ……

  92. 92

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 2:15 am

    ‘metal’ for ‘mettle’ See, e.g.,

    … For instance, “testing one’s metal” is essentially testing one’s spiritual, emotional and physical aptitude. ……

    … In another sense, the phrase “Testing your metal” refers to seeing how well one’s
    abilities can endure when presented with a difficult or nearly impossible task ……

  93. 93

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 2:22 am

    ‘planter’s warts’ for ‘plantar warts.’ 4,000+ google hits for this classical eggcorn. Plantar warts are not caused by agricultural work, but it sounds like they are.

  94. 94

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 2:44 am

    ’slow-eyed’ for ’sloe-eyed.’ See, e.g.,

    … The women–they were beautiful women, slow-moving, slow-eyed, of soft laughter and
    sudden melancholy, and clear, serene profiles and abundant hair. ……

    … Khao San Road is a Grateful Dead show without the music. Slow-eyed people are
    gliding their way up the street in flowing linen clothing. ……

    … Deep within the Kremil neighborhood of Surabaya, past rows of dimly lit parlors
    fronted by slow-eyed prostitutes who stir only at the sight of potential ……

  95. 95

    Commentary by Jonathan Fenocchi , 2005/03/04 at 7:33 am

    Just saw this… “I am very graceful for your example!” instead of “I am very grateful for your example!” Seen here. This is in other places as well. Search Google for “very graceful for” to find more.

  96. 96

    Commentary by Orv Lund , 2005/03/04 at 3:43 pm

    “personal antidote” for “personal anecdote”

  97. 97

    Commentary by Kevin Patterson , 2005/03/04 at 4:55 pm

    One of my favorites from years ago came from the school newspaper of a well-respected Midwestern university. In a story on campus beautification, a simple wrought iron fence was described as a “rot iron” fence.

  98. 98

    Commentary by Steve Pinkston , 2005/03/04 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve never seen this in print, but it was consistently used by a former co-worker. Instead of describing the “&” character as an ampersand, he called it an “and-percent.” When I questioned him about it he said that it was “like a percent sign that means ‘and’.”

  99. 99

    Commentary by Steve Pinkston , 2005/03/04 at 6:20 pm

    A singer in a band I was in once told me, “I know I’m smart enough to get into college, I just can’t come up with the intuition.”

  100. 100

    Commentary by Steve Pinkston , 2005/03/04 at 6:33 pm

    RE: College Intuition vs. tuition. I found some citations:

    “The statistics about the annual increases of college intuition hardly bear repeating.

    “I’m calling about raising taxes to help college intuition”

  101. 101

    Commentary by Steve Pinkston , 2005/03/04 at 6:43 pm

    Vaginacologist for gynecologist:

    “Went to the dentist and then the vaginacologist, so I guess it was a day for getting things scraped.”
    Found at:…

  102. 102

    Commentary by jason , 2005/03/04 at 7:50 pm

    This one drives me crazy as I find my mom saying it all the time. Expresso for Espresso as in my mom thinks it means fast coffee or something.
    < a href="" target="_blank">Google Fight Results.

    Then there’s another one that my step dad is guilty of.
    Swifter for Swiffer. I almost think they named their product wrong for how many people I hear refer to it as a “Swifter”
    Examples in the wild here.

  103. 103

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 9:54 pm

    ‘Tender hooks’ for ‘tenterhooks.’ I thought this might not qualify for the database because it’s too well known- there are, for example, several books and records entitled ‘Tender Hooks.’ But it still turns up as a genuine eggcorn. See, e.g.

    … “Point being that there are even Arab writers that understand that “glorious” insurgency is on tender hooks as the elections start to get underway in Iraq. …… cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=41&t=000746

    800 years pass and there’s a rather fragile alliance between the different nations and everything is on tender hooks.…. view=review.php&game=Freelancer&id=156 - 25k - Cached - Similar pages

    I have just discovered these books and love them however I have been left hanging on tender hooks!! … asp?listpage=8&BoardID=2290

  104. 104

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/04 at 10:01 pm

    ‘dilute’ for ‘delude’ Examples:

    … How self-diluted—they’re not fighting for OUR freedom and for those who
    proclaim that they are fighting for Iragi freedom–WAKE UP! … blog/?postid=226&replyto=16594

    … life sucks. Constant words like decay, damaged, and void will lead you
    in a direction of pity, and self-diluted depression. The …… music/nineInchNails_theFragile.shtml

    Church of the New Order
    … I have seen more of you jump to defend the tender feelings of some poor self diluted
    sucker than I have lift even one finger to do the job this church was …… X-Day98/POST-X-DAY-2/X0003_Church_of_the_New_Or.html

  105. 105

    Commentary by Christopher Lion , 2005/03/04 at 11:47 pm

    Here’s one I hear a lot: we really need to “flush this out” further instead of to “flesh out.”

  106. 106

    Commentary by Mike Hall , 2005/03/05 at 3:00 am

    “For all intensive purposes” is one of my favorites. But here’s one I’ve been noticing for at least ten years: other that, fewer that, less that, etc. Always substituting “that” for “than”, and not always directly following the comparator (comparative?), e.g. “Barry Bonds hit more home runs in one season that any other in history”.

  107. 107

    Commentary by rich willman , 2005/03/05 at 3:55 am

    An air traffic control publication spoke about the expenses that were endured in replacing equipment. It’s more likely the expenses incurred were just hard to endure.

  108. 108

    Commentary by Kathleen Redman , 2005/03/05 at 5:51 am

    This comment was heard in an after-dinner speech: “And let’s give Mrs. Smith a standing probation!”

  109. 109

    Commentary by Trish , 2005/03/05 at 11:04 am

    I don’t know if this qualifies, but it’s something that is so common now that it appears to be accepted without question. It’s a phrase that grates like fingernails on a chalkboard whenever I hear it used:

    hole nother instead of another whole, i.e., “That’s a whole nother subject entirely”.

  110. 110

    Commentary by Mark Williamson , 2005/03/05 at 11:15 am

    New eggcorn: “zoology”. (correctly zoölogy). Nearly mainstream

    Reason it’s an eggcorn rather than a misspelling or spelling variation: according to rules of spelling (rather than “rules of style”), “zoology” should be pronounced “zoo-logy” and sound almost like z + eulogy. But since the second letter is pronounced separately (unlike in the root word), it is given a dieresis.

    It would seem to me to mean, if so pronounced, an eulogy for an animal.

    This is different from rôle vs role because rôle may or may not be correct, but there is no difference in pronunciation and there is no separate word “role” and there is no room for a different interpretation.

  111. 111

    Commentary by Trish , 2005/03/05 at 4:16 pm

    Apologies for the typo above….of course I meant whole nother. Blame it on the late hour when I submitted the entry!

  112. 112

    Commentary by Roxanne Cheney , 2005/03/06 at 3:29 am

    This may be too personal for this site (which is a hoot, by the way - thanks!), but the following has been a family joke for close to 50 years:
    My maiden name was Roxanne Waters. Back in the 1950s, when I was in elementary school, my first name was even more unusual than it is today. But imagine my surprise when half-way through the school year I received an invitation addressed to “rocks sand waters”! I wonder how many other kids had been calling me “rocks sand” all year?

  113. 113

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 3:41 am

    ‘airy’ for ‘aerie.’ See,

    … If an eagle’s airy was to be robbed, I must be present at the perpetration.… AgeOfNapoleon/E-Texts/Waterloo5.html

    … Of exceptional note was Henry Roy Vicker’s Eagle Airy Gallery in Tofino Bay up the coast of Vancouver Island (3)… HaidaStory/HaidaStory-PersonalInterest.html

  114. 114

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 3:52 am

    ‘axle’ for ‘axel.’ The axel, a figure skating leap and turn, is named after the Norwegain who first performed it. But it seems like you’re turning about an axle when you do it. See,

    i landed my double lutz, double toe and pretty much landed my double axle!! …… asp?action=9&read=7636&fid=7

    … I returned to Intermediate New England’s with a nice clean double axle and won …

  115. 115

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 4:21 am

    ‘disperse’ for ‘disburse.’ A substitution perhaps arising from the colloquial description of expending money as ’spreading it around.’

    … The Departments of the Treasury and Justice have solicited new applications from
    eligible candidates and intend to disperse $2.5 million in C-FIC funds …… Government/US/Treasury/NtlMonLaund/NMLGoal4.html

    … Whether your company needs to collect or disperse foreign currency, Mellon can
    accommodate you through its foreign exchange (FX) desk, …… newsletter/updateataglance/up0025.html

  116. 116

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 4:37 am

    ‘gorilla’ for ‘guerilla.’ Some writers believe that great apes are especially fierce and cunning combatants. See,

    … but outside law enforcement it’s likely there will be plenty
    more khat-chewing gorilla fighters in mess-o-potamia…… showthread.php?t=2784&page=2

    … But unlike other gorilla fighters in the African bush, Chrispin’s war is non-violent……

    … Yet our most sophisticated weaponry will not flush out gorilla fighters who have entrenched themselves into the rugged terrain ……

  117. 117

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 4:47 am

    ‘handsome’ for ‘hansom.’ An obsolete but very good-looking conveyance!

    The two-wheeled handsome cab is one of the most striking images of the Victorian
    city, but it was not the only type of cab to be found. ……

    … In 2002, our second dream date couple, Candace and Brian, spent a luxurious evening in Manhattan, with a night at the Plaza Hotel, a handsome cab ride and ……

    … When you are ready to “shop ’til you drop” relax and grab a handsome cab….
    and discover a comfortable and charming way to window shop. ……

  118. 118

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 5:08 am

    ‘roomer mill’ for ‘rumour mill.’ Apparently on the theory that people who live together share gossip.

    … I know he’s Single but has he been dating anyone??? The Indian-American roomer mill says that’s he has been seeing someone for 4 years is that correct??? ……

    … It’s the isolation that makes people feel something is wrong and brings on the roomer mills, stress, and lost productivity,…
    www.presentation-pointers… showarticle.asp?articleid=442

    … The roomer-mill had it that Potential, scared by their out in the Semi-Finals, had lost players to other aspirant Finalist steelbands. …… pan/2005/pano/mlcnf2005pors.htm

  119. 119

    Commentary by Mervyn Cripps , 2005/03/06 at 4:06 pm

    “Police put him in a straightjacket …” straitjacket

    “caught flack for his decision …” flak

  120. 120

    Commentary by steve , 2005/03/06 at 7:19 pm

    take it for granite, instead of take it for granted

  121. 121

    Commentary by Bob Bryant , 2005/03/06 at 7:45 pm

    Hard road to hoe


    Hard row to hoe

  122. 122

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/06 at 10:52 pm

    ‘tenants’ for ‘tenets.’ The principles of a belief system get reconceptualized as ideas that inhabit that system. e.g.,

    One of the primary tenants of democracy is respecting the dignity
    of others and equality for all humanity.… name=News&file=index&catid=&topic=5&am…

    The basic tenants of Islam are few but each part forms a whole way of life,
    a way of thinking, and a way of dealing with life’s problems. ……

    … His moral theory mirrored more that of Hume’s in sticking to the tenants of naturalism than it resembled deontological theories such as Kant’s. ……

  123. 123

    Commentary by Jenn LeBow , 2005/03/07 at 1:23 am

    How about “touching basis” for “touching base”? I assume that the original phrase referred to baseball. I have no idea why you would need to touch the basis for an argument.

    Here are two examples from a Google search:

    The odd thing about our relationships is that we’ve never touched basis with one another since.

    Anyway I just wanted to touch basis with you, keep up the good work.

    Love this site, by the way!

  124. 124

    Commentary by Bob Baseman , 2005/03/07 at 1:46 am

    garden angel for guardian angel.

    My wife, who grew up north of Boston always refered to the Mystic River Bridge as the Mr. Griver Bridge

  125. 125

    Commentary by R Miller , 2005/03/07 at 2:01 am

    On of my students had me baffled with “first to fall”, as in : First to fall, he was brave. I finally realized she meant “First of all”!

  126. 126

    Commentary by Armen Varteressian , 2005/03/07 at 3:24 am

    From Today’s San Jose Mercury News, two gems:

    First, in a piece titled “Children At War” by a National Security Fellow at the Brookings Institution: “A 10 year old can learn to use an AK-47 in under 30 minutes, and more importantly, that same 10 year old has the same lethality with that AK-47 that an entire Civil War regimen had.” Silly me, I was unaware there was a Civil War regimen.

    Second, in an op-ed piece on improvements to Mineta San Jose International Airport, the author says “…functionality should take precedent over onramental design elements.”

  127. 127

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/07 at 4:10 am

    ‘Martial therapy’ for ‘marital therapy.’ A substitution that suggests an excessively conflictual view of conjugal relationships. See,

    … Colorado couples seeking martial therapy locally find this a time-effective option…… colorado_marital_therapy_intensive.htm

    … Treatment method used at our clinic include: Medical treatment; Individual psychotherapy; Family and martial therapy; Behavioural / Cognitive therapy; …

    … Couples who arrive at martial therapy with one or more partners ambivalent with regard to whether to remain committed to the marriage, whose problems are more … view_doc.php?type=doc&id=4400

  128. 128

    Commentary by John Walsh , 2005/03/07 at 4:27 am

    I hear it all the time - wheelbarrel, instead of wheelbarrow.

  129. 129

    Commentary by roger , 2005/03/07 at 6:22 am

    formerly/formally. I saw an ad for a Glamour Shots studio at the mall, the ad clarified the fact that the name had changed, (formally hotshots).
    So I’m assuming that for cheesecake photos, you’d call it Glamour shots, but for more formal occasions like a wedding, you’d call Hotshots.

  130. 130

    Commentary by Rene Martinez , 2005/03/07 at 6:42 am

    rod iron > wrought iron

    Situated along swirls and scrolls of rod iron assuming a total configuration of the letter S, the metal symbols are chronologically arranged in relation to the legacy responsible for the development of Pine-Strawberry area.

    (appeared in Rim Country News, August 25 1978)

  131. 131

    Commentary by Umar , 2005/03/07 at 1:50 pm

    This is a medical eggcorn: “Alzheimer’s disease” is often called “Old Timer’s disease” mistakenly.

  132. 132

    Commentary by Barbara Hanson , 2005/03/07 at 3:53 pm

    “Piece of drivel” gets 4,380 hits and “piece of dribble” 695 in Google as of 3/26/05.

    Not sure if “piece of dribble’ is really an eggcorn, since drivel and dribble have similar “drool” meanings, but only “drivel” has the meaning of “stupid or senseless talk.”

  133. 258

    Commentary by Walter , 2005/03/27 at 11:04 am

    “one and the same” -> “one in the same”

    Cite:… (2nd paragraph)

  134. 259

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/27 at 8:45 pm

    ‘cold-harded’ for ‘cold-hearted.’ About 480 google refs. Examples:

    … if we look at it how it is today, jails are over-populated and many of them are full of cold harded killers ……

    … How does the judicial system decide who is fit for the death sentence while other cold harded killers/repeat offenders stay in jail thier whole lives. ……

    … all of them are cold harded bastards after your money. …… php?board=314159282&topic=14198329&page=1

  135. 260

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/27 at 9:09 pm

    ‘congenial’ for ‘congenital.’ Arguably more of a malapropism than an eggcorn, except, perhaps, when venereal disease is involved. Very common on the internet, as is the related substitution of ‘genial’ for ‘genital.’ e.g.,

    … To the best of the Breeders knowledge, the Jack Russell Terrier is free from signs or symptoms of disease or any congenial defects as of date the animal leaves ……

    Most infants with congenial syphilis are born out of wedlock. ……

    Genial herpes actually is on the rise I hear.…

  136. 261

    Commentary by Mark Williamson , 2005/03/28 at 7:15 am

    I have one this time that’s definitely genuine (my previous one was zoölogy vs zoology):

    “on the lam” > “on the lamb”.… “I’m on the lamb from the law boy”… “Rummy on the lamb from Germany”

  137. 262

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/03/28 at 11:27 pm

    ‘point of you’ for ‘point of view.’ surprisingly common on Google. See, e.g.,

    … The thing is, I can only look at it from my point of you,……

    Doesn’t have a point of you, Knows not where he’s going to, Isn’t he a bit like you and me?…

    … Astronomy is a great science to pursue, because not only is it interesting from
    a scientific and even philosophical point of you,……

    … We Americans often think of health as simply not having disease: From a medical point of you, if you’re not diseased, you must be healthy, right? ……

  138. 263

    Commentary by Jennifer Price , 2005/03/29 at 12:06 am

    Someone may have already submitted this (I’d be surprised if they hadn’t) so forgive me if I am being redundant. Congradulations for congratulations. This one drives me crazy. I believe it’s another example of someone who started out trying to be clever (congraDulating someone for graDuating Ha Ha!)and now people don’t know that it isn’t right. When I typed it into Google it did ask me, “Did you mean congratulations?” but it found 137,000 citations of “congradulations”. That’s right. 137,000. I think anyone who cannot correctly answer the question “How does one spell congratulations?” should not be able to graduate.

  139. 264

    Commentary by Ste Tindal , 2005/03/29 at 2:26 am

    “unyet” <> “and yet”

    At 550 google hits, this one is truly out there.

  140. 265

    Commentary by Michael Holloway , 2005/03/29 at 3:49 am

    North of Salem, Oregon there use to be a sign that directed people to the second exit if they wanted to go to the State Capital. Now, it might have been a Freudian slip, but I think the intent was to have them visit the Capitol. The sign stood for years and has been corrected, but the story is worth repeating.

  141. 266

    Commentary by Herman Hollander , 2005/03/29 at 7:22 am

    I don’t know if you would classify the following as an eggcorn, but I am always annoyed with the abundance of advertisements that speak about “cheap prices.”
    A commodity can be cheap or expensive; a value can be low or high.
    “Cheap prizes” could be a possibility.
    A cheap chair and a low chair give an example of the impossibility of substituting “low” with “cheap” and vice-versa. (Google: “cheap prices” 10 million+, “low prices” 17 million+.)

  142. 267

    Commentary by Ian Barber , 2005/03/29 at 9:26 am

    Just spotted “sure up” in place of “shore up”. Google gives 487,000 for “shore up” and 15,800 for “sure up”, though even on the front page there are a couple of results that aren’t uses of the phrase in place of shore up, so the real figure is probably a bit lower.

  143. 268

    Commentary by kn , 2005/03/29 at 8:56 pm

    When I was young I interpreted the traditional “speak now or forever hold your peace” of the wedding ceremony as “…hold your piece.” Which makes just about as much sense, I think. (Cf. “speak/say ones piece.”)

    Also, recently spotted “j-walk” for “jaywalk.” For me, this called up an image of someone intentionally walking away from a street intersection (that would be the “horizontal” part of the J) before attempting a crossing (the vertical part)!

  144. 269

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/03/29 at 10:20 pm

    Codeman38: Another example of a misspelling founded on a mistaken assumption as to the word’s derivation: “supercede” for the correct “supersede”. There are many verbs based on the Latin verb cedere, but not too many based on sedere.

  145. 270

    Commentary by ACW , 2005/03/29 at 10:31 pm

    I thought I saw an instance of tidal wave -> title wave but now I can’t find it again. There are a lot of occurences of the putative eggcorn, but all the ones I actually looked at turned out to be intentional wordplay, usually in names of commercial products.

  146. 271

    Commentary by Stefanie , 2005/03/30 at 7:58 am

    I frequently see people referring to fees that have been “waved” instead of “waived”

  147. 272

    Commentary by Geoff Coupe , 2005/03/30 at 11:43 am

    An entry in Boing Boing yesterday (… ) uses the phrase “follow suite” instead of “follow suit”. Googling the eggcorn reveals 13,900 other misuses out there in the wild.

  148. 273

    Commentary by ACW , 2005/03/30 at 4:03 pm

    Regarding comment 126 above: “take precedent over” gets thousands of Google hits.

  149. 274

    Commentary by RR , 2005/03/30 at 5:24 pm

    Hidden eggcorn: brand spanking new
    Two interpretations at

  150. 275

    Commentary by Steven Dast , 2005/03/31 at 1:58 am

    What about “hauled into court” as another reinterpretation of “haled into court”? It certainly evokes a lovely image of the recalcitrant defendant being dragged before a magistrate, but this doesn’t really apply for the civil cases.

    Google says: about 22,300

  151. 276

    Commentary by Steven Dast , 2005/03/31 at 2:25 am

    And, since no one else appears to have mentioned it,

    “run the gauntlet” (Google: 61,800 with”run” + 25,200 with “running”)
    “run the gantlet” (876 + 472; Google takes this to be a misspelling of the above)
    instead of the original (thank you OED)
    “run the gantlope” (188 + 3)

  152. 277

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/01 at 2:29 am

    ‘invincible hand’ for ‘invisible hand.’ Adam Smith’s rather subtle idea reconfigured for the age of capitalism triumphant. See, e.g.,

    … We are essentially back to the age of Adam Smith who believed in the “invincible hand of the markets”.…

    … the purpose of regulation, therefore, is basically to stand in the place of
    what I believe was referred to as the invincible hand of the marketplace? ……

    According to Adam Smith, market has an ability to manage itself by the “invincible hand”.… 510/resources/corpora/101_researchpapers.txt

  153. 278

    Commentary by late edition , 2005/04/01 at 8:35 am

    pre-madonna … this corruption of prima donna was used by a cadet journalist in a story about a local singer recently … she meant in terms of the singer not being full of herself or acting like she was better than anyone else … when corrected, the cadet said “i always wondered what madonna had to do with it” …

  154. 279

    Commentary by christine gray , 2005/04/01 at 1:46 pm

    The name of an African-American hair salon in Baltimore: “Your Crown and Glory”

  155. 280

    Commentary by Carthik , 2005/04/01 at 4:03 pm

    “Seizable” used in the place of “sizable” .

    Seen at

    Quoted below:

    Start with a server and hosting, add Ping-O-Matic’s needs (PoM is the default for most WordPress and Drupal installs, today, and a large number of MovableType blogs) go on to figure that some of the developers have dedicated a seizable amount of their time to this effort, and you see where money might be needed.

    (emphasis mine)

  156. 281

    Commentary by Beth , 2005/04/01 at 9:21 pm

    “gouge yourself” instead of “gorge yourself.” The idea is that you injure yourself by eating so much. My dad says this all the time, but I see a few other examples on google too (e.g., “gouge yourself on bagels and bananas”)

  157. 282

    Commentary by Janice in GA , 2005/04/01 at 9:30 pm

    Seen on an email list I subscribe to:
    “I don’t think there are ever harden fast rules”

  158. 283

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/02 at 4:30 am

    ‘ferment’ for ‘foment.’ Surreptitious political activity is analogized to the gradual action of bacteria. Widespread on Google. See, e.g.,

    …a hot-blooded lunatic who “makes things worse” by fermenting hatred against the Jews on the part of the Philistines. …….

    An underground band of dissidents is fermenting rebellion……

    … But after years of demeaning service, Freeman returns to Chicago, starts a
    new job as a social worker and starts fermenting revolution. ……

  159. 284

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/02 at 4:33 am

    ’spear of influence’ for ’sphere of influence.’ A zone of domination is interpreted, perhaps rightly, as a kind of weapon. About 100 Google citations. Examples-

    … Over the past eighteen months, Russia and China have been joining together to form their own spear of influence on their side of the globe. ……

    …the name of the game was to capture the islands that allowed American bombers to reach farther into the Japanese spear of influence.… php?s=&threadid=127107

    As to the French spear of influence - try half of Africa.…

  160. 285

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/02 at 5:03 pm

    ‘less majeste’ for ‘lese majeste.’ Also seen as ‘less majesty.’ Disrespectful talk is understood not as injuring a superior (in the original) but as lessening his majesty. Examples-

    … Failing to show respect for the monarchy or making a rude remark about them is an act of less majeste for which the punishment is imprisonment. ……

    … They thought that was almost less majeste to treat Mr. Hoover that way, but I told them I thought the record would be seriously incomplete without it ……

    … It was less majesty, or worse, and she, herself, might not be able to protect us against its consequences.…

    … pagans who are assaulting the faith, thereby proving guilty of less majesty. archive/00002680/01/Ezra_Esther.pdf

  161. 286

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 12:35 am

    ‘matter of act’ for ‘matter of fact.’ This substitution becomes especially eggcornish when the matter in question is the result or object of an act. e.g.,

    … in my case it has helped. now my clothes have become huge as a matter of act
    i am literally floating in them……

    … As a matter of act, in general, the younger an animal is, the more rapidly
    and more completely that animal seems to benefit from these environments, ……

    … As a matter of act, CBS is developing a new show for the fall … media/july-dec00/funnies_8-17.html

    … “As a matter of act we had a tape recorder concealed under the desk.”…

  162. 287

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 1:08 am

    ‘on an even heel’ for ‘on an even keel.’ It’s easier to stay balanced if your shoes match. See, e.g.,

    … Control surfaces on its underwater sponsons keep it on an even heel at high
    speeds in rough seas……

    … For Lathan, it’s evident that a person who failed to balance the budget of a council won’t be able to run the country on an even heel. …… 2004/10/election_editor.html

    … running has helped Creamer achieve what she calls a “fantastic aerobic shape” and has helped keep her “on an even heel, emotionally and mentally. ……

  163. 288

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 1:26 am

    ‘bangwagon’ for ‘bandwagon.’ It’s not a word (yet), but it has over 2,000 google citations. You ‘bang the drum’ for your heroes when you join their bandwagon. See,

    … I was a relatively early joiner to the Gipsy Kings bangwagon as I “discovered” them in 1991 ……

    …I can imagine this may come to a disappointment to many of my readers that I just haven’t been able to hop on the John Kerry bangwagon. …… 2004_08_29_tuckersworld2_archive.html

    … Many of the Cornhuskers’ faithful jumped off the bangwagon long before Friday’s game.… 102361/20021227NCAAFOLEMISS—0.htm

    … While Woods always commands the largest galleries on tour, some fans jumped on Toledo’s bangwagon, deciding to root for the underdog. … asp?page=story_12-8-2002_pg2_13

  164. 289

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 3:08 am

    ‘raise cane’ for ‘raise Cain.’ 1,000+ google citations. Raising your cane, as if to strike someone, will create a disturbance. e.g.,

    … The bums that just go to games to raise cane will stay home or go to a tag team wrestling match.…

    … If enough people raise cane on this subject Catalog dealers will have to do a better job.…

    … Robins make many types of vocalizations and if you venture too close to their nest, they’ll raise cane and do what they can to drive you away. ……

    … How often has yours truly taken to this very soapbox to raise cane with kid-coddling parents?…

  165. 290

    Commentary by Stentor , 2005/04/03 at 3:52 pm

    This one may be too rare, as Google gives no hits for it, but I was riding the subway the other day and I heard a guy complain that we were “packed in like saltines.”

  166. 291

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 5:18 pm

    ’seize and desist’ for ‘cease and desist.’ This shows up 1,000+ times on google, perhaps because a cease and desist order may ultimately lead to the seizure of property. examples-

    … Diebold issued a “seize and desist” order to Swarthmore, to remove the e-mails from the site.…

    … The political leadership must seize and desist from using differences between people to instigate conflict as a way of accessing mineral resources …

    … The big, giant company would instantly send their weasel lawyers to shut down the servers, and seize and desist everything. …… ratingshappyshooterguide.phtml

  167. 292

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 5:33 pm

    ‘brand’ for ‘bran.’ Especially prevalent in the phrase ‘raisin brand.’ In some users this appears to reflect confusion on the limits of commercial branding. Examples-

    … Kraft, the largest packaged-food company in the United States, produces 7000
    food products including Post Raisin Brand cereal, Oreo cookies, ……

    … Juices (Orange, Grapefruit, Apple) Fresh Raisin Brand and Carrot Muffines,
    Hot Oatmeal, Cold Cereal served with 2% milk, butter & Preserves, Coffee/Tea ……

    … Which brand of raisin brand has the most raisins?… sciencefair/FHESScienceFair2004Handout.doc

    … Brand flakes make for a healthy colon.…

  168. 293

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 8:07 pm

    ‘idol gossip’ for ‘idle gossip.’ 26k google hits for the original and 6k for the eggcorn, many of which spread rumours about the contestants on ‘American Idol.’ samples-

    … Has there not been a time when you’ve engaged in idol gossip and slander that has hurt another brother or sister?…

    … Her advice to the finalists is to get enough sleep, stay away from the Idol gossip, stay focused, keep your eye on the prize, and pick the right songs.…

    … Reading idol gossip is much more easy than reading ‘Moby Dick.’” He adds, “Unless it’s about you, then you’re like, ‘Put it down! Grow up!” ……

  169. 294

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/03 at 9:37 pm

    ‘renumerated’ for ‘remunerated.’ The eggcorn version gets 5,000+ google hits. This is more than merely a dyslexic transposition because money is, by its nature, something that’s counted, i.e., enumerated. Examples-

    … “All elected and appointed officials, including judges, of the State of
    Washington shall be renumerated in amount not to exceed the median income…… aspx?ID=9428&ActionID=130781

    … Some projects have been funded by granting agencies and, as such, a number of our subjects are renumerated for their participation in our studies. ……

    … The Directors shall meet twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the
    Fall, and be renumerated for their expenses only. ……

    … An exhibition highlighting the brilliant diversity of the lively (but poorly
    renumerated) underground comix scene in Australia. ……

  170. 295

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/04 at 3:53 am

    ‘code of arms’ for ‘coat of arms.’ This shows up 3500 times on Google. e.g.,

    … Winston Churchill’s dispatch case, bearing the code of arms of King Edward VII…

    … the New York state code of arms is displayed as the state flag. As the centerpiece of this code of arms is a shield featuring the sun rising over the ……

    … When I visited the place in 1999 my heart skipped a beat when I noticed their code of arms above the door.…

    … In the code of arms of Aruba an Aloe plant is shown and the official name for the laxative raw material is “Curacao Aloes”, named after the harbour ……

  171. 296

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/04 at 4:30 am

    ‘pottable’ for ‘potable.’ seen over 2000 times on google. Someone got the idea that if water is good to drink they can put it in their pot. see,

    … but keep in mind: ~ That if we have electricity and clean pottable water we are in the top 1/3 of humanity walking the face of the earth.…

    … the leaks and the sifting of sewage water from the waste water network causes polution of the drinking and pottable water every now and then.…

    … the staff’s idea of cleaning the glasses involved rinsing them in cold, non pottable water.… Marina_Paraiso_Del_Sol-Puerto_Plata_Do…

  172. 297

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/04 at 4:51 am

    ’spilt decision’ for ’split decision.’ 400+ citations, mostly about boxing. e.g.,

    Recently, Machado had a major setback losing a razor-thin spilt decision to late sub Luis Perez.…

    The Wright State swimming & diving team swam to a spilt decision against Miami University at its Nixon Aquatic Center on Friday evening.… news.cgi?action=features&id=1935

    The City Council had recommended a spilt-decision, approving the National
    Conference Centre, but refusing the rest of the development.… NewspaperArticles/N000700E.Spencer.Dock.htm

    …the judges couldn’t even call the decison right,
    they said it was a majority decision when it was actully a Spilt decision. ……

  173. 298

    Commentary by late edition , 2005/04/04 at 4:33 pm

    code of arms = coat of arms

    spotted on a caption for a photograph of a mourner in St Peter’s Square:

    A woman, holds a flag with the Pope’s code of arms as she takes photographs at Saint Peter’s square in Rome April 4, 2005. Roman Catholic cardinals gather on Monday for the first time since Pope John Paul’s death to organise a funeral expected to draw the greatest tide of pilgrims and heads of state to the Vatican in its history. The body of Pope John Paul will be taken to St Peter’s Basilica later in the day for public viewing. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

  174. 299

    Commentary by Eric C. Davis , 2005/04/04 at 9:26 pm

    Wary -> Weary, as “be wary of” becomes “be weary of.” Vigilance is tiring, especially on the internet (first example). “Wary of” gets 2.36 million google hits; “weary of” gets 557 thousand. Keeping in mind that it is indeed possible to grow or be weary of something (as seen here: “Poor grow wary, weary of leaders”) this appears to me to be an eggcorn based on the similarity of the adjectives’ spelling and minor reinterpretation.

    Self-Protection is the best spyware fighting technique out there, be weary of where you surf, and surf with Mozilla Firefox

    Canadian Government Weary of Patriot Act (discusses open distrust toward, not tiredness concerning, the Patriot Act, matching the definition of wary)

    Supreme Court weary of new patient laws (” justices seemed cool to new patient protection laws”, matching the ‘openly distrustful’ definition of wary as the Canadians above)

  175. 300

    Commentary by Eric C. Davis , 2005/04/04 at 9:27 pm

    Would someone mind closing the bold tag in article 298?

  176. 301

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/04/04 at 9:40 pm

    @ Eric C. Davis: tag closed.

    @ everyone: I’ve got a hard time sorting through all your great contributions, but keep them coming! Expect an article on borderline and non-eggcorns soon.

  177. 302

    Commentary by Peter Bloxsom , 2005/04/05 at 3:33 am

    I remember this from a list of student bloopers:

    The equator is a menagerie lion running around the middle of the earth.

    (The misheard phrase is, of course, imaginary line.)

    The misinterpretation of “running around” along with the key phrase makes this one especially good, I think.

  178. 303

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 5:02 am

    ’serious’ for ’serous.’ Some serous tumours are serious illnesses. e.g.,

    This is called middle effusion or serious otitis media.…

    … The CKS cell line, derived from serious cystadenocarcinoma, was less sensitive to both test-drugs than the groups of gastric cancer cell lines. …

    … Central Serious Retinopathy, also called Central Serious Chorioretinopathy (CSC),usually occurs in women between 20 and 45 years of age.

    … Pleurisy: Inflammation of the pleura, which is the serious membrane surrounding the lung.…

  179. 304

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 5:06 am

    ‘fleebag’ for ‘fleabag.’ 1300 google hits. A place with fleas is a place to flee. examples-

    New York was a dangerous crime ridden fleebag of a place in the 70’s and 80’s.…

    I remember we stayed in a real fleebag motel just south of Bryce so that we could get up early in the morning, see the sites and then head home.…

    … in 2001 I found myself staying at some VERY swanky hotels for about half what I would expect to pay for a fleebag with a bath in the hall in New York.…

    … The setting is 1957, and Mom (Leachman) is evicted from her fleebag beauty
    parlor in Long Beach, California.

  180. 305

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 5:19 am

    ‘higherarchy’ for ‘hierarchy.’ 1800 google citations. e.g.,

    … In 1978, Berg destroyed the higherarchy make-up of the group. … When the
    higherarchy was distroyed, some of the “higher leaders” left due to no power.…

    She took the advice of many and went through all the proper channels in the Higherarchy of the church.…

    This only confirms the age old practice of caste higherarchy where a higher caste man marrying a woman from lower caste is more aceptable……

    Dominance Higherarchy Influences Adult Neurogenesis In The Dentate Gyrus……

  181. 306

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 2:44 pm

    ‘pretentious’ for ‘portentous.’ A common word substitued for a rare one. Mild overlap in meaning.

    Many would be tragically deluded by the power and pretentious signs of the false one. All those who transgressed will ultimately pay the price……

    I did edit the
    literary magazine...(a single issue publication iirc) in high school although that was a while ago now.… Writers_Resource/b10304/8204685/p2

    The most pretentious change in heart comes from Macbeth himself, and Lady Macbeth……

    But sure enough, when all was said and done, Mr. Mittlefehldt’s pretentious
    dream turned into reality.…/c… default.php?sectiondetailid=187681&sc_timestamp=1111918375

  182. 307

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 4:29 pm

    ‘muscles’ for mussels.’ Possible confusion because part of the mussel you eat is a muscle. See, e.g.,

    LOOKING out onto the river at the small yachts glistening in the warm sunshine, we tucked into a hearty bowl of muscles mariniere and chips…… whatson/arts/display.var.475601.0.0.php

    Freshwater muscles are used in the Asian cultured pearl industry, which brings in $3 billion a year.…

    This is a picture of Zebra Muscles found in the bottom of Lake Michigan. …
    The Zebra Muscles Were found on 6-26-96 while I was doing research…… public_html/years/96/96/ed4.html

  183. 308

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 4:46 pm

    ‘trite and true’ for ‘tried and true.’ 1,000+ google references, some of which are deliberate wordplay, but these seem not to be-

    When it comes to football styles, the preference is for low-tech, for the
    trite and true.…

    It certainly is refreshing in this age of innovations to see a trite and true
    olden Age type origin. It’s almost unique in the age of power rings and …… - 16k

    What is trite and true about love applies as well to politics: It takes two
    to tango.…

    My guess is that despite the million-dollar surroundings, Wrigley Mansion bar
    nibblers insisted on the trite and true. So out went the Kobe beef, ……

  184. 309

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/05 at 9:19 pm

    ‘wasteline’ for ‘waistline.’ A common eggcorn suggesting an unhappy relationship with one’s body. e.g.,

    It’s amazing what the traditional Thanksgiving meal will do to the wasteline
    when it’s bracketed by a diet whose staples are beer, cheese and home-made ……

    If you’re looking for a sweet treat, but don’t want the bad wasteline, better
    go for the Apricot Delight - no added fat or sugar……

    High-fat diet bad for brain; Fast food is not only bad for your wasteline but
    may also damage your IQ, according to new tests on rats……

  185. 310

    Commentary by Sally Cassil , 2005/04/05 at 11:15 pm

    “brazier” for “brassiere”
    Believe it or not, this appeared in an AP story in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe newspapers, concerning a transvestite pedestrian who was hit by a car on Interstate 25 — “the unidentified man was dressed in women’s clothing, including a brazier.”

  186. 311

    Commentary by Sally Cassil , 2005/04/05 at 11:17 pm

    “oversite” for “oversight”

    A co-worker wrote a report in which she described our organization as having “oversite” of a project, and seemed surprised when I told her the correct term was “oversight”, since it meant that we were looking over the project rather than locating it.

  187. 312

    Commentary by Sally Cassil , 2005/04/05 at 11:24 pm

    Mixing up “bale” and “bail”

    I have recently seen several references to pilots “baling out” of airplanes, or people having to “bale” water out of a leaking boat. As far as I know, “bale” as a noun refers to a large “package’ of hay, and, as a verb, to the process of getting the hay into such packages. One “bails” out of a plane if it’s crashing, and also bails water from a flooded boat.

  188. 313

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/06 at 3:55 am

    ‘dispose’ for ‘depose.’ examples-

    Here, he joined Kwame Nkrumah, the disposed president of Ghana, who had been
    given sanctuary by President Ahmed Sékou Touré.…

    Cromwell’s army, in putting down the Irish army summoned by the disposed tyrant
    King Charles, killed 40 percent of the indigenous Irish people.… travel/article/0,1375,VCS_153_2432729,00.html

    Afghan intelligence officials confirmed on July 9 that Mullah Mohammed Omar,
    the disposed leader of the Taliban, is still alive.… printversion.cfm?documentID=2323

  189. 314

    Commentary by Bogus Trumper , 2005/04/06 at 4:29 pm

    I see a lot of people using “full proof.” I suppose what they mean by that is that the foolproof something has been through a rigorous proof like a geometry proof. Maybe it would be a “half proof” if they only got half way through the proof?

    Until they can find a full proof method for testing, steroids will be impossible to stop.

    My idea’s are FULL-PROOF and my jokes are plentiful so nobody gets frustrated by me.

    However, words direct from the trainer’s mouth, although not full-proof, tend to be the best “tip”, and one leading exponent of his profession chatted yesterday about one of his big hopes which is engaged in this afternoon’s Doncaster Mile.

  190. 315

    Commentary by David Dux , 2005/04/06 at 5:45 pm

    A common mistake is to use “guide wire” rather than “guy wire”. A “guy” is a rope, chain, or wire attached as a brace for something, such as the wires that hold television and radio towers. Given that few persons are familiar with this use of “guy” (and perhaps because it does sound non-politically correct), many persons say “guide wire” instead, in that the bracing wire does “guide” the position of the tower.

    A google search of (”guide wire” “radio tower”) finds:….
    “a Cessna 150J, N63YZ, collided with a guide wire for a local commercial radio tower”…
    “to get a site for a radio tower…(with) some type of protection around the guide wire post”

    “This parachute was left hanging on the Crista radio tower guide wire”

  191. 316

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/06 at 6:56 pm

    ‘guilt-edged’ for ‘gilt-edged.’ 3,800 references, many of which involve reinterpretation towards guilt rather than gilt, e.g.,

    Bush has demonstrated this irrationality all this life, from the guilt edged forgiveness of National Guard “service” responsibility to tax cuts……

    … and sent them regular or irregular quantities of guilt-edged support money so that they might live happily (if sleeplessly) ever after……

    …and I must confess that I got a guilt-edged charge from its brand of sadistic mischief. ……

    … a delightful ball through for Belletti who lifted the ball over the bar, and then Eto’o failed to make the most of another guilt-edged opportunity.…

  192. 317

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/06 at 10:31 pm

    ’swings and arrows’ for ’slings and arrows.’ Macbeth, updated. See, e.g.,

    ….despite the swings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Australia’s exporters are a pretty optimistic lot.… 0,,0_S3-1_3z6-2_-3_PWB110393484-4_-5_-6_

    Talk about fickleness. Engineers are as subject as anyone else to the swings and arrows of economic, political and social fortune. ……

    … Seasoned traders who monitor the swings and arrows of the market’s outrageous fortunes. usually pump a lot of money into stocks and index options …… pdfs/Volatility_Article.pdf

    …plunging the world, including themselves, into a miasma of unpredictable and wildly dangerous climate swings and arrows. ……

  193. 318

    Commentary by Kathy , 2005/04/07 at 2:05 pm

    Grasp the mettle/Grasp the nettle.
    I am always coming across these two phrases and talking to friends and colleagues reveals a pretty even split as to who uses which phrase. Personally I use ‘mettle’ meaning courage, spirit etc but I can understand why nettle is used as to grasp one shows courage (or stupidity perhaps).


    … So, until the Democrats grasp the mettle, which is do you want to repeal the
    Bush tax cuts, they just won’t be serious. Partisan economic policies …… jan-june02/sb_1-04.html

  194. 319

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/07 at 10:13 pm

    ‘guys’ for ‘guise.’ Common as a misspelling. Occasionally an eggcorn or nearly so. e.g.,

    Those people are going to be very dubious when the United States shows up in
    the guys of a liberator.
    archives.lists.indymedia…. imc-texas/2003-August/000074.html

    …I have dealt directly with Greenpiece and Earth First, and I can
    assure you that they are simply terrorists under the guys of environmentalists …… - 4k -

    I did serve 6 years in the US Navy as a medical corpsman and seen
    my share of death and mutilation under the guys of freedom.…

  195. 320

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/07 at 10:59 pm

    ‘imminent domain’ for ‘eminent domain.’ 12k google hits vs. 800k for the original. Some users seem to invoke a sense of imminence. e.g.,

    Its kind of like living on land designated for imminent domain takeover.…

    …to more quickly acquire private property through imminent domain, …and imminent domain gets them riled like nothing I have ever seen. ……

    Folks are told to cut their trees and … Imminent domain is never less than imminent.…

    … the property can be acquired either through friendly negotiations or through imminent domain.…

  196. 321

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/08 at 6:02 am

    ‘maleviolent’ for ‘malevolent.’ Also, less commonly, ‘male violent.’ 500+ google citations. I’m unsure how many of these are malapropisms vs. eggcorns, although violent themes do seem to turn up a lot. e.g.,

    Some of the time the bad guy is so maleviolent that they are intending to kill
    everyone including themselves and their evil maties.…

    If I am feeling maleviolent, fight songs are in order.… file=posting&mode=topicreview&t=447&popup=1

    I am less of a warrior now, and more of a wandering, maleviolent spirit of strife……

    … The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, “Yeah, sure”, with a male violent little smile.… - 28k - Cached - Similar pages

    Bottle trees were for protection from male violent or evil spirits.… - 12k - Cached - Similar pages

  197. 322

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/08 at 6:33 am

    ‘tower of babble’ for ‘tower of babel.’

    An eggcorn in its day, but now nearly mainstream; it’s the title of numerous books, films, and a comic strip.

  198. 323

    Commentary by Jonathan Stieglitz , 2005/04/08 at 7:29 pm

    people use unconscious when they mean to write subconscious. like here- “Kimkim4984 (2:23:39 PM): i tell u over and over it was a completely unconscious decision i made and u know it was”

  199. 324

    Commentary by Chris , 2005/04/09 at 3:46 am

    Somewhen. (think ’somehow’; ’somewhere’; etc.) A rather nice concoction from a German friend. Und warum nichts?

  200. 325

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/09 at 3:47 am

    Re 322: Ken, “Tower of Babble” may be almost mainstream in the US but I don’t think it is in the UK - -in fact the first time I heard it was when I moved to the US in 1995.

  201. 326

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/09 at 3:51 am

    ‘halter monitor’ for ‘Holter monitor.’ The Holter monitor, invented by Dr. Norman Holter, is a wearable device for continuously monitoring heart rhythm. To some, it resembles a halter (2,000 google refs). examples-

    Yes, it’s a cardiac halter monitor… they strapped one on me for 7 days when I was pregnant with Sarah, because I was at increased risk. …

    I have had to wear a halter monitor before too. I even went bowling with mine on, very uncomfortable.…

    It resembles a lifejacket and serves as a backpack to carry a halter monitor.

  202. 327

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/09 at 7:05 am

    ‘parternity’ for ‘paternity.’ This odd construction appears an astonishing 28,000 times on google. I think it combines ‘paternity’ with ‘partner’ or ‘parent’ or both. Oddly, though, the no more outlandish ‘partnerity’ and ‘parentity’ are both rare. examples-

    My husband established parternity in March of 2003. … paying on his own (according to our state guidelines) since the parternity results came back.…

    This website covers issues on adoption, child custody, welfare programs, legal guardianship, parternity testing, and more!…

    Your friend nonetheless wishes to continue his parent-child relationship with his daughter after the divorce, despite his non-parternity.…

    …has codified the birth certificate process enabling couples to establish their parental status of the child without a parternity/adoption process. ……

  203. 328

    Commentary by Pierre Abbat , 2005/04/09 at 1:52 pm

    tubal ligation -> tubal litigation…
    These Abo women certainly have a case, but the operation is still ligation.

  204. 329

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/09 at 7:42 pm

    ‘undermind’ for ‘undermine.’ ‘Undermind’ seems to be used as a verb at least 1,000 times on google, and especialy to express sabotage of cognitive or ideational structures. e.g.,

    Although Dana tries desperately to undermind Natalie’s confidence, Natalie has a great interview and gets an offer with a higher salary. ……

    The voting system is one area we can afford to let stay low tech - but Diebold wants to undermind this basic truth by claiming copyright foul. …

    … and I had a feeling that when serious studies were done, as in this Science paper, they would tend to undermind political correctness ……

    This Barthian attempt to undermind the rational in religion is one of the perils of our time.…/publ… vol1/491123-The_Place_of_Reason_and_Experience_in_Finding_God.htm

    Camus was responding, not only to the philosophical movements in the sciences which seemed to undermind all notion of determination of cause, ……/mu… formated_speeches/Counterpoint/CounterpointforumSept79.doc

  205. 330

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/09 at 8:51 pm

    ‘ivory league’ for ‘ivy league.’ Confusion with the ivory tower? examples-

    I am a PhD student at an Ivory League university.… bawnews/testing1109?view=Forum&message_id=24995

    His brilliant mind brought him to the east-coast ivory league Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1970’s.…

    … postmodern theory hegemony in tertiary institutions; rigorously exposing the egos and eccentricities that still roam the corridors of the ivory league. ……

  206. 331

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/09 at 9:31 pm

    ‘trivialations’ for ‘tribulations.’ Seems to pop up when thr tribulations are minor. e.g.,

    If you’re into catchy tunes about the trials and trivialations of love and all the baggage that comes with it, this is the album for you. ……

    Follow the trials and trivialations of the new age Mick Jagger as he attempts to bed as many women as possible by pretending to be kind,loving and caring……

    So I guess I just write in here to make myself feel better and if people are that nosey to find out my inner trials and trivialations, be my guest.… cm-4_cy-2004_m-4_d-5_y-2004_o-0.html

    Ahh the trials and trivialations of the policy of truth.…

  207. 332

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/10 at 10:33 pm

    ‘mistermeaner’ for ‘misdemeanor.’ examples-

    Members with mistermeaners may not be eligible for Life Membership.… -

    You can’t always blame the hotel for your children’s mistermeaners!… .%5Creports%5Creports.asp?report_id=8310

    …but still find it hard to spot all the typos, mistakes and other mistermeaners,……

    they also shot down a british plane, amoungst other mistermeaners.… asp?TOPIC_ID=505&whichpage=9

    He said it was cuz the last of 8 felony charges against him (in Mass. and New Hampshire) had been dropped to mistermeanors.…

  208. 333

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/11 at 2:03 pm

    ‘nonpulsed’ for ‘nonplussed.’ Referring to individuals so surprised that their heart stops! Examples-

    … I learned to appreciate real mexican type food but was a little nonpulsed by
    the storage of fresh eggs in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator. …… REPLY_ID=107619&TOPIC_ID=6576&FORUM_ID=2

    The Colonel commanding the battalion reported to me and informed me his troops
    were nonpulsed by HJ’s presence……

    … nonpulsed by a couple of our competitors who think they’re going to win by
    manipulating the Internet.”… net-news/99-06/99-06-09/0000.html

    “Me an the boys here been doing this for a couple of years.” He replied
    matterafactly, rather nonpulsed by the whole situation. ……

    “I’ve been waiting,” Rachel answered, seemingly nonpulsed by his stupid remark.… showMessageRange?topicID=30.topic&start=61&

    … Marina (still being held by Imanol) just stares nonpulsed at the clerk……

  209. 334

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/11 at 9:32 pm

    ‘feel day’ for ‘field day.’ e.g.,

    No more fun for Jackson; cell mates will have a feel-day with him, giving him a dose of his own medicine. ……

    The entire precinct would have a feel-day just looking at my burst lip, fat eye and swollen head. …… php?topic=224&forum=45

    The tabloids had a feel day with the scene in the spaceport. ……

    The Satanic Verses has brought infamy to Salman Rushdie and has given the
    media a feel day in exploiting Islam.…

    … Have a feel day! Go pay off your other credit cards, transfer the balances,
    and start enjoying zero to low interest!… secret_1_of_5_credit_card_utopia.html

    Hen House studios
    … The DJs will have a feel day with the track “Zhaleh”, it’s totally bass-heavy, triphop-ish but danceable. press/mkpgarticle.php?pressID=26

  210. 335

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/11 at 9:40 pm

    ‘rush and roulette’ for ‘Russian roulette.’ Holding a revolver to your temple will produce a ‘rush.’ examples-

    My father is an entrepreneur, which is exciting but also a game of rush and roulette.…

    Why do you feel this way? Because I am no longer playing Rush and Roulette with my life.…

    There is honestly no middle ground with this woman! It’s
    like a game of rush and roulette.… jsp?tid=78022&sid=1420

    Craziest thing I’ve ever done: played rush and roulette.… - 27k

  211. 336

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/11 at 9:46 pm

    ‘Grand Mariner’ for ‘Grand Marnier.’ Delicious with a shot of expresso. See,

    I decided to sample the Yellowtail Grand Mariner, a delicious fresh catch,
    pan sauteed in a sauce made of Grand Mariner liqueur and butter, …

    Dessert Menu… The perfect blend of strawberries, vanilla ice cream, Grand Mariner liqueur and whipped cream 4.50……

    Grand Mariner, a sumptuous blend of fine French cognac and the delicate essence of tropical oranges …… -

    Mix champagne, Chambord, Grand Mariner and juices into a shaker with ice cubes.… -

  212. 337

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/11 at 10:11 pm

    ‘pleistoscene’ for ‘pleistocene.’ It was one wild scene, 10,000 years ago. (note, this is part of an eggcorn family which will be familar to geologists, including ‘eoscene,’ ‘mioscene,’ ‘plioscene,’ etc. All less common than ‘pleistoscene’ which, by the way, is also the name of a band.) examples-

    … Linguistically, there’s fairly good evidence that there were at least three
    waves of Siberian immigrants during the Pleistoscene. ……

    … Everyone I know considers myself a “pleistoscene hippy”, but often I am labeled as a renegade because of that.…

    There’s a theory that Smilodons and their kin lived mostly off the large mammals
    of the Pleistoscene,……

    … trees were dispersed primarily by large vertebrates like mastodons, which
    became extinct during the end of the Pleistoscene, about 10000 years ago. ……

  213. 338

    Commentary by Adam , 2005/04/13 at 1:26 am

    have -> of
    Google gives 3590 hits for “he must of had”, such as, picking one at random:
    .. I saw Howells in Ibiza a couple years ago, He must of had an ‘off night’.
    ( forums/archive/topic/254531-1.html)
    Also “he must of said” (255), “he must of put” (173) etc.
    This is clearly a result of the strange pronunciation of the word have in this context.

  214. 339

    Commentary by Jay , 2005/04/13 at 11:40 pm

    lest we forget -> less we forget

    671 Ghits, perhaps 50% of them relevant.

    “And while we prepare our young people for the world of work we must also prepare them for living, less we forget that we have a life and history of our own”…

    “It’s always good to be reminded from time to time, less we forget.”…

    Probably a typo some of the time, but the meaning is certainly there.

  215. 340

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/14 at 10:15 pm

    dribble replacing drivel, as in “he was talking dribble…”

  216. 341

    Commentary by Stuart Newman , 2005/04/15 at 2:36 am

    The journey was torturous.

  217. 342

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/15 at 3:23 pm

    ‘inequitous’ for ‘iniquitous.’ This neologism shows up 840 times in a google search, usually with the implied meaning of ‘unfair’ or unequal,’ and so partially overlapping the meaning of the original.

    Such growing disparities bring back memories of an inequitous era, which we
    believed had come to an end once and for all…

    Under his leadership, the old inequitous poll tax called vaaru, levied on
    Maldivians who were residents of islands other than Malé was abolished.

    … but with a blatantly biased BBC, an inequitous system of devolution, a nutter at the head of local London government, and the rest……

    … Its consumer culture is inequitous vis-a-vis the rest of the world.…

  218. 343

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/15 at 3:33 pm

    ‘redoubtful’ for ‘redoubtable.’ Another neologism. It seems to be used to mean either ‘doubtful,’ ‘redoubtable,’ or a combination of the two. examples-

    We watch LBJ woo Georgia’s redoubtful (but lonely) Senator Richard Russell to
    become majority leader; we watch him cheat on Lady Bird, …… - 58k - Cached - Similar pages

    … 3a would introduce an instrument that is legally so redoubtful that some member states have abstained from introducing it even in terrorism cases. …

    …imperialist canons, taken from the West, became, along with the more powerful
    western nations, a redoubtful outpost in the East of the G-7 combine. ……

    … Amado, Jorge HOME IS THE SAILOR: The Whole Truth Concerning the Redoubtful
    Adventures of Captain Vasco Moscoso de Aragao, Master Mariner……

  219. 344

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/15 at 4:59 pm

    ‘pig’ for ‘prig.’ examples-

    Joseph, we will soon discover, is destined for greatness, but like other great
    men, he can also be an insufferable pig. (Winston Churchill was such……

    You’re an insufferable pig. You have no respect for anyone. You can’t take a
    joke, but you expect others to. You’re cranky. Shall I go on? ……

    Dr Mulder will brief you, of course; but I have other matters to attend to. Good
    luck.”. I nodded respectfully at the sanctimonious pig.…

    And O’Neill is a fat, smug pig of a man, a professional
    liar and propagandist.
    www.talkaboutgovernment.c… group/alt.politics.bush/messages/2390902.html

  220. 345

    Commentary by Nathan Vaillette , 2005/04/15 at 6:11 pm

    From an IMDB review of “The Butterfly Effect” (posted by glamslamking1 on 7 February 2005):

    — “Say what you will, Kutcher did a FAIR TO MIDLAND acting job here.” (emphasis added)

    I assume “midland” here is an eggcorned “middling”. This fits intuitively with the attitude plenty of people hold towards this part of England as sort of underwhelming.

    This usage also appears to have some precedent; see…

    Furthermore, there is evidently a band “Fair to Midland”.

  221. 346

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/15 at 9:48 pm

    Re 340: tortuous and torturous are also misused for the legal term tortious, meaning “in the nature of a tort (civil wrong)”, so you often see folks, including lawyers, referring to tortuous interference with goods or to a torturous act etc

  222. 347

    Commentary by Tina Morrell , 2005/04/16 at 3:34 pm

    Just come across this site and love the idea of eggcorns! In fact, it opened my eyes to one that appeared in an email from a friend today: lax –> lapse

    such-and-such “have been very lapse in providing any sort of course this term.”

    I’m not sure whether or not it’s a true eggcorn, but when people are lax it suggests there has been a lapse, I believe!

    A quick google search revealed a couple of instances of “lapse attitudes” (see links below) but it doesn’t appear to be particularly widespread.


  223. 348

    Commentary by Denny Wheeler , 2005/04/16 at 10:12 pm

    Just captured this one from a phishing email. It seems to be a genuine example of eggcorn:

    (the email purports to be from eBay, and they need account info updated. Yep. Genuine phish.)
    “Please Note -
    If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporally suspend your account. ”

    (time travelers?)

  224. 349

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/17 at 5:23 am

    ‘duck tape’ for ‘duct tape.’ A famous and, by now, very mainstream eggcorn, with over 100,000 google citations and several brand name products. Odd that it took any one of us 2 months to notice this one.

  225. 350

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/17 at 6:07 am

    ’surrepetitious’ for ’surreptitious.’ 150+ google hits, some of which use the word to describe activities both stealthy and repetitious. e.g.,

    … Chronic severe hemolytic anemia related to surrepetitious phenazopyridine abuse.
    Ann Intern Med. 1994;121:308. 2. Gabor EP, Lowenstein L, De Leeuw NK. ……

    If that’s not enough surrepetitious abuse for you, the installed apps nag you
    repeatedly while trying to un-install, one even insists that you have an active …… 4-10202396.html?pn=1&fb=0

    He cast occasional surrepetitious looks at the girl beside him.… UBooks/HighTime.shtml

    … Memorial and the new glass pyramid in the Louvre (the culmination of centuries of surrepetitious architectural manipulation of the city plan of Paris). ……

    The suspicion is that it’s another attempt to spread spam by setting up
    surrepetitious servers on the machines of unsuspecting users. ……

  226. 351

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/18 at 2:39 am

    ‘lip-sing’ for ‘lip-sync.’ Lip-syncing is the practice of pretending to sing by synchronizing your lip movements with a vocal soundtrack. This gets turned into ‘lip-singing,’ which I would understand as appearing to sing with your lips but without a voice, i.e., much the same thing. The eggcorn version turns up 800 times on google. examples-

    After baseball, Congress tackles lip-singing. Ashlee Simpson writes new book
    exposing the ugly rumors of lip singing on a national level……

    Lindsey Lohan Caught Lip Singing. Seems like all the celebrities are getting busted lately!…

    … the actors were not lip singing, they were actually singing on camera. ……

    She cannot act, her lip-singing-sync is limited and - well I can’t go on.…

  227. 352

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/18 at 2:40 am

    ‘lip-sing’ for ‘lip-sync.’ Lip-syncing is the practice of pretending to sing by synchronizing your lip movements with a vocal soundtrack. This gets turned into ‘lip-singing,’ which I would understand as appearing to sing with your lips but without a voice, i.e., much the same thing. The eggcorn version turns up 800 times on google. examples-

    After baseball, Congress tackles lip-singing. Ashlee Simpson writes new book
    exposing the ugly rumors of lip singing on a national level……

    Lindsey Lohan Caught Lip Singing. Seems like all the celebrities are getting busted lately!…

    … the actors were not lip singing, they were actually singing on camera. ……

    She cannot act, her lip-singing-sync is limited and - well I can’t go on.…

  228. 353

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/18 at 2:55 am

    ’solopsism’ for ’solipsism.’ I’m unsure whether this is a simple misspelling or the manifestation of an eggcornish urge to locate ’solo’ within ’solipsism.’ It’s common, occurring over 700 times on google:

    … But if the Australian will publish the drivelling solopsism of that unmitigated bore, the self-basting Phillip Adams, it will publish anything. ……

    … in which they are trying to convince him that radical skepticism(bordering on solopsism) is the ONLY rational way to view life or somesuch nonsense. ……

    … is not as though I am walking around in a constant state of existential angst,uncertain of what exists in an active, self-imposed state of solopsism, … phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=1565373

    To use the computer as a stand-alone tool, a kind of Hi Tech extension of
    the brush or camera, for example, is the ultimate solopsism.…

  229. 354

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/19 at 2:09 am

    ’scrapegrace’ for ’scapegrace.’ A first cousin to ’scrapegoat.’ exampes-

    … but it is Greg Kinnear as the scrapegrace younger brother with a talent for
    romance and no head for responsibility who steals the show. ……

    … But later not one of these men would have exchanged his heedless scrapegrace
    of a boy for the much bepraised paragon of the Court apothecary,……

    Wiltz in particular has constructed a solid, readable series with her scrapegrace Irish Channel PI, Neal Rafferty.…

  230. 355

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/20 at 9:16 pm

    ’sacredotal’ for ’sacerdotal.’ 700+ google hits, from writers who have entered their sacredotage. Examples-

    … and ye who are clad in the sacred gown, adorned with the celestial crown of
    glory, the inspired unction and the sacredotal garment of the Holy spirit. ……

    Ordination to the sacredotal office of presbyter/priest will not occur before
    the completion of the required course of studies and adequate preparation. …

    Some of these are Special Home Weddings, Funeral Services, House Blessings,
    Annointments, Baptismals and other sacredotal services of the church. …… - 5k - Cached - Similar pages

    Article Nine: We believe in observing the sacredotal ordinances of Water
    Baptism (Romans 6:3-11) and The Lord’s Supper…… - 7k

  231. 356

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/21 at 2:03 pm

    ‘avengeance’ for ‘a vengeance.’ Especially in the phrase ‘back with a vengeance.’ 500+ google references, e.g.,

    But in 2004, he has returned with avengeance and has appeared on a number of
    shows around the world……

    But don’t worry, next season the long-ball will be back with avengeance.…

    Boy bands are back with avengeance, seeking their spot in preteens hearts……

    He has been training with avengeance since then and should pose a challenge
    to two-time Olympian Jason Lezak……

  232. 357

    Commentary by Patrick Hall , 2005/04/23 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Here’s one I ran across:

    “at your beacon call”


    “at your beck and call.”

    Not too terribly many hits, but seems like an convincing eggcorn to me.

  233. 358

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/23 at 3:55 pm

    ‘Noble Prize’ for ‘Nobel Prize.’ examples-

    China to Have Noble Prize Winner within 20 Years: Scientist
    China’s first Noble Prize winner is likely to appear within the next 20 years, said Chen Ning Yang, a winner of the 1957 Noble Prize in physics. … 200008/08/eng20000808_47637.html

    The Pope and the Noble Prize
    I can’t help but to think that maybe the Noble Prize committee made a mistake when they did not give the Holy Father the Noble Peace Prize ……

    … The first volume of Churchill’s Noble-Prize winning six-part chronicle of World War II. THE GATHERING STORM depicts the rise of Hitler…… AuthorDetails.asp?AuthorID=2120

    … Irene followed in her mother’s footsteps and achieved the Noble Prize for chemistry. … Soon after, Marie won the 1911 noble prize ……

  234. 359

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/23 at 4:01 pm

    ‘premedicated’ for ‘premeditated.’ examples-

    … the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) \2\ provides for the death penalty for premedicated murder and felony murder……

    The Indictment speaks of premedicated murder with malice aforethought.…(supplement).doc

    … Conservancy wanted his property and he refused to sell, 32 federal agencies conspired in the raid, killing him in cold-blooded, premedicated murder……

    38 states all ready have the death penalty for premedicated murder.…

  235. 360

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/23 at 4:11 pm

    ‘welfair’ for ‘welfare.’ A common eggcorn perpetrated by those who naively think that our welfare policies have to do with fairness. e.g.,

    Abolishing welfair and other such programs would remove some of the motivation from people who are looking to come to American for a free ride.…

    Oh sure, and I’m sure outlawing labor unions and giving absolute control over the worker’s welfair to the corperations is leftist too, right?…

    … have a Master’s degree in Social Work and worked for three years in a pilot project for youth with chronic health conditions in a child welfair agency.…

  236. 361

    Commentary by Kate Gregory , 2005/04/24 at 2:24 pm

    “All for not” instead of “all for naught”. For example:

    Acting Mayor Marsh sounded a similar note yesterday.

    “Council is very confident that there will be an agreement and this will all be for not,” he said. “But it has still been a learning experience.”… - this is a newspaper that apparently employs an editor. Yes, it’s rural Ontario, but I live here, and I know plenty of other literate people do, too.

  237. 362

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/04/24 at 3:52 pm

    Kate, we’ve got this one covered: naught » not.

  238. 363

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/25 at 9:05 pm

    ‘truckulent’ for ‘truculent.’ As a Boston driver, I can see how this word might get mixed up with trucks and their drivers. About 150 Google citaions. e.g.,

    … Obviously of anything off road its horrible, slow, truckulent and unreliable but its actually not that bad if you use it exclusively for off road…… p=15511&sid=7ecdcc48230c1b9c7abf17c3c95d3412

    … but it is separated by barbed wire, razor wire, a moat and two trained alligators named Rick and Jim who carried themselves with a somewhat truckulent air ……

    … the more ‘primitive’ aerofoil but nevetheless far more truckulent nature of
    this plane makes a stormy crosswind landing at Heathrow, well, exhilarating! … (abu2nv45sjsyila4i0i2k155)/pages/area1/reviews.aspx

  239. 364

    Commentary by Ivan , 2005/04/26 at 4:53 pm

    Today I saw this on < a href="">Slashdot: “[…] the new corporate overloads can essentially have a free and non-free version of the code […]”.

  240. 365

    Commentary by John , 2005/04/26 at 9:16 pm

    “hearst” substituted for “hearse.”
    Here’s an example:…

  241. 366

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/27 at 4:11 am

    ‘impestuous’ for ‘impetuous.’ A new coinage that seems to be used to mean something between ‘tempestuous’ nd ‘impetuous.’ 200+ google citations-

    In my wild and impestuous youth, I was a Solitaire junkie.…

    … Jennifer Jones (with her fourth nomination) as the sultry, impestuous half-breed Pearl Chavez in Selznick’s heavily-promoted melodramatic Western……

    You think it’s easy being impestuous team emperor for nearly 30 years?

    … the Czech retailer remains fairly scattered and finds itself in a period of impestuous competition between distributors wanting to gain market share. …… mi_m3092/is_3_39/ai_59426685

    Instead of protecting his knight (24…exd5 25.exd5 Ne7) with good winning chances the impestuous Fischer went after his opponent’s king. ……

  242. 367

    Commentary by Anna , 2005/04/27 at 4:30 pm

    I would like to see an entry about “mother lode” vs. “motherload.” The former is a term for the main source of an ore, like gold, and the common meaning is a good stash of something that was previously hidden (as in “I hit the mother lode!!”). Just a google search of “motherload” or “mother load” shows how often it is misspelled.

  243. 368

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/27 at 5:37 pm

    for ‘mother load’ see my entry of 3/15.

  244. 369

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/27 at 6:18 pm

    One that caught my attention the other day in another forum:

    The use of here, here for the correct hear, hear as a shout of agreement or support. See:…

  245. 370

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/27 at 6:21 pm

    Not sure if this is an eggcorn or just a difference in usage between the UK and the US. In the UK we use insure to describe what insurance companies do, and not as a synonym for ensure

  246. 371

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/04/27 at 6:39 pm

    This one really annoys me:

    The very old proverb the proof of the pudding is in the eating becoming the proof is in the pudding.


  247. 372

    Commentary by James Callan , 2005/04/27 at 10:10 pm

    “grizzly” for “grisly”: In a grizzly scene, Cornwall gouges Gloucester’s eyes out and Regan sends him outside the castle to wander until he dies. Cornwall, assisted by Regan, exits bleeding profusely.

    “grisly bear” is also fairly common.

  248. 373

    Commentary by John Lawler , 2005/04/28 at 12:07 am

    I just ran across short sided in a student paper, when what was obviously meant was short-sighted. I checked Google and, after eliminating references to soccer and gumboots, I came across several hundred uses of short sided in this sense. It’s an obvious confusion, since /t/ and /d/ both collapse to a tap in this environment, and the only possible phonetic distinction is the (questionable) vowel length of /ay/. It’s clearly a different metaphor (polygons with short sides? containers?) than short-sighted, which is a normal human sensory theme. Anyway, it was a revelation to me.

  249. 374

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/28 at 2:44 am

    ‘eggnod’ for ‘eggnog.’ Something to do with nodding out from the alcohol? 135 google hits-

    “Christmastime reminds me of family and friends sitting in the living room sipping eggnod and singing …… tg/detail/-/B0001594CE?v=glance

    I too am happy that gingerbread lattes and eggnod lattes are back.…

    When they couldn’t guess the exact/correct name, they could try singing the carol - encouragement from the eggnod (for the adults) and plain silliness…

  250. 375

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/28 at 7:24 pm

    ‘hustlings’ for ‘hustings.’ Politics is associated with hustling in both senses- speed and disreputable enterprise. Examples-

    … They are to rush to the polling-booth, and mount the hustlings, defiant of
    brickbats and careless of eggs and cabbages.…

    Not only that, he has ordered his US attorneys to hit the hustlings and defend the PATRIOT Act too.…

    Meanwhile. most artists will have to hustle for pittances, while those who
    usually are not artists are out there on the hustlings securing public funds ……

    Watson returned to the political hustlings in 1904, nominated by the Populist Party Convention as its Presidential nomination.…

    Kerry has dispatched Gore to the Florida hustlings.…

    Common to a number of countries in Europe are party rallies, public meetings,
    and hustlings both at national and local level…

  251. 376

    Commentary by Patrick Wynne , 2005/04/29 at 12:07 am

    I just ran across this one:
    pan > pants

    As in, “a flash in the pants”.

  252. 377

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/29 at 4:00 am

    ‘coronary infraction’ for ‘coronary infarction.’ Examples-

    … and the body becomes more susceptible to apoplexy and coronary infraction. HERS%20Medical-YS-796%20YS-818%20INSTRUCTION%20MANUAL.htm

    In medicine NMR spectroscopy is used to evaluate the extent of damage to heart muscles of patients who have suffered severe coronary infraction. vigyan%20Shabd%20Mala/Barc/nmr.htm

    … cause of death: massive coronary infraction.…

    While that “Type A” syndrome doubtless has abetted my career, it also cost me a coronary infraction later in life.…

  253. 378

    Commentary by Chris , 2005/05/01 at 11:19 pm

    Mayday or M’aidez for M’aider. International distress call is French for “(come) help me” or “(venez) m’aider”. This eggcorn is so common I was in my thirties before I even saw a French spelling.

  254. 379

    Commentary by Kathleen Bennett , 2005/05/04 at 10:58 pm

    “State of the Ark”

    as found on…
    “They recently bought a new state of the ark system with the works…”

  255. 380

    Commentary by Lisa Kool , 2005/05/05 at 8:44 am

    I once dropped off a babysitter who gave directions to her house “on the far end of the quarter-sack.” I eventually translated that to “cul-de-sac.”

    I suppose a rounded dead-end street is the same approximate shape as a sack of quarters…

  256. 381

    Commentary by Debra , 2005/05/11 at 5:08 pm

    “Razor back” instead of “racer back”

    I saw this one at H&M. There was a rack of racer back tank tops described as “razor back.” At first I laughed, but the subsitution makes sense. While this cut is often associated with athletics, it has evolved into a fashion statement. With part of the back cut away, one could imagine naming them after the razor that did the cutting.

  257. 382

    Commentary by ACW , 2005/05/11 at 6:56 pm

    “(fall on) deaf ears” >> “death ears”

    At least 2,000 Google hits for this one.

  258. 383

    Commentary by Josh Huber , 2005/05/12 at 3:14 pm

    Seen on a private mailing list:

    lambaste >> land blasted

    “As much as I’m gonna get land blasted for suggesting it, […]”

    I can’t seem to find any definitive google hits for this one, so it must be pretty rare.

  259. 384

    Commentary by knomad , 2005/05/12 at 7:35 pm

    My son saw an object in the sky and shouted that it was an “Unidentified Flying Sausage” - a conflation of UFO and Flying Saucer no doubt. This may not qualify as an eggcorn but it made me laugh.

  260. 385

    Commentary by jaubert moniker , 2005/05/13 at 6:07 am

    Goodness gracious, I was surprised to find one of my favorite eggcorns conspicuously absent—“should of”. Of course, this works for would and could as well. The mutation from the contracted form “should(or could, or would)’ve” is understandable, but grates on me to no end. Google returns ~750,000 hits for “should of” (some of which, of course, are both criticisms of that phrasing and others still are sentences of the form, “…should, of course…”), about 1,000,000 hits for “would of”, and something over 650,000 hits for “could of” (although those hits seem to be largely criticisms). There you have it.

  261. 386

    Commentary by Philip Newton , 2005/05/13 at 11:14 am

    sickle-cell an[a]emia –> sick-as-hell an[a]emia.

  262. 387

    Commentary by Steve Hartman Keiser , 2005/05/13 at 5:23 pm

    albeit > all be it.

    Not sure what to do with this one. The eggcorn is in fact an undoing of some of the changes that produced the word in the first place: all though it be that > all be it (that) > albeit. So it makes sense etymologically. But does the speaker/writer know that. I don’t think so. I sure didn’t know the etymology before I checked the OED.

    Google yields 42K for “all be it” (vs. 12 million for “albeit”). Some sightings in the wild:

    “…after all it was leaving the scene of an accident (all be it a minor accident).”

    “you’ll find a menu for every taste and some interesting clothes, gifts and souvenirs all be it at slightly higher prices then you could find them elsewhere. ”

    “Dolby Digital is about 20bit resolution, all be it a vast simplification, so a loss of 2 bits is not overtly critical.”

    And here’s an odd usage that I think belongs to a separate category: use as adjective.

    “It’s also very reasonable to rent an all-be-it basic vehicle or a motorbike and you don’t need a credit card, but you do need an international driving license.”

    Steve Hartman Keiser

  263. 388

    Commentary by Jim Apple , 2005/05/14 at 10:24 am

    just closing the bold tag

  264. 389

    Commentary by John Lawler , 2005/05/14 at 10:30 pm

    I recently heard a friend complain that she was ‘loggy’ and I said I pronounced it /logi/. A discussion ensued, in which it became clear we were talking about the same word meaning ‘tired and weak’, which I had seen spelled logy but had never heard anyone pronounce, while she spelled it loggy, related it to log, and had never seen it spelled with a single g. The OED gives both forms with the same meaning, says logy is ‘of obscure origin’, and, under loggy, says ‘See logy‘. I think we have a well-polished eggcorn here.

  265. 390

    Commentary by Eric Lippert , 2005/05/15 at 2:23 am

    When a younger brother of my ex-wife was a child he was quite convinced that those things you screw into sockets and turn on with switches were “light balls”. Which makes a whole lot of sense — they look like balls, they make light.

  266. 391

    Commentary by David Hughes , 2005/05/16 at 1:32 pm

    What about someone saying “You’ll rule the day!!” rather than the correct “You’ll rue the day?”

  267. 392

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/05/16 at 9:29 pm

    ‘nil and void’ for ‘null and void.’ 600+ Google hits, e.g.,

    … do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking and
    making nil and void all other last wills and testaments by me heretofore made. ……

    … it is not very likely that the courts would declare national law to be nil
    and void in case of flagrant contradiction with prevailing international law. ……

    Living as a female I was told by the British government that both my marriages
    to men were nil and void because I had a male birth certificate……

  268. 393

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/05/16 at 9:38 pm

    ‘demagod’ for ‘demagogue.’ Quite common on Google, but most of the hits are misspellings of ‘demigod.’ Examples (unclear if the first example is the misspelling or the eggcorn)-

    … with everyone from the appeasers in socialist Europe to the haters in IslamistIran to the brutal demagod in North Korea to the cave-dwelling thugs of ……

    I only hope that the people of Alabama will not, once again, fall for a demagod,
    like they fell for George Wallace in the schoolhouse door.…

    … yeah - and kerry had the same demagod speeches of “we will kill every bad guy in the world” ….…

  269. 394

    Commentary by James M Scobbie , 2005/05/16 at 11:39 pm

    wholesale to wholescale.

    For example, “wholesale reform” 9650 google hits to “wholescale reform” 79 hits or “whole scale reform” 100+

    Seems to me the meaning of “scale” is important here, that “wholesale” has moved slightly to mean “at the end of the scale”, “complete” in the eggcorned form rather than the meaning closer to wholesale (vs. retail) i.e. “extensive and indiscriminate”, “to a large degree or in large amounts”

  270. 395

    Commentary by Bob Harvey , 2005/05/17 at 6:46 am

    I am sensitive about the english language, living as I do in Bourne. Bourne was the home of Robert Manning, and has a long connection with written English.

    I mourn the loss of the distinction between ‘ensure’ and ‘insure’. I am told that the first word is now wholly redundant in the USA.

    But that is not my contribution. I want to report the notices that have appeared over the last five years in public buildings that say “This door is alarmed”. As far as I can make out the owners of these establishments have doors that are in mortal fear because they have noticed an attack of woodworm. Or have achieved a state of astonishment over the lack of lubrication within the lock.

    I first saw this in hand-written form at Stamford Art Centre, and when I brought the grammatical gaffe to the attention of the reception staff they were wholly unable to understand my remarks. I would have hoped that someone taking theatre bookings for a living would have a good grasp of her native tongue, but it does not seem to be a prerequisite.

  271. 396

    Commentary by Mark Widener , 2005/05/17 at 11:32 pm

    Using momento for memento is one that really bugs me. I didn’t find this on your site, but I did notice an entry for the specific phrase memento mori. Google can furnish many illustrations–search for “as a momento” (quotes included, the exact phrase). I have heard hundreds of people misspeak this word, and I think they all believe that a “momento” is something that helps one recall a specific moment. This is a false etymology. In fact, memento is a singular imperative (plural form mementote) of a very old Latin verb and means roughly “remember!”. The word “memory” is much closer in origin than “moment” to this word.

  272. 397

    Commentary by Philip , 2005/05/18 at 8:42 pm

    A childish eggcorn or is it a mondegreen?

    A seven year old pupil was heard singing these words during break. It was Christmas time and the Nativity play was in rehearsal.
    “The urgent Mary had a baby boy”

  273. 398

    Commentary by rosanne , 2005/05/19 at 8:04 am

    “petty bourgeois” instead of the original French “petit bourgeois”. It’s a particularly apt eggcorn because it’s clear the speaker considers bourgois interests more petty than small in the modern meaning of petty, and lovely because I’m pretty sure that petty’s etymology relates to the French ‘petit’ to begin with.

    Can’t give you many examples right this second, but I saw it in the English sub-titles of the film The Edukators last night.

  274. 399

    Commentary by JC Dill , 2005/05/20 at 12:47 am

    I came across “I’m so fluttered” today. Google finds numerous examples:…

  275. 400

    Commentary by David O’Callaghan , 2005/05/20 at 1:26 pm

    “one foul swoop” instead of “one fell swoop”. Noticed this in a letter to The Irish Times today:… (paid subscription required).

    Google reports around 45,000 instances for “foul” compared to 500,000 for “fell”.

  276. 401

    Commentary by Marc , 2005/05/20 at 6:11 pm

    “Tenamount” => “Tantamount”

    Google agrees

  277. 402

    Commentary by Sheilagh Casey , 2005/05/21 at 4:32 pm

    skim of my teeth

    I worked with a woman who always used this eggcorn.
    Found a link to a written instance on google:…

  278. 403

    Commentary by Nicholas W , 2005/05/22 at 3:31 pm

    “Speciality” for “specialty”:

    The other speciality of this “tendency” is to red-bait.

    About 5 million Google hits, as compared to 42 million for “specialty.” I’ve never seen an explicit folk etymology for the variant spelling, but I’d imagine that it’s formed on analogy with “real”/”reality”, “technical”/”technicality”, etc.

    (But many of the Google hits seem to be European; is “speciality” standard British English?)

  279. 404

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/05/23 at 3:22 am

    ’skin milk’ for ’skimmed milk.’
    ‘Skimmed milk’ long ago morphed into ’skim milk’ but that isn’t an eggcorn. However, the further transition of ’skim milk’ to ’skin milk’ seems to be. (I suspect that the idea is that it’s something you drink to be skinny.) Note also that this is a converse eggcorn to #400 above. Examples:

    Blend soft fruit like bananas, strawberries or canned fruit with skin milk, yogurt and ice for a frothy fruit smoothie. ……

    …or the equivalent of a turkey sandwich, piece of fruit, and a glass of skin milk per day. ……

    A ½ cup serving is approximately equal to ½ low-fat milk exchange when made with water and one low-fat milk exchange when made with skin milk.…

    … Dairy products: Low-fat (1%) or skin milk, low-fat or nonfat yogurt and cheeses……

    … The bacteria was stored in skinmilk at 20oC and, when used, it was plated on solid M9 medium (12) with caffeine (0.3 g/l) as the only source of carbon ……

  280. 405

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/05/23 at 3:51 am

    ‘implaceable’ for ‘implacable.’

    This is a written, rather than an aural eggcorn; the 2 words look similar on the page but sound different (or would, if anyone tried to pronounce ‘implaceable.’) It’s a fairly common substitution. Examples-

    …as Izo gradually realises he has been used and then discarded, his once rock steady loyalty to Hampeita moves to an implaceable fury and sadness. ……

    … The Eldar have never pretended to be “good-guys” in the 40k universe, in fact they are one of the most implaceable races in the game. ……

    …one of the most cherished beliefs of the Founding Fathers — that a permanent and powerful military caste is the implaceable foe of democracy. …

    It stepped forward on its cloven hooves, and stared at her in implaceable hunger.

    The man, his eye, is watching with implaceable determination.…

    Often we can point to reasons, but many of us are plagued by an implaceable, ghostly melancholy: the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives.…

    In the hands of an implaceable rider, a steed could be unperturbed by the most horrific sights; ……

    … the show with T’Pol spazzing out was a brilliant idea to shock the viewer by showing an implaceable and stoic character going crazy and acting abnormal. ……

  281. 406

    Commentary by Katy Jennison , 2005/05/23 at 3:26 pm

    New one? “A wolf in cheap clothing” was heard by Gervase Finn, UK writer and broadcaster, who remarked on it on BBC Radio 4’s “Quote Unquote” programme last week.

  282. 407

    Commentary by Carl Sneyd , 2005/05/23 at 6:00 pm

    2 examples I think, from Robert Doherty’s novel, “Bodyguard of Lies”
    “…securing them with specially sown-in bands of Velcro” and the ever popular “make due”.

  283. 408

    Commentary by Arthaey Angosii , 2005/05/24 at 11:03 pm

    I came across “one off” instead of “one-of” twice just today. I’ve lost the link to the first one, but the other is from… — “The Ajax article may be a one off.”

  284. 409

    Commentary by JC Dill , 2005/05/31 at 1:53 am

    Towed -> toad.

    When another vehicle is towed behind an RV, the adjective “towed” has been morphed into the noun toad.…

    “Many people feel more comfortable driving a motorhome than pulling a trailer or fifth wheel (at least when they don’t have a toad behind them).”

  285. 410

    Commentary by Jim Hunziker , 2005/05/31 at 11:16 pm

    I found this on a mobile phone site: holdster. Apparently this is because a holster holds your phone!

    Found on…

  286. 411

    Commentary by Adam Linville , 2005/06/01 at 1:44 am

    A friend, today: “I’m not adverse to doing work if I’m sure that the reward will be worthwhile.” I’ve heard/seen this usage a few times this week and more times than I care to count in the past few years. I’ve even heard “adversion” for “aversion.”

  287. 412

    Commentary by Wangden , 2005/06/01 at 1:44 pm

    Nigel Pond in #166 describes “supposably” as a Joeyism on Friends, but the joke only works because it’s common in the wild.

    Chandler’s line (according to an online transcript) is: “What if I never find someone? Or worse, what if I’ve found her, but I dumped her because she pronounced it “supposably”?”

    After Chandler leaves the room, Joey tries to figure our what’s wrong with “supposably”, but the joke is based on the fact that you do hear this one (and judging by the Google results, it’s one people love to hate).

    Here are some genuine uses found in a quick Google search:

    “Great rod, but it supposably never brakes.”
    “You’re supposably different Yeah you’re supposably different”
    “Getting bunch of spam ISP supposably took action”
    “We had sex on all the days that I was supposably ovulating but I got my period”

  288. 413

    Commentary by Becki , 2005/06/01 at 1:57 pm

    During a conversation with a work acquaintance, she was describing some clothing her son wore when he was young, that had “velcrove” on the pockets. I had no clue what she meant. During a subsequent conversation she mentioned the word again and I asked her what she meant. “You know, the strips with the sticky stuff, they use it on shoes too, so the little kids can put their shoes on without having to tie them.” I realized then she meant Velcro (hook & loop tape). A Google search of the word “velcrove” elicited 68 instances of the misspelling, used to refer to Velcro hook & loop tape. I found nothing to indicate that the word “velcrove” is a generic term for hook & loop tape; Velcro is a particular brand-name and, like “Kleenex” has come to represent facial tissue, the word Velcro has come to represent all hook & loop tape. Interestingly enough, hook & loop tape was invented after Switzerland’s George deMestral noticed burrs sticking to his dog’s fur. Wondering why, he looked at the burrs under a microscope and noticed the hooks. working with a fabric expert in Lyon, France, they created the hook & loop tape; he applied for a patent in 1951 and in 1952 started the Velcro Company. So, I still don’t know where “velcrove” came from except it may be a regional language variance (or people just not paying attention).

  289. 414

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/06/01 at 9:23 pm

    ‘dungeon’ for ‘dudgeon.’ Especially in the phrase, ‘high dungeon.’ Examples-

    Councilman Abbatiello was described as leaving the meeting “in high dungeon.”…

    She worked herself into high dungeon over Arnold’s groping episodes, but there
    was little to distinguish hers from the other liberals at the Chronicle:… contentDisplay.asp?aid=8680&catcode=10

    The next morning I arrived at the mess to find the Commodore in a state of
    high dungeon.…

    The left and their complicit partisan-liberal media literally have gone into
    high dungeon mode over the so-called “prisoner abuse scandal.…

    The other theory states that the longer we parents object with high dungeon,
    the longer our children are going to squeal with such hysterical delight.…

  290. 415

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/06/01 at 10:39 pm

    ‘port-barrel’ for ‘pork-barrel.’ I’m not sure what excessive and corrupt government disbursements have to do with port barrels, except that port wine is a needless luxury. But I don’t see the connection with pork barrels either.

    Every administration, Republican and Democrat, vows to curtail port barrel spending.…

    … these appropriations for local projects are sometimes called “port-barrel legislation ……

    Union alleges ‘more port-barrel politics than policy’ behind quiet consolidation of immigration call-centres in Minister’s home town.…

    The editors complained that port security funding is “being distorted by bad choices and port barrel politics.”…

    It is an open secret that port barrel allocation are the biggest source of graft and corruption… index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=18

    …4. The National Parks Compromised: Port Barrel Politics & America’s Treasures. by Ridenour, James M……

  291. 416

    Commentary by Kurt Rauscher , 2005/06/02 at 3:23 pm

    It really bothers me when someone uses “wallah” when they should be using “voila”. Specific examples can be easily found with a Google search, and I’ve seen it used in novels and comics as well. I don’t know if it qualifies as an eggcorn, but I find it very frustrating.……

  292. 417

    Commentary by Ursula , 2005/06/05 at 5:08 am

    To be “certified” as a teacher appears to be evolving into being “certificated,” a term I find awkward and adding in unnecessary complexity. According to the New Oxford American Dic. to be certificated means “to be with or attest in an official document.” I wonder if we’re in the way of developing new versions of some relatives of certified such as: Identificated, verificated, etc.

  293. 418

    Commentary by christine gray , 2005/06/06 at 1:58 pm

    A beauty salon in Baltimore is named “Crown and Glory,” but it should be, obviously, “Crowning Glory.”

  294. 419

    Commentary by Anne White , 2005/06/06 at 7:26 pm

    Caught in a book: “flamingo dancing” = flamenco dancing. As in, “my daughter takes tap, jazz, and flamingo dancing.” Somebody desperately needs a copyeditor.

  295. 420

    Commentary by Rick Bolger , 2005/06/06 at 7:40 pm

    Stone Hedge
    Two women at work asking me about rock formations…
    “Have you ever seen the real famous one out west shaped like an M?” So I’m
    trying to figure out what she’s talking about, and after she says “I think
    they call it Hedgehog,” of course she’s referring to Stonehenge. So I ask
    her if she means Stonehenge, which prompts her to Google “Stonehedge.” I
    said, “Stonehenge is in England, and it’s not a rock formation…it’s a
    manmade formation of rocks.” Of course Google returns about 25,000 hits on
    Stonehedge, all misspellings of course. Now the two women are arguing with
    me, “No way, couldn’t be man made.” They ask another guy if “Stonehedge” is
    man made, and he says “It’s StoneHENGE, and yes, it’s man made.” The first
    lady says, no, it’s StoneHEDGE. I said, “well, no, he’s correct, it’s
    Stonehenge, but I didn’t say anything because I figured I already sounded
    too much like a know it all.” She replies with a harumph, “this time we got
    you…it’s Stonehedge…just check on Google.” I pulled out a dictionary
    and showed them, and they asked “how come Google says it’s Stonehedge.” I told
    them that is just because there are thousands of morons creating web pages
    who don’t know the real name of Stonehenge. The second lady took offense to
    that, gave me a chilly look, and said firmly, “Don’t throw stones at glass

  296. 421

    Commentary by Nadine Fiedler , 2005/06/06 at 11:14 pm

    In his press conference on May 31, 2005, George Bush said about an Amnesty International report: “In terms of the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained. We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, you know — yes, sir.”


  297. 422

    Commentary by Jessica , 2005/06/07 at 1:08 pm

    Just came across this today, and it made me chuckle: “rice patties” instead of “rice paddies”. The context: “It poured for a week leading into the 2004 event, turning the campus grounds into rice patties” ( That’s some image!

    A very quick Google search revealed that it’s a fairly common mistake - there were 3000+ hits even after weeding out the numerous recipes for actual rice patties. I guess the American flapped [t] is to blame…

  298. 423

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/06/07 at 3:05 pm

    Re 406: I don’t understand. Isn’t “one off” the correct version?

  299. 424

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/06/07 at 3:13 pm

    “carmel” instead of the correct “caramel” for the substance created by cooking sugar. Allegedly named after the French chef Marie Careme or from Spanish caramelo, from Late Latin calamellus = small reed

  300. 425

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/06/07 at 3:18 pm

    Re 413: I could not agree more. Even better to use voilà.

  301. 426

    Commentary by Dale , 2005/06/07 at 4:36 pm

    how about “cardshark”, as opposed to the correct “cardsharp” ?

  302. 427

    Commentary by Josi , 2005/06/10 at 3:17 pm

    I was reading a flyer put out by my library and I found two eggcorns. First they said that they would teach us knitting and PEARLING (it’s purling). And also asked if we could bring a full ROLE of duct tape to a duct tape workshop.

    I think that the power mower-paramour eggcorn is really funny.

  303. 428

    Commentary by Richard Altwarg , 2005/06/13 at 2:48 pm

    one and the same — one in the same

  304. 429

    Commentary by Rob Pettigrew , 2005/06/13 at 3:29 pm

    From :

    “For years, Mac users have been conditioned to hate Intel — much of the backlash we see from users is probably due to this deep seeded notion that Intel is the bad guy.”

    I would’ve expected an editor to have noticed the use of “deep seeded” instead of “deep seated”. But you can see where someone might mix that up, I suppose. ‘The idea was planted so deep that it’s hard to change…’

  305. 430

    Commentary by Sean Fulton , 2005/06/14 at 5:43 pm

    “when all is set and done” instead of the correct “when all is said and done”

    Google turns up thousands of instances of this one. Note the variation with “after” instead of “when” occurs too.

  306. 431

    Commentary by John Bauman , 2005/06/14 at 11:59 pm

    I just heard “horning in on” in place of “honing in on.” I’ve googled for it, and I’ve seen a few legitimate-lookg cases of confusion.

  307. 432

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/06/15 at 10:54 pm

    “Beyond a reasonable doubt” –> “within the reason of a doubt”

    Not only is the “new” version wrong, it doesn’t even make sense!

    From a posting on the BBC’s Have Your Say pages about the Michael Jackson verdicts:

    Many readers forget that in a U.S. criminal case the prosecution must prove their case within the reason of a doubt

  308. 433

    Commentary by Wade Hassler , 2005/06/16 at 4:04 pm

    is “heart-rendering” in the database yet?

  309. 434

    Commentary by Laura , 2005/06/16 at 6:37 pm

    “vile” for “vial”

    Found in San Jose Mercury News, 06/16/05:

    A Santa Cruz County family reached a settlement Wednesday with the U.S. Postal Service nine months after filing suit over a vile of meningitis that was tucked inside a package that arrived at the family’s Aptos home.

  310. 435

    Commentary by Lillie , 2005/06/19 at 5:46 am

    “Whisks away moisture.” My housemate says it of his Capilene shirts. Sure enough, I did on online search using Goggle and found 302 hits for “whisks away moisture,” 255 for “whisk away moisture.” Some examples:

    “Breathable stretch Lycra in finger gussets improves flexibility, and whisks away moisture.”
    “The hi-tech, hollow-core fiber retains heat and whisks away moisture for superior warmth and dryness.”
    “Plus, 80′ temperatures in Texas/Oklahoma. Is helping whisk away moisture.” [sic]

    But there are far more for the original term: 23,200 hits for “wick away moisture,” 57,800 for “wick.”

  311. 436

    Commentary by Adrian , 2005/06/20 at 12:37 am

    “all you’ve done is sprouted alot of rubbish.”…

  312. 437

    Commentary by Chris Clark , 2005/06/21 at 7:32 am

    try my hat/try my hand — “I really want to try my hat at teaching”

    At this writing, there are only 150 raw Google hits for “try my hat” compared to 132000 for the conventional “hand” phrase, but the use of the eggcorny variety does indicate more than a simple misspelling. People who play multiple roles in the home or workplace often refer to these roles as ‘hats’, as in “I put on my designer’s hat”, often with reference to the need to “change hats” between different tasks. Trying one’s hat at a new task is an extension of the hat metaphor to an already widely-used expression.

  313. 438

    Commentary by Chris Clark , 2005/06/21 at 7:40 am

    PS- Can somebody edit #314 to close or remove the anchor tag at the end of the comment?

    Depending on your browser, the unclosed anchor tag “leaks” all over everything, making everything below that point a link to…

  314. 439

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/06/22 at 3:23 pm

    “meddle” for the correct “mettle”

    EG a recent post on the Autoblog:

    The new Corvette C6-R (or is it C6.R?) proved its meddle by taking 1st and 2nd place in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans…”

  315. 440

    Commentary by Keith H. Peterson , 2005/06/23 at 9:57 pm

    What price “dull as dishwater,” instead of “dull as ditchwater”?… suggests that this might better be classified as a folk etymology: the former expression prevailing in America, the latter in England. But the expression (which one?) was a favorite of my mother’s, and I spent a troubled childhood batting ‘em back and forth in my mind, the way Alice pondered the eating habits of cats and bats.

  316. 441

    Commentary by Arthaey Angosii , 2005/06/27 at 6:30 pm

    “cummupins” instead of “comeupance” — Actual sighting: “I don’t understand why anyone would be worried about people getting their cummupins.” Googling shows others have used this variation.

  317. 442

    Commentary by rosanne , 2005/06/30 at 8:41 am

    I’ve now seen “well chartered waters” instead of “well charted” waters twice in material submitted to me by authors (I’m an editor). I’ve seen a couple of examples in a quick Google search. I haven’t seen it make it through to publication elsewhere yet though.

  318. 443

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/06/30 at 9:10 am

    Rosanne, we already have unchartered (waters) in the database. I’ve noted your _well-chartered_ variant in the remarks section.

  319. 444

    Commentary by surya , 2005/07/02 at 10:55 am

    ‘gorilla’ instead of ‘guerilla’ in guerilla tactics
    google has a lot of these but they are mostly intentional

  320. 445

    Commentary by surya , 2005/07/02 at 10:58 am

    ignore that!
    i don’t think that qualifies as an eggcorn
    it’s more of a mispelling, it’s very easy to unconciously write gorilla

  321. 446

    Commentary by Bernard Greenberg , 2005/07/02 at 2:14 pm

    rubble rouser for rabble rouser (see citations) ; you already have rebel rouser.) Rabble, denoting masses of “ordinary” people, has fallen out of currency; in its wake, rubble, today de facto limited to the granular ruins of bombed structures, is usurping it in this phrase, giving us rubble rouser to eggcornically suggest one whose vigorous actions stir up dust-storms.

    3 typical Google citations:

    Then, from an entirely different perspective, some rubble-rouser like Jean-Marie Le Pen will come up with an inflammatory statement and single-handedly …… - 254k - Cached - Similar pages

    He was neither a religious bigot nor a rubble rouser. This much I have come to know of from a fleeting acquaintance and the autobiographical work of Nuhu …… - 70k - Cached - Similar pages

    Bush in a Maze
    It is easy for a rubble-rouser in a democratic garb to rise (and rise fast) to the highest pinnacle of power. But once there, all non-democratic means are …… - 11k - Cached - Similar pages

  322. 447

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/03 at 7:08 am

    ‘hedgemoney’ for ‘hegemony.’ It isn’t surprising that some writers see a connection between hegemony and money, and perhaps especially the highly mobile capital deployed by hedge funds. Examples-

    Very good, bottom line analysis of dollar hedgemoney.…

    The Islamic Republic of Iran supports any muslim country who wishes to rid itself of the shackles of western hedgemoney. ……

    Federal hedgemoney should not be allowed to exist, because it tramples on
    unalienable rights and it exeeds the Constitutional limits placed on the federal ……

    Music producers need to break from the hedgemoney of the current music industry.…

    The term “free country” ceases to have any meaning whatsoever
    when hedgemony prevails. Hedgemoney ENDS freedom.…

  323. 448

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/03 at 8:03 am

    ‘wink’ for ‘wing’ - specifically in ‘wink and a prayer’ for ‘wing and a prayer.’ The original phrase refers to hazardous aviation undertaken by optimists. The eggcorn version means something similar but more sly. 86,000 google hits for the original, vs 325 for the eggcorn. Examples-

    Do they plug in properly or is the connection made on a wink and a prayer?…

    Not all coaches are the same. Some are loud and demanding. Some are disorganized and make it through on a wink and a prayer.… parent/parent2parent/playball.cfm

    “I want this to be the kind of team that tries to make things happen,” he said. “It was kind of a wink-and-a-prayer sort of thing. ……

    Heart Disease All these diseases, operations, medications, and endoscopic surgeries can be stopped in a wink and a prayer simply by removing the cause.…

    The Chicago KIngs were founded on a wink and a prayer by four enterprising young dykes in February 2001.…

    Remember this was before the wonder of electronics, and passage through the Junctions was helped on many occasions by a wink and a prayer. ……

  324. 449

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/07/03 at 10:13 am

    Thanks to Ken Lakritz (wow!) and Bernard Greenberg for these excellent contributions. I have added them.

  325. 450

    Commentary by Andy Lester , 2005/07/04 at 6:52 am

    What about “could of”, “should of” and “would of”? They drive me nuts.

  326. 451

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/05 at 4:18 am

    ‘cast system’ for ‘caste system.’ The word ‘cast’ connotes rigidity and permanence (as in ‘iron-cast’ and ‘cast in concrete’) and can refer to an outward form or appearance (’ a suit of stylish cast’), or a tinge or coloration (’a complexion of a dark cast’). These several suggestive meanings make caste -> cast an eggcorn rather than merely a homophonic substitution. Found 3500+ times by google. examples-

    India’s cast system looks on these precious children as non-persons and they are virtually ignored by the India medical system.…

    It is odd to think of India with her cast system and exclusiveness, having this astonishing inclusive capacity to absorb foreign races and cultures.…

    The cast system is still very much a part of everyday life in India.…

    He was a teacher of both religious and social tolerance and fought to eliminate the cast system from India’s culture.…

    With its strong remnants of the traditional cast system, India is now turning away from its old protectionist economic policy of import substitution,……

  327. 452

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/05 at 5:00 am

    ‘route cause’ for ‘root cause.’ 5,000+ Google hits, e.g.,

    In addition it uses Route Cause Analysis RCA to identify each route cause for the status or fault and provides visual notification of the type of fault …

    So what is the route cause of PCOS? Is it in your ovaries? … The real route cause of PCOS, it’s all in your brain. …… msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=1343&La

    … winning the race to control the spread of BSE potentially present in food chain wastes, said to be the route cause of expansion of Mad Cow Disease.…

    I didn’t and still dont feel that antidepressants are solely the answer…you are not dealing with the route cause of the problem.…

    The route cause for all these sins not, only against women but all others, is that we do not have law that can work……

    … germany had been told that they were the route cause and their lives meant nothing.…

  328. 453

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/05 at 6:31 am

    ‘dura matter’ for ‘dura mater.’ The dura mater (latin for ‘hard mother’) is the outermost of the three membranes covering the brain. 3,000+ Google hits for the eggcorn. (The innermost membrane is the ‘pia mater,’ which gets eggcorned to ‘pia matter.’) Examples-

    The brain and spinal cord are covered by a tough, translucent membrane, called the dura matter.…

    The health ministry’s own research now indicates infected dura matter is the most likely cause of 43 cases of mad cow disease since 1985.…

    The mass was attached to and broadly based on the posterior dura matter, compressing the cord and displacing it anteriorly.…

    A large body of evidence has been gathered describing an important interaction between the brain, dura matter and cranial suture in craniosynostosis.…

  329. 454

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/06 at 6:00 am

    ‘charted accountant’ for ‘chartered accountant.’ Rather than holding a charter, an accountant who has passed his exam is thought of as being recorded or ‘charted’ in some official registry. This isn’t terribly interesting, except that it’s a converse eggcorn to ‘unchartered waters.’ (I’d like to see someone compile a list of these bi-directional eggcorns). 5,000+ google hits, e.g.,


    Suitable bride wanted for a Khatri boy 5′-7′’, 73 born (Charted Accountant) Running his own practice Income 30+.…

    A book written by David Amonson, an Alberta charted accountant, discussing ways to reform the Canadian tax system.… Canada/Society_and_Culture/Politics/Issues/Taxation/

  330. 455

    Commentary by Doug Ellice , 2005/07/08 at 7:26 pm

    Jerry-rigged. Correct is jury-rigged, a nautical term relating to the rigging of sail, etc.
    Probably contaminated by Jerry-built, a derogatory comment on the quality of something.

  331. 456

    Commentary by Simon , 2005/07/09 at 8:29 am

    “Can’t be arsed” an expression that has become common in England and Wales over the last ten years.
    is apparently mutating into “Can’t be asked” they are near if not total homonyms. in some english accents…

  332. 457

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/09 at 10:53 pm

    ‘plays the piper’ for ‘pays the piper.’ In the aphorism ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune.’ Examples-

    Moi said the adage “he who plays the piper calls the tune” mirrors exactly
    the relationship between developed and developing countries.…

    He who plays the piper calls the tune: The future of university finance.…

    The ethics are really guided by the idiom of “he who plays the piper calls the
    tune.” This is power disguised under good intentions.…

    Nowadays it is the woman who plays the piper and men must play along if they want to stay in the relationship.…

  333. 458

    Commentary by Len Lakritz , 2005/07/09 at 11:54 pm

    ’shore term’ for ’short term.’ This substitution is quite common on the internet (>600 ghits) and I’m unsure why. Do the writers think that a shore term is a aeason at the beach? Examples:

    This project addresses the accuracy of shoreline position prediction methods, and the nature of long-term and shore-term erosion.…

    Even shore-term marijuana use has been shown to cause problems with memory, learning, cognitive development and problem solving.…

    No matter what one thinks of the merits of the recall initiative, its shore term implications for the California economy are negative ……

    Leasing allows for the preservation of bank lines of credit, which can be kept unencumbered for shore term borrowing.…

    Medicare only provides shore-term benefits (a maximum of 100 days) for skilled care in a nursing home, following a three-day hospital stay.…

  334. 459

    Commentary by James Walker , 2005/07/11 at 5:33 pm

    mussel > muscle
    Maybe it’s just a mis-spelling, but it also makes sense, considering that shellfish are practically just a muscle between two shells.

    Shorecrabs, for instance, eat muscles that become increasingly difficult to crack open as their size increases. Crabs will pass up large muscles, which would take too much time and energy to crack, to search for smaller muscles.…

    I cann’t eat muscles or osters or clams they cause me pain.…

    seafood is not the devil, and is actually yumm-ie…though i’m going to have to work on it before i let myself be persuaded to eat muscles etc, they seriously do look a bit slimy……

  335. 460

    Commentary by James Walker , 2005/07/11 at 5:35 pm

    oops, already posted… perhaps there should be a easy way to search these comments?

  336. 461

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/11 at 10:14 pm

    ‘grim and bear it’ for ‘grin and bear it.’ This shows up about 2,400 times on Google, and subtly changes the meaning of the phrase. Of interest, this is the second eggcorn of ‘grin and bear it.’ the other is the already recorded ‘grin and bare it.’ Examples-

    Im not looking forward to the 23 hour flight, but will have to grim and bear it!…

    Everyone looks so grim and bear it, so thickly socked and guarded. It’s their
    bottle greens and navy blues. England is so buttoned up.…

    You do get used to it and small children tend to overlook bad smells for obvious
    reasons–so you might have to grim and bear it for a few minutes.…

    After speaking with the college tutor he has told me that I should just grim and
    bear it for the remainder of my time, which, I think I can handle?…

  337. 462

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/07/12 at 3:06 am

    Re: James Walker, comment 460 (and 459): Unfortunately, including the comments into the on-site search is not quite trivial. I made some changes to the search function today (the search was briefly riddled with database errors — my bad), but it is still impossible to find a particular commentary on this page.

    The way I search the comments, using the Firefox browser, is to display all comments on one page, and then use the browser’s “search as you type” function (you have to preface the search with “/” if you haven’t enabled “search as you type” in the browser options. This is arguably faster than a site search via the search form.

    As for your submission mussel»muscle (Thanks!), it is on a (long) list of probable eggcorns that I feel need a little more thought before they are entered. Admittedly, the database already contains entries that aren’t any less puzzling.

    Maybe a case could be made for replacing this overlong comment thread with a proper forum. Any thoughts on that?

  338. 463

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/07/12 at 10:46 am

    One stopgap solution might be to add a Google Site Search form, since Google indexes all the comments on this page and elsewhere on the site.

  339. 464

    Commentary by Bernard Greenberg , 2005/07/12 at 2:02 pm

    detract >> distract (from)

    I heard someone on TV last night say that her good looks “won’t distract from [her] performance as an athlete”. It’s tedious to research this with Google, but after a few pages of “distract from” you will find cases where the author really meant “lessen the impact or effectiveness of” (i.e., detract), not “divert attention from” (i.e., “distract”). In my experience, “distract” always used to be used with a direct object (”distract the council’s attention from more pressing matters”): the numerous citations of “distract from” findable by Google seem to be influenced by “detract from”.

  340. 465

    Commentary by Mark Peters , 2005/07/12 at 6:34 pm

    To me, this is a beauty: “spurt of the moment.”

    It gets 685 Google web hits.

    Hope this finds a place on your fantastic site!


  341. 466

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/07/12 at 7:33 pm

    Mark Peters: I agree, that one’s lovely. Thanks for your compliments as well.

    Everyone else: Check out Mark Peters’ site Wordlustitude. If you like The Eggcorn Database, you’ll love this one, too.

  342. 467

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/13 at 6:23 am

    ’straight and arrow’ for ’straight and narrow.’ I suspect that this eggcorn is due to the subliminal influence
    of the colloquialism ’straight arrow’ for a person of unimpeachable morals.
    About 400 google citations. Examples:

    Dustin Hoffman provides the voice-work for Tucker, a down-and-out, grizzled,
    crafty old pony who keeps Stripes on the straight-and-arrow.…

    She who seeks to coexist with her avatar must follow the straight and arrow.…

    Left with nothing, and realizing what he has lost, he quickly goes on the straight and arrow.…

    “If I’m keeping the straight and arrow and I’m not doing anything wrong there
    should be no reason why they can’t go through and read my instant messages,” ……

    The media serve as a watchdog to keep political leaders on the straight and arrow.…

  343. 468

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/07/13 at 12:08 pm

    As per Ben Zimmer’s suggestion, I have integrated a Google Site Search form in the sidebar. Google indexes new comments quite rapidly, so if you want to check if someone else has already submitted an eggcorn you have just found, that’s the way to go.

    The presentation of URLs pasted into your comments has also been improved. Most should auto-link with a shortened link text now. But please make sure that there are no blank spaces in the URLs.

  344. 469

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/13 at 5:03 pm

    ‘ace in the hold’ for ‘ace in the hole.’ Examples:

    The Kerry campaign has an ace in the hold to rally the country around the Democratic candidate: another movie. A documentary about the Kerry’s exploits ……

    Although Diamonds is a small film that did not get great reviews and no one really saw, it has the biggest ace in the hold of all : Kirk Douglas.…

    Personally, I’m betting we’ve already captured or killed Osama Bin Laden, and the Bush administration is going to keep that as their ‘Ace in the hold’,…… -

  345. 470

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/13 at 5:56 pm

    ‘pipe piper’ for ‘pied piper.’ I suspect that this substitution comes about because of the relative unfamiliarity of the word ‘pied.’ Examples:

    Hamelin(also written as ‘Hameln’ in German) is known as the famous city of the pipe piper whose story many of us have heard.…

    King Rat encorporates the old myth of the Pipe Piper and I really enjoyed Mieville’s version of Pipe Piper character, he is vicious, but in the end……

    An obviously brilliant flautist, he dressed up like the Pipe Piper in a dirty raincoat and played his flute whilst undertaking flamingo like stances.…

    … but by blocking out relations and interaction with US citizens Cubans would just continue to follow Cuba’s pipe piper, Fidel Castro……

    He’s the world renowned “Pipe-piper!” I couldn’t understand how hundreds of German fans were shouting just to see Michael Jackson outside of his hotel windows.…

  346. 471

    Commentary by language hat , 2005/07/13 at 7:09 pm

    short sided for short-sighted:
    “While I agree that comparisons between Al Queda and a trained national military force is short sided, dhoyt, I would not agree that religious martyrdom and cold blooded murder are in any way the same (besides, wouldn’t angry, indiscriminate terrorists be committing hot blooded manslaughter?).”
    From MetaFilter:…

  347. 472

    Commentary by mary blockley , 2005/07/14 at 3:08 am

    (I’m assuming this is the place referred to as “comment” above)

    “cut and dry” for “cut and dried” is one I’ve heard as well as seen. The notoriously reticent morphology of the first member of the coordinated pair, as well as final stop deletion, enables the past participle to morph into the infinitive.

  348. 473

    Commentary by Gwen Lenker , 2005/07/14 at 3:30 am

    “lamblast” for “lambaste”

    153 Google citations.

    Example: “To sit there and lamblast a corporation for carrying out its business is

  349. 474

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/14 at 5:48 am

    ‘hand over first’ for ‘hand over fist.’ The meaning of the eggcorn is somewhat obscure (as is the meaning of the original), but it’s fairly common- 1,000+ ghits. Examples:

    The printer companies lose money on the printers — but make money hand over
    first with the cartridges, which cost less than $3 to make,……

    He may make money hand over first, and receive the adulations of crowds of people wearing tinfoil hats, but it’s all a facade.…

    The major networks, losing audiences hand over first in recent years, are set to
    bring this reality home to TV viewers with several series……

    Therefore the chances are you will lose money hand over first.…

    Hell, when this team is making money hand over first, we as fans have a right to
    expect more.

    … the merger would have been a disaster for Disney — ABC has been a money pit — except that it has been making money hand over first on ESPN, ……

  350. 475

    Commentary by Arlo , 2005/07/15 at 7:09 pm

    “Roman goalie” instead of “roaming goalie”: a goalkeeper who can venture beyond the goal area. This is hard to find online, except here, but it’s one that I’ve heard used in both the USA and UK. I always envisioned the goalie on patrol like some Roman sentry…

  351. 476

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/16 at 4:55 am

    ‘on timely’ for ‘untimely.’ Especially in the phrase ‘untimely death. This is a peculiar eggcorn in that it seems to reverse the meaning of the original, although users seem not to appreciate this. Examples-

    My Father was ready to go to Europe to clear the goods before he met his on timely death.… cvs-darwinports-all/2004-July/027167.html

    Our condolences on the on timely death of Kothari Chandhary who was killed in a tragic bus accident.…

    Before his on timely death he called me and my younger sister and informed us that he lodged some money on a trunk box with security company…

    My aunt Bözsi succumbed to malnutrition and disease, but my younger cousin Évi,
    who loudly expressed her rage over her mother’s ontimely demise, ……

    His on timely death, when he was in full activity, produced consternation among
    the many fans of Uruguayan film and specially among the…

  352. 477

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/16 at 7:32 am

    ‘one toe over the line’ for ‘one toke over the line.’ I believe this is a mondegreen that’s turning into an eggcorn. The original phrase is from a cheesy ’60’s rock song and is easily misheard. For example:

    … My husband thought that the lyrics said, One toe over the line….
    Me too (until just now). I’ma font of misheard lyrics.…

    In my youth I had misunderstood the lyrics of a popular song, and I began
    singing “sittin’ downtown in a railway station, one toe over the line. ……

    However, the misheard phrase is now used to mean something like what the original did, i.e., drugged, stoned,out of it. My limited understanding of these things is that mondegreens and eggcorns are semantically similar phenomena, but, at a pragmatic level, eggcorns get used while mondegreens are merely heard.(Is that right?) Here are some instances of the new phrase-

    … fun, daring, shy, outgoing, mysterious, definitely need my ‘me’ time, willing to compromise, and just this side of sane–occasionally one toe over the line.….

    … no ordinary vandal but his behaviour seems to have reached some sort of crisis point, at this point IMO he is one toe over the line, and bears watching.…

    the commune’s Stu Umbrage lives his life one toe over the line, but only because he has trouble following directions.…

    SpinOff is a lively, impudent, in the know and one toe over the line look at the federal election.…

    However, there is a dangerous side of the paradox: one toe over the line, and
    the same discipline that was a liberating force now becomes enslaving.…

    In the growing mess over Democratic financing for the campaign, Al Gore finds
    himself with one toe over the line in the matter of the Buddhist temple event…

  353. 478

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/07/16 at 7:51 am

    Ken Lakritz, comment 477: I wonder how much of this eggcorn is related to the idiom “to put one toe out of line”.

  354. 479

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/16 at 10:04 pm

    ‘undertoad’ for ‘undertow.’ This might be the first of a new class of eggcorns- those appearing in works of fiction. As explained at

    undertoad, noun. A form of anxiety, the chief feature of which is an overarching fear of the unknown in general and one’s personal mortality in particular.

    Example Citation:
    “[Timothy Findley’s] genuine self-doubt is forever near the surface, threatening to pull him down, and if not destroy him, silence him for good. This is his personal undertoad.
    —Quest (as quoted by Anne Soukhanov in Word Watch)

    The word undertoad comes from the phrase Under Toad which was coined by John Irving in his book The World According to Garp. In the book, the youngest child, Walt, is constantly being warned to “watch out for the undertow” while playing in the surf, but he mishears the word as Under Toad:

    Garp…realized that all these years Walt had
    been dreading a giant toad, lurking offshore,
    waiting to suck him under and drag him out to
    sea. The terrible Under Toad.

    The word ‘undertoad’is now widely in use- 12,000+ ghits- but most of the users seem quite knowing and I’m not sure it’s an eggcrn outside the confines of Irving’s novel.

  355. 480

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/16 at 10:19 pm

    ‘expose facto’ for ‘ex post facto.’ Examples:

    The courts have so far ruled that registration is not punitive, rather it is regulatory, therefore, they say, it does not violate Expose-Facto.…

    Initial installation & expose facto maintenance are easily managed via Web console.

    A chance of hearing was given to the Company and the Government of India was
    moved to accord expose facto approval.…

    2.) No bill of attainder or expose facto law shall be passed.… print.php?constitution/p19.htm

  356. 481

    Commentary by Kathleen , 2005/07/17 at 5:23 pm

    “Another thing coming” for “another think coming” as in the expression: “If he thinks I won’t find out, he’s got
    another think coming.” I have heard and read “thing” substituted in this phrase — it doesn’t even make sense.

  357. 482

    Commentary by Alice Romero , 2005/07/17 at 6:18 pm

    eBay is a goldmine for inchoate ones because there is lots of dealer jargon that no one has seen spelled out before.

    “umpire waist” for “empire waist”. A strange image, and a bit sickening if you think it means that baseball umpires have the waist on their uniforms just below their man-boobs.

    “Bombay chest” for “bombé chest”. This one has probably been around for quite some time, actually.

    “bake light” for “bakelite”. Maybe the plastic manufacturing process involves a quick time in the oven.

  358. 483

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/17 at 9:14 pm

    ‘consented effort’ for ‘concerted effort.’ This substitution makes good eggcornish sense; in a democracy, before a group can act in concert, the members of the group must give their consent. Examples:

    This site presents itself without fault, thanks to a consented effort to adopt
    and to respect the XHTML and CSS standards.…

    …success of Egypt’s conservation effort to date is the outcome of indigenous.
    initiative and consented effort, stimulated by international …

    It is true that, Government cannot win the war alone but this requires a consented effort from all of us.

    EQUIS is driven by the management development profession in Europe in a freely
    consented effort at self-improvement and self-regulation.…

    They reflect a consented effort to integrate growth and. preservation of the
    values and characteristics that makes Loudoun a desirable place to live ……

  359. 484

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/18 at 7:18 am

    ‘fate accompli’ for ‘fait accompli.’ To be filed as a cross-language eggcorn. About 900 ghits. Examples:

    Variety doesn’t tend to print anything that will make a studio to upset, so the story turning up there indicates that it is probably a fate accompli.…

    It’s a fate accompli. The military industrial complex has taken control of the United States Government and it spells doom for us all.

    Baseball’s World Series has always seemed to have this sense of ‘fate accompli’ when something great happens in the middle or near the end of a tight series.…

    During the last decade, managed care and “managed competition” have become a fate accompli in American medicine.…

    Thus a social order dictated by the ‘free’ market and yet, ironically, ‘determined’ by the globalised capital is fast imposing itself as a fate accompli.…

    The human psyche responds best when given freedom of choice and resists when presented with a fate accompli.…

    The Coming Judgement upon America, however much the American people may not wish to see it come about, is a fate accompli- its already here.

  360. 485

    Commentary by Kelli , 2005/07/18 at 8:19 am

    Should of, could of, would of, in place of should have, could have, would have. I honestly can’t say with any certainty that it’s an eggcorn; there doesn’t seem to be any sense in the transformation. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a simple mistranscription of the contracted form (’ve). Why the writers in question don’t apply a little interpretation to the words they think they heard is beyond me. Perhaps it’s an assumed idiomatic phrase — so many phrases with antiquated origins are still in use today without those origins being understood, we may have reached critical mass.

    References: countless. A search on Google returns hits in the millions, with only the first seven or so out of the first 100 being criticisms and corrections of the practice.

  361. 486

    Commentary by John Hayter , 2005/07/18 at 3:28 pm

    I have heard - twice now - a corruption of the phrase “to bat an eyelid”.

    “to batter an eyelid”.

    Example in the dialect of the city of Worcester, England, where I first heard it:

    “Her never battered an eyelid.”

    Pancake batter?

  362. 487

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/18 at 10:32 pm

    ‘fiercesome’ for ‘fearsome. Very eggcornish, since fierce creatures inspire fear, and very common- over 5,000 ghits. Notice that while most eggcorns involve omitting or swallowing a consonant, this eggcorn adds one, at least if carefully pronounced. Examples:

    “It’s quite a fiercesome troll!” the shadowmaker tells the children gathered in
    the theatre “And you should all feel quite upset by it!”…

    For my money, the NZ sand fly is the meanest most fiercesome predator on the globe.…

    Goddess Tara … she is depicted as one of the eight major aspects of the Divine Feminine Principle, a loving manifestation in contrast to the fiercesome Kali.….

    Penthesilea, fiercesome and beautiful, succeeds in routing the Greeks until
    Achilles rises from the ranks to slay her.…

    Libertarians think as the founders did, that we need some government, but, like
    fire, government is a dangerous servant and a fiercesome master.…

    Clear Plastic Cups … Not a terribly fiercesome weapon but considering they’ve banned nail-clippers, still capable of causing some harm.…

  363. 488

    Commentary by Steve Evans , 2005/07/18 at 11:29 pm

    Happened upon in an unpublished manuscript: “flaunting tradition” for “flouting tradition.” There are about 70 Google returns for the former, and just 207 for the latter. Here the reinterpretation seems to invert the original meaning. “To mock, jeer, insult” [something] drifts toward “to display ostentatiously or obtrusively; to flourish, parade, or show off.” Right-wing cultural warriors “flaunt” tradition; tenured radicals flout it.

  364. 489

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/19 at 1:20 am

    ‘marshmellow’ for ‘marshmallow.’ This is so common (90,000 ghits vs. 600,000 for the original) that it can be thought of as nearly mainstream or even as an alternative spelling. Nevertheless,it’s an eggcorn in principle. ‘Marshmallow’ was originally the name of the plant that provided the paste from which marshmallows were made. ‘Mellow,’ in one sense, means soft and sweet. Etymologically they’re separate but marshmallows are mellow..

  365. 490

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/07/19 at 6:38 am

    Steve (comment 488), see Arnold Zwicky’s entry for flout » flaunt, with his explanation for why it doesn’t rise to eggcorn status.

  366. 491

    Commentary by Lenka Reznicek , 2005/07/19 at 5:38 pm

    This morning, I overhead our departmental chair refer to “Flamingo dancing” as “Flamenco dancing.”

  367. 492

    Commentary by Lenka , 2005/07/19 at 5:39 pm

    *ahem* make that “vie subversa,” “Flamingo” for “Flamenco.”

  368. 494

    Commentary by Dave Stabnow , 2005/07/21 at 4:07 pm

    My wife refers to electrical outlets as “plug-ends” instead of plugins. Makes sense.

  369. 495

    Commentary by Angalee , 2005/07/21 at 6:59 pm

    Soleful for Soulful and Soulfully.

    Thank You Volunteers!
    We couldn’t do it without you…
    We offer up these “Soleful Sentiments” to show what makes the MS Walks truly successful. The time
    volunteers give the Mid America Chapter is equivalent to thousands of dollars in cash donations. This is
    why we are grateful!
    **end quote**…

  370. 496

    Commentary by Jennifer , 2005/07/22 at 1:45 am

    I complained to a Downs Syndrome friend that my feet were always cold, so she suggested I get a pair of furry sleepers. Made sense to me!

  371. 497

    Commentary by Michael Brown , 2005/07/23 at 10:15 pm

    cold slaw (4100 ghits)

  372. 498

    Commentary by michael brown , 2005/07/23 at 10:18 pm

    PS. Fun site. “Flamingo Dancing”!!! What wonderful, pink images it conjures up. They might hold the castanets in their beaks.

  373. 499

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:15 pm

    ’shrill’ for ’shill.’ Indeed,many shills are shrill. Examples:

    …prominent conservatives and Republicans have been willing to give up whatever shred of manhood they have left to shrill for the Administration.

    So, being the swell fella that I am, I’ve generously offered to shrill for my
    long-time buddy here at the site!…

    I’m more pissed off about paying Armstrong Williams $250000 of taxpayer money to shrill for Bush.…

    It has already served its purpose - to take as much heat as possible off of lying Dan Rather as he continued to shrill for the Democrats……

    Republican convention: … It will be a transparent sham, using moderates to shrill for the Bush right wing extremist agenda.…

    … ‘It’s a beautiful mornin’ for a drug company CEO who has a player at the table like Hastert, ready at a moment’s notice to shrill for the cronies.… asp?m=rq&ri=172138&ti=10200&fi=24

  374. 500

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:23 pm

    ‘leap of fate’ for ‘leap of faith.’ If you liked ‘fate accompli’ you’ll like this one too. Examples:

    I was only going to upgrade Photoshop, but as the whole Creative Suite was only
    $360 I made a giant leap of fate!…

    I took a leap of fate when I first moved there and had no regrets.…

    It requires imagination, courage, and a leap of fate. But a new government will
    come, and then just maybe Israel will come to grips with the deadly reality ……

    …Tosca exacts a savage revenge that forces her, in the denouement, to take what might be described as a leap of fate.…

    The band took a major leap of fate in early 1996 when Max, John, and Larry came
    to Houston from Maryland.…

  375. 501

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:28 pm

    ’slide of hand’ for ’sleight of hand.’ The database already contains ’slight of hand.’ This one is less common (900 ghits vs 80k) but it seems like a nicer semantic reinterpretation. Examples:

    He’s performing snappy slide-of-hand tricks for a little boy, making his key disappear, reappear as some coins, show up in again in the kid’s pocket……

    … the spectacle became transparent slide of hand, then megaspectacle, and the off-the-balance-sheet pyramid was no longer believable. …… mi_qa4007/is_200501/ai_n13633951

    At the end, I felt the studio tried to force a happy ending in a tricky slide of hand approach.…

    Amazingly, the water seemingly stayed in the cup. Does this have anything to do with physics or is it just a slide of hand?…

    No more stone or clay tablets, no more paper, no more movable type; just speed-of-light movable bits and bytes flowing around the globe like slide of hand.… archives/cat_dymaxia.html

  376. 502

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:41 pm

    ‘toposphere’ for ‘troposphere.’ The troposphere is one of the layers of the atmosphere. It isn’t the top of the atmosphere, but some people seem to think it is. e.g.,

    … personally, I think they should make a Roller coaster at cedar point that
    could reach the moon, or at least go into the toposphere.… php?p=47082&sid=05879833b221681b8ab312cb0c2d2382

    Station Manager Ken, John Fog and Walter help to launch the new antenna into the upper reaches of the toposphere.… hoisting_2005/013_launching_initial.html

    It is nice to know the stars or heavenly bodies, sun, moon, planets, etc are in
    the toposphere… I hope a plane will never ever fly into one of these things. ..…. name=XForum&file=post&action=edit&fid=6&tid=5…

    At 120, the wheels touched their last. The airplane clawed its way into the toposphere. The Griffon screamed as it fought for victory in the battle for lift.…

  377. 503

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:51 pm

    ‘in the contest of’ for ‘in the context of.’ Examples (notice that in the first example, it’s genuinely uncertain which word is intended.)

    The costs incurred in the contest of an election in the seventy-ninth representative district may not be paid from appropriations set forth in L. 1994,……

    Un-employment is a big problem in the contest of any developing country and we
    are not out of it.… -

    The second section frames our approach in the contest of historical development
    of computer vision.

    Again, in the contest of Russian acts in Chechnya, have you heard any protest of so called Islamic countries when Indonesia was asked to withdraw from East Timor……

    … elastic scattering off unpolarized nucleons is studied in the contest of
    unified gauge theories of the weak and electromagnetic interactions.…

    I would turn upside down the subject and say, that it is not Russian poetry in
    the contest of the world’s, but the world’s in the contest of Russian poetry.…

  378. 504

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 10:58 pm

    ‘pistol’ for ‘pistil.’ This would be a better or at least more phallic eggcorn if the pistil were the male part of the flower, but it isn’t. Anyway:

    … question from one curious 6th grader. He asked is a pea plant male or female since they have both stamen and pistol and produce both sperm and egg?…

    The three parts of a flower are the stamen, pistol, and the petals.…

    You are the stamen to my pistol. The berry on my muffin.…

    In nature they are pollinated only by Mexican bees and hummingbirds that can
    penetrate the tough membrane that separates the plant’s pistol and stamen, …
    www.immunocapinvitrosight… templates/Allergens.asp?id=2088

  379. 505

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 11:10 pm

    ’scatterlogical’ for ’scatalogical.’ Whether it’s an eggcorn or not (and I think it is), ’scatterlogical’ is an elegant and expressive word. Examples:

    I do not expect others to think like me. However, when we are in a forum there needs to be some standards and it should not be a scatterlogical free-for-all.… start=30&sid=06696dfe833e431fee3c98902c58a1ea

    The extent to which one enjoys this scatterlogical comedy will depend on your
    penchant for the talents of Mr WILL FERRELL as he completely dominates…… viewmovie/AnchormanLegendofRonBurgundyThe/21402.aspx

    … and if it wasn’t for his wife he would have only done a small amount of work before a scatterlogical obsession kicked in, she nipped it in the bud…

    They only had one legitimate hit in America, ‘Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm.’ Their
    fourth album ‘Give Yourself a Hand’ features some gross, scatterlogical lyrics.…

    All I hear is scatterlogical technobabble from a adolescent
    who is enjoying this thread but hasn’t a clue what he is talking about. showthread.php?s=55889f82031c0d7398b9c3db71a2f8b6&postid=291221

  380. 506

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/24 at 11:52 pm

    ‘tarmat’ for ‘tarmac.’ ‘Tarmac’now usually refers to an airport runway, but it originally named a method of road construction invneted by the engineer James McAdam (which is where the ‘mac’ in ‘tarmac’ comes from). Tar is involved, but a tarmac is not literally a mat of tar. Examples:

    To transfer from the international airport to domestic, we had to get a shuttle
    bus weaving through planes on the tarmat.…

    They dumped us out on a tarmat where we walked to the airport to get our bags,…
    www.insearchofourfamily.b… - 150k - Cached - Similar pages

    When you land in Antigua, you will exit the plane straight onto the tarmat and
    are immediately greeting inside the airport by friendly Lodge staff.… Point_Lodge-Barbuda_Antigua_and_Barbuda…

    …people wake up, go to China, go to Russia, see what there country’s
    are like and then you’ll return and kiss the tarmat at the Airport ……

    Just as the plane stops on the tarmat, the engines cough and die; completely drained of fuel.… 95-96/Jan_Feb_96/Networker-v6n3-JanFeb96.pdf

  381. 507

    Commentary by Lisa Kool , 2005/07/25 at 5:18 am

    “White as a sheep”…well, I guess most sheep are pretty white. Heard from my son, and confirmed a number of examples by Googling the phrase. There were 165 hits for “white as a sheep” and 57,100 hits for “white as a sheet.” I guess I’m not just full of “sheet”–the sheet is still standard.

  382. 508

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/25 at 6:06 pm

    ‘chestfallen’ for ‘crestfallen.’ Examples:

    … i must admit, my ego is a little chestfallen at the lack of replies even though i do understand everyone has their own very important interests to take care of … viewtopic.php?t=771&sid=659de1a03dda4c11d07e1edd2f27b703

    … twenty hours afterward we came limping back, tired to death, chestfallen and demoralized for the time being.…

    Maybe its me.. but I couldn’t help but feel more chestfallen
    after that.…

    … PADME scowls at him. VADER, realizing he’s ruined her sudden good mood, looks a little chestfallen.… edit.cgi?id=146&chapternum=1&sort=title&cat=9

  383. 509

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/26 at 2:57 am

    ‘party-colored’ for ‘parti-colored.’ Very common (5k ghits vs 20k for the original) and perhaps a variant spelling, but some users seem to emphasize the festive quality in having a variety of hues. Examples:

    Informal to a fault, Google offices are littered with party-colored lava lamps, bins of free Coke and candy and giant plastic balls …… internet/www/search_engines/google/

    Bring a bagful–party-colored, ribbed, glow in the dark–and give them away if you don’t use them.… publications/magazine/9907/9907wolf.shtml

    The festivities are taking place in a forest clearing, spiced up with Cushman’s party-colored artwork, complete with streamers and jumbo balloons ……

    … chocolate sauce, butterscotch, marshmallow goo, nuts, party colored sprinkles, raisins, m&m’s, shredded coconut, bananas, all topped with a cherry. …

    They ranged from party-colored macaws, green parrots, and big gregarious cuckoos down to a brilliant green-and-chestnut kingfisher……

  384. 510

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/26 at 3:08 am

    ‘tempid’ for ‘tepid.’ Very common, apparently because of the association with temperature. Examples:

    Use 1 tsp baking powder per cup of flour (4 teaspoons for 4 cups) dash of salt
    1 1/2 cups tempid (luke warm) water Mix the flour and shortening together …… tortillas/flour_masa_tortillas.html

    we took turns dancing in tempid waters, Cleansing each other ……

    …a few nights it goes below 32 but other than that, it stays pretty tempid.… post.asp?method=TopicQuote&TOPIC_ID=20674&FORUM_ID=19

    Our sprouts are soaked with this for 8-12 hours, rinsed very well (and I always
    use tempid water–not cold or warm) and placed in sprouting containers …… cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000035

  385. 511

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/26 at 3:35 am

    ’steam of consciousness’ for ’stream of consciousness.’ About 2,000 ghits and a nice complement to ’self of steam,’ already in the database. Both eggcorns are perhaps obscurely inspired by the classical identification of soul with breath or ‘pneuma.’ Examples:

    Frida’s words transcend the physical realm to disclose a steam-of-consciousness
    style flavored with colorful words and verbless sentences.…

    I referenced Kerouac because he is one of the great steam of consciousness writers……

    But when Manson is rejected by the music industry, his anti-establishment,
    steam-of-consciousness philosophizing becomes increasingly apocalyptic.…

    What begins as a shapeless acoustic drone with the usual steam-of-consciousness
    lyrics morphs into a hypnotic, flute-driven pop tune.… s/skygreenleopards-lifeandlove.shtml

    But Shepherd’s main weapon against the “day people” was a wacky, steam-of-consciousness monologue, eg, discussing the vital role of the “Flexible Flyer sled……

    I see intention, then, as a reponse to the given-ness of a possibility that turns our ongoing steam of consciousness toward that possibility in a way …

    The track is in fact classic Eminem: there’s a simple keyboard snyth running
    through it; heavy beats and rapid-fire steam of consciousness rapping.…

  386. 512

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/26 at 3:55 am

    ‘blue roses’ for ‘pleurosis.’ This is a purely literary eggcorn. In Tennessee William’s ‘the Glass Menagerie’ Jim takes to calling Laura ‘blue roses’ because he has misheard her when she tells him that she has pleurosis.

  387. 513

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/26 at 9:21 pm

    ‘carte blank’ for ‘carte blanche.’ This is a cross language eggcorn, possibly inspired ‘blank check,’ which means something similar. Notice especially the first example:

    The present administration has given a carte blank check over to Halliburton and
    it’s subsidiaries in Iraq. Big Business controls Capital Hill now.

    Mrs. Boucher added to Mr. Chattman’s idea that they could give superintendent/administration carte blank to run the district……

    To trust the state with such carte blank authority leaves the state becoming the
    little g which gives you nothing, and takes 3 times what god asks you for.…

    any such carte blank statement such as “I don’t think you’ve proved God exists”
    requires a SUBSTANTIVE statement of fact, not a “personal opinion”….…

    “And you’ll have carte blank to kill those sons of bitches on a daily basis when
    you’re in this uniform, Son, like you’ve never had before! article.php/20050620154718929/print

    Minority Report Movie Review
    The AG has given his special Department of Justice investigator, Danny Witwer (Farrell), carte blank powers to probe into the program……

  388. 514

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/07/27 at 12:26 am

    ‘chunk change’ for ‘chump change.’ ‘Chump change’ is slang for a derisively small sum of money. ‘chunk change’ works about as well. 700+ ghit. Examples:

    Now $25 doesn’t sound like much for a speech but if you multiply that $25 by the
    25 years or so I worked after that it turns into more than chunk change.…

    Maybe the city can change phone companies, however, the overall
    savings that they MIGHT save would be chunk change.…

    Needless to say, this one isn’t totally jammed with tourists and you can get a
    good Italian Beef across the street for chunk change.…..

    I was issued a new credit card number only a year and some chunk-change ago
    because they had a “security breech”.…

    By saying that $10000 is basically “chunk change” to him and it would not matter
    to him if he was fined again, Moss insults a lot of hard-working Americans.…

    The Times’ $25 million or so might be chunk change to Dow Jones’ CEO Peter Kann,
    but I bet you would be happy to put a part of it in your pocket.…

  389. 515

    Commentary by Bill Tozier , 2005/07/27 at 2:09 am

    This just came in over the transom in a “spelling bee” style thread at the Booksellers’ Discussion Group at eBay. [Such threads now and then crop up, essentially when people get bored and start seeing what fools other sellers can be. It’s a bonding thing.]

    “poke a dot”

    [See, for evidence,… ]

    I suspect eggcornism simply because I bet if you asked the speaker, they’d say, “Sure.Because you poke it with somethin to make tha dots.”

    Or words to that effect.

  390. 516

    Commentary by John Hayter , 2005/07/27 at 11:08 am

    “unlease” for “unleash”.

  391. 517

    Commentary by PJ de Barros , 2005/07/29 at 11:37 pm

    antidote for anecdote, as in, “I have an amusing antidote for you.” I have no print evidence of this, but I’m certain I’ve heard it spoken many times. I don’t know if that qualifies.

  392. 518

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/07/30 at 12:49 am

    “Let along” instead of “let alone”, as seen in this amusing context:

    If you people can’t even write everyday English, let along meet the more stringent requirements imposed by programming languages, then no wonder software sucks so much.

  393. 519

    Commentary by John Hayter , 2005/07/30 at 10:31 am

    “Braise” for “brace”. As in the phrase “brace o.s.”.

    “We were braising ourselves for another disappointment, but boy, what a fantastic place to do your shopping!” (from, appropriately enough, The Passionate Cook blog: thepassionatecook.typepad…)

  394. 520

    Commentary by Loretta Woodward , 2005/08/01 at 5:22 pm

    I would like your expert opinion. If you took a moment to e-mail me with your answer, that would be good. Should “strike a happy medium” be “strike a happy median?” Thanks.


  395. 521

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/02 at 2:03 pm

    ‘lemon aid’ for ‘lemonade.’ This eggcorn reconceptualizes lemonade as assistance (aid) from lemons, which, on a hot,dry day, is about right. 71k ghits, many of which are deliberate or refer to defective cars. Examples:

    Food Network: Honey Sweet Lemon Aid. Honey Sweet Lemon Aid Recipe courtesy Edison Mays. Ingredients 1 gallon water 1 1/2 quarts fresh lemon juice 4 cups sugar 1 cup honey……

    7 year old, Reed Nani will be selling lemon aid to support Bradley Hospital……

    Gin How to make it taste good
    There’s always a good old Tom Collins…..tastes very much like lemon aid.…

    … but to me making eggnog without alcohol is akin to making lemon-aid without the lemons.…

    Serve with some hot sauce, lemon aid ice tea, french fries or potatoe salad……

  396. 522

    Commentary by davidsmith , 2005/08/02 at 6:18 pm

    ‘’Noter republic'’ instead of ‘’Notary public'’

  397. 523

    Commentary by jason , 2005/08/02 at 7:21 pm

    “while” for wile in while away the time,

    can be seen lots of places(32.8K according to google). I found it here:, just try google for more!

  398. 524

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/03 at 10:17 pm

    ‘hew and cry’ for ‘hue and cry.’ Makes sense, especially when ‘hew’ is taken to mean to attack or cut, as with an axe. 800 ghits. Examples:

    There has been some hew and cry about whether geeks should participate in the political battles that are happening around IP, Trademark and other Tech laws.…

    Why not just admit it: that the hew and cry follows the fact that Muslims, not Presbyterians or Unitarians, are asking for the right to arbitrate……

    Even as the body count is ratcheting up, the hew and cry against the war and occupation is pretty much isolated to the frothing-at-the-mouth……

    Now we have heard a great hew and cry from freelance writers about this policy … (Well, no, not a great hew and cry. There have been six complaints……

    …only a percentage of the population, those left without treatment would (and do) hew and cry for additional therapies.…

    With the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, the pundits on the left and right are out in full hew and cry, and I can’t bear to be left out.… - 24k

    I remember the hew and cry that went up when developers had to adapt their software to run under MultiFinder.…

  399. 525

    Commentary by Mike Lyle , 2005/08/05 at 3:51 am

    Adverbial phrase “Streaks ahead” for “Streets ahead”.

    No written evidence, but is the form always used by a malapropism-prone British acquaintance. Typical example: “She was streaks ahead of the others”. Presumably under the influence of verb phrase “to streak ahead”. +=

  400. 526

    Commentary by Craig Carlyle Clarke , 2005/08/05 at 9:29 am

    “Legume’s Air Disease” for Legionnaire’s Disease. (or maybe its just a bad case of gas?) Funniest one I’ve ever seen, just stumbled across it here:…

  401. 527

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/05 at 3:33 pm

    ‘far gone conclusion’ for ‘foregone conclusion.’ Examples:

    Therefore, as far as Fox News is concerned, the guilt of these first to be
    court-martialed is a far-gone conclusion…

    …I wonder if it is really wise for us to linger over the
    idea of Civil War breaking out as a far-gone conclusion.…

    Whenever someone starts comparing the President to Hitler, it is
    a far-gone conclusion that reason has flown out the window.…

    As a resident, and knowing Illinois politics as I do, it has been a far gone
    conclusion that this is a very safe Kerry Blue State.…

    I am sure now, that if this were on the general ballot in November, the vote
    would ve been much closer, and not a far-gone conclusion. ……

  402. 528

    Commentary by Vic Filler , 2005/08/05 at 9:21 pm

    A “well round of applause”

    I was present at the creation of this many years ago. High school athletic awards were being presented, and each coach listed his team members. The first coach apparently confused “a nice round of applause” with “well-rounded.” It came out: “Let’s give them all…uhh…(pause) a well round of applause.” Each subsequent coach fumbled for a different phrase but couldn’t think of anything better, and so all repeated the formula, with increasing fluency and confidence.

    I haven’t heard it since, but it might be a tradition at my high school.

  403. 529

    Commentary by Michael D. Brown , 2005/08/06 at 7:59 pm

    “As Iranian elections near, journalist dissent is squashed…” USA Today

    “I have never squashed dissent in my class…” www.democraticunderground…

    Magazine writers (not to mention editors) and college instructors who are ignorant of the word ‘quashed’?

  404. 530

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/06 at 10:35 pm

    ‘flank-jacket’ for ‘flack-jacket.’ A flack-jacket is designed to protect the wearer from gunfire (flack). A ‘flank-jacket’
    would, presumably, protect one’s flanks- similar concept. Examples:

    The second grunt kneels near one of the bodies, unbuttons his coat and flank jacket and fetches his papers and the dog tags.…

    His goatee and crewcut made him look a lot like a tough Southern cop, and the small gold star on his flank jacket only served to drive the point home.…

    The man wore beige military issue fatigues and a green flank jacket with a blond buzz cut.…

    … bush can go to hell, we need to strap a flank jacket to his ass, hand him a m-4, kick his ass into iraq for a taste of ……

  405. 531

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/06 at 10:43 pm

    ‘no holes barred’ for ‘no holds barred.’ Extremely common- 129k ghits vs. 800k ghits for the original. Many of these are knowing and/or pornographic. Some are not, e.g.-

    Their advice is conveyed through powerful prose sparked with humor, and stunning, no-holes-barred poetry.…

    Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy is transformed into a no-holes barred,
    punk-inflected Elizabethan stage send-up of the story of a doomed love.…

    Only in India would Clinton get this kind of no holes barred response.…

    A no-holes-barred satire on everyday life in that exclusive New York summer getaway, the Hamptons.… - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

    No holes barred in this wrestling match! It’s an inside look at a closed-door
    world… The seamy underbelly of professional wrestling.…

  406. 532

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/07 at 10:25 pm

    ‘cannon law’ for ‘canon law.’ Compare with martial law -> marshall law, which leads away from a military interpretation, while this leads towards one. 7k ghits vs. 700k. Note the second eggcorn in the first citation below:

    This is a link to a wacko Catholic Lawyer who is initiating a lawsuit against John Kerry for Hearsay under the Cannon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “The cannon law provides that the arms of the Roman Catholic Church devote themselves for the unification of the people at large.… asp/frontpage/story_4355891.asp

    The practice is regulated by Cannon Law (cf The Code of Cannon Law, Cannons 945-958)……

    When Constantine made Christianity the state religion, heresy became a crime under civil and not just cannon law.…

    It’s a Church cannon law (1230’s era made oficial cannon law) that the State governs the state, and the Church governs the Church.…

  407. 533

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/07 at 10:44 pm

    ‘hearsay’ for ‘heresy.’ To the orthodox, both are forms of misinformation. Examples:

    In the end, he was called before the Council of Constance under a promise of
    safekeeping but was nonetheless tried for hearsay and burned alive.…

    Just as I had to learn that parrots could not commit hearsay, answer books cannot be victims of battery.

    Not long ago the Missouri Senate Lutheran had a hearsay trail.…

    Unsurprisingly, Pelagius was excommunicated for this hearsay.…

  408. 534

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/07 at 11:05 pm

    ’simper fi’ for ’semper fi.’ ‘Semper fi’ is a common salutation among current and former U.S. Marines. It’s short for ’semper fidelis,’ the Marine Corps motto. Because ’semper’ isn’t an English word, marines without a classical education must feel some pressure to reinterpret it. The reinterpreted form shows up 2,000 times on Google. I wonder, though, if there’s any semantic reinterpretation. A simper is a smile, so perhaps the soldiers are telling each other to keep on smiling. But a simper isn’t just a smile, it’s a coy, flirtatious smile, which fits incongruously with the Marine image. Examples:

    As we run the “race of Faith” we can borrow the motto from the United States
    Marines, “simper fi.”…

    Many thanks to all who served and are serving now. God Bless and Simper Fi…

    Don’t really know what to say except Thank you Sage and Simper Fi Gunny.

    …pray for your safe and speedy return, Now go kick some insurgent
    asses!!!!!!!!!!!!! Simper Fi.…

    Simper Fi, and Fight On! OH yeah!…

  409. 535

    Commentary by Loretta , 2005/08/08 at 4:25 am

    “out of a jamb” for “out of a jam”

  410. 536

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/08 at 4:25 am

    ‘gram crackers’ for ‘Graham crackers.’ Graham cracker were invented by a man named
    Graham; the name has nothing to do with weights and measures. But perhaps users see an analogy with pound cake. 600+ ghits, e.g.,

    There is a sweetness that is very adorable; it is like gram crackers dipped in honey with caramel drizzled on top.…

    before i was a vegan, i made this with gramcrackers,instead of rice crispiys…but im not sure if gramcrackers are vegan……

    How many gram crackers does it take to built a gingerbread house that can survive a magnitude 4.5 earthquake?…

    My bulimia story
    I remember sitting on the kitchen floor at 2am and eating a loaf of bread, a box of gram crackers, a bag of chips and then drinking some orange juice……

    … the site had comfortable adirondack chairs — I was stunned when the wranglers brought out marshmallows, gram crackers and Hershey bars.…

  411. 537

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/08 at 5:27 am

    ‘gun-ho’ for ‘gung-ho.’ ‘Gung-ho,’ meaning ‘extremely enthusiastic,’ is derived from a Mandarin word meaning ‘to work together.’ Some writers reinterpret it to mean ‘extremely enthusiastic about guns.’ 16k ghits. Examples:

    A gun-ho police officer put a gun to the head of the tube train driver……

    Everybodys gun-ho……but have you actually shot someone?…

    What I don’t understand is why all of these really gun-ho patriotic writers here aren’t in the military.…

    All of you gun ho Clinton / Gore / Kerry - ites would be flipping out if the shoe was on the other foot.…

    There is another culture, with other values and sometimes, the US get too gun-ho, this is turning into another Vietnan.…

    I don’t like the fact that their military forces are so gun ho. … Compare that to the numbers getting killed as a result of gun ho tatics. ……

    Perhaps, that’s why Singer is so gun-ho. She certainly was gun-ho about this case. So gun-ho, in fact, that the Admiral put Mac in as second chair.…

  412. 538

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/08 at 4:59 pm

    ‘ear spitting’ for ‘ear splitting.’ Examples:

    LOW-FLYING JETS. They burst upon you with ear-spitting intensity, transforming
    the stillness of the countryside into a furnace of noise.… tm_objectid=14048867&method=full&siteid=50082&headl

    Her shining blue eyes cried out an ear spitting scream.… 66952126/Weather/Untitled/

    The noise ranges from ear spitting too mildly annoying.

    Reports from several districts described an ear spitting noise that shattered
    several windows as the object sped overhead.…

    Guitarist David T. Chastain ably combines flash and substance for the kind of
    attention grabbing, ear spitting sound of which few bands are capable.…

    The man scrambled out of the tank as Miss Merman belted out her final, ear-spitting note.…

    One of the devices emits a high-pitched siren-like scream; the other erupts in
    an ear-spitting explosion of sound.… 2005/07/28/news/local_news/story05.txt

  413. 539

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/08/08 at 6:12 pm

    From the Christian Broadcasting Network’s web-page (…), an article on the nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court:

    “Some analysts suggest that Democrats realize Roberts is pretty much a shoe-in…”

  414. 540

    Commentary by Tom Rossen , 2005/08/08 at 11:23 pm

    Got a double eggcorn! I found this:

    “Far be it for us to denounce leaks.”–… . Supposedly it’s from the NYT - he provides a link, but it’s in their archives, and they want money.

    I went to Google, and mistyped “for be it for *”. Here’s what I got:

    23 hits on “for be it for me”
    520 on “for be it for *”

    The double eggcorn!

    Then I typed it “correctly”:
    35,900 on “far be it for *”
    26,200 on “far be it for me” (top one being the Eggcorn DB page)
    629 on “far be it for him” (Eggcorn on top again)

    Either it’s getting more popular since that first posting by Arnold Zwicky, or Google’s algorithm change is catching more.

    Once folks decide the original idiom is pretty near completely opaque/unanalyzable, it would seem to be a lot easier to eggcorn it.

  415. 541

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/09 at 3:42 am

    ‘wile away’ for ‘while away.’ Common (31k ghits vs. 600k ghits) and nearly mainstream (a dictionary metasearch found it in 1 dictionary - Encarta- vs. 6 for the original). The alternate form seems to reconceptualize passive timewasting as an active tricking or deceiving of time. Examples:

    A group of off- off- off- off-Broadway actors wile away their days at a local
    eatery dreaming of winning the lottery and making their own movie.…

    The Decembrist: Alternative Histories
    How different history would be if Rumsfeld had decided to wile away his days
    running a country newspaper with a rumpled, gay New York leftist!…

    1950 and the coastal town of Rimini is about to experience another influx of
    the monied elite who come to wile away their time in elegant beach houses.…

    In order to wile away the days of his confinement, Ralph made friends with an
    old olive tree he dubbed “Garibaldi”, in memory of the biscuit.…

    I could wile away the hours Conferrin’ with the flowers Consultin’ with the rain
    And my head I’d be scratchin’ While my thoughts were busy hatchin’ if I only had a brain.…

    Why Should You Care About Unions?
    After you graduate, you’ll get a good job, have a little money in your pocket,
    and wile away the days in middle class comfort.…

  416. 542

    Commentary by Loretta Woodward , 2005/08/09 at 6:41 am

    “Group fun-raising” instead of “group fund-raising.

  417. 543

    Commentary by Paul Battley , 2005/08/09 at 9:48 am

    Seen recently in print: “raised to the ground” instead of “razed to the ground”.

  418. 544

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/09 at 9:11 pm

    ‘track’ for ‘tract.’ Chiefly in ‘respiratory track,’ urinary track,’ and ‘alimentary track.’ In medicine, a tract is a system of specialized organs and tissues. However, within these tracts, air, urine and food follow a well demarcated path, i.e., a track. These are very comon eggcorns, especially the first 2. Exasmples:

    “The cold is an inflammation of the upper respiratory track,” said Bobbi Clarke,
    health specialist with the Agricultural Extension Service at the University.…

    “This bacterium attaches itself in the upper respiratory track, in very specific
    cells in the upper respiratory track, and these are the ciliated cells.…

    Part of the digestion process consists of the massaging movement of powerful
    esophageal muscles urging food particles along the alimentary track.…

    The purpose of this website is to SURVEY PATIENTS who have urinary track infection symptoms, and sometimes burning and other pelvic pain.

    The most frequent problem with the bladder and the urinary track in cats is infection.…

  419. 545

    Commentary by David W. Fenton , 2005/08/09 at 11:28 pm

    A fresh “social morays” sighting:…

    (searching for “social morays” takes you right to it)

    Possible Conversation 2
    UPS Man: Your shirt’s inside-out.
    Me: That is because I am demonstrating that I go against the grain of society, using my clothing to symbolize the inversion of social morays and my establishment of my own ethos.

  420. 546

    Commentary by Tim , 2005/08/10 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve seen ‘in vein’ used accidently for ‘in vain’ several times, including most recently in this article. The writer must think the saying orginated with injections.

    However, a Google search shows that it is sometimes used purposely as a pun when talking about vampires, shots, or other blood-related topics.

  421. 547

    Commentary by Matt S , 2005/08/10 at 11:03 pm

    I see you have “valevictorian” in the database. I’ve also see “valid victorian” used: c.f.

    “Human stereotype- Leaders (student council, valid victorian, hall monitor)” -…

    “SouthernHooker:I was the one everybody wanted to go out with in high school I was a cheerleader I did gymnastics softball I was prom queen I had about 15 boyfriend’s through high school I was valid victorian I one the spellig bee for our school and was the best softball player the school ever had.So I was very popular.”…

    “Richard Wright was the valid Victorian of his class.”


  422. 548

    Commentary by Nate Lange , 2005/08/11 at 1:25 am

    Eggcorn suggestion: just deserts -> just desserts

  423. 549

    Commentary by KenLakritz , 2005/08/11 at 2:30 am

    ‘whirled without end’ for ‘world without end.’ A primarily literary eggcorn, courtesy of James Joyce. ‘World without end’ is the concluding line of many Catholic prayers. ‘Whirled without end’ is from Finnegan’s Wake, chapter 3. (And F.W. must contain a thousand more of these, if anyone cares to look!)

  424. 550

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/11 at 2:38 am

    ‘inscissors’ for ‘incisors.’ In the movie ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ Johnny Depp plays a fey young man who has scissors where his hands should be. This eggcorn suggests a dental sequel. 200+ ghits. Examples (and observe that Joyce was on to this one too):

    The three types of teeth are inscissors, which cut pieces of food off, Canines,
    that tear foods apart, and molars, in which food is mashed and grinded.

    … the squirrels and prairie dogs have razor sharp inscissors. These inscissors will either sever a small section of flesh, or leave a v-shaped wound……

    … we do have inscissors that were designed to eat meat. so why should i be
    critisised when i eat meat in a cafeteria by a vegetarian?…

    His fifth tooth is just breaking the surface now (he has two lower inscissors and two upper inscissors already) and he is biting everything in sight.…

    Finnegans Wake Concordex: Page 557
    … Hush! The other, twined on codliverside, has been crying in his sleep, making sharpshape his inscissors on some first choice sweets fished out of the muck.… cgi?page=557&like=yeastcake

  425. 551

    Commentary by Carly , 2005/08/12 at 12:32 am

    Wonderful site! I’m so glad to have found it, I even saved it to my “Favorites”. I’m one of those anal people who get unusually frustrated with invented words - a pet peeve, I suppose. I’m happy to see that some humor can be found in these mutations. Suggested additions, if not already on your site would be ashphalt (asphalt), Chewsday (Tuesday), nucular (nuclear) and mischievious (mischievous).

  426. 552

    Commentary by Onna Bouder , 2005/08/12 at 1:30 am

    Associated Press April 15, 2001. Printed in the Citizen’s-Times, Asheville, NC

    “Attorneys refuse to represent indignant suspects in WNC” was the article headline. The report was covering the fact that the poor are having a very difficult time getting representation in the courtsbecause of their lack of finances. Of course, the article was speaking of indigent people rather than indignant. Kinda changes the entire tone of the article!

  427. 553

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/12 at 5:16 pm

    ‘bold eagle’ for ‘bald eagle.’ (The database already has bald -> bold, chiefly in ‘bold-face lie,’ so this might be thought of as a sub-eggcorn). The American national symbol is the bald eagle, but that doesn’t sound patriotic enough. To complicate things, there’s another eagle species, the Australian Bold Eagle. So ‘bold eagle’ is an eggcorn in the states, but not down under. Examples:

    The American Bold Eagle is the symbol of Freedom and power.…

    The logo says “Proud to be American” and has a bold eagle and crossed spears on royal blue or the same on a white T-shirt.…

    This beautiful last wax cast American Bold Eagle with American flags statue has many fine details including hand painted multicolor flags……

    The African Fish Eagle is very similar in appearance to the American Bold Eagle.… - 14k - Cached - Similar pages

  428. 554

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/12 at 8:16 pm

    ‘wheel and flare’ for ‘weal and flare.’ The weal and flare reaction- a pale bump surrounded by a zone of redness- is produced when a foreign substance is injected into the skin, e.g., by a mosquito or an allergist. Because of the pale center it’s vaguely wheel-shaped. Examples:

    The wheel and flare response, observed with a positive skin test in an allergic individual, is often compared to the reaction seen with mosquito bites.…

    Sometimes they take on the appearance of what is called a “wheel and flare” like a red circle with whitish center.…

    “We then watch for what we call the ‘wheel and flare’ reaction or the hive,” Hirt says.…

    A pretreatment skin test with 0.1 mg M195 is administered intradermally; patients who do not experience a positive wheel and flare proceed with treatment.…

    Cetrizine significantly decreases the wheel and flare reaction in patients with idiopathic and cold urticaria induced by several stimuli.…

  429. 555

    Commentary by John Cowan , 2005/08/12 at 9:09 pm

    Seen in IRC at can someone give me the loaddown?” Clearly “loaddown” is an eggcorn for “lowdown”, with reference to “downloading” information.

  430. 556

    Commentary by Carlos da Roza , 2005/08/12 at 11:31 pm

    Orientate for orient!

    I believe “orientate” was derived as the verb from the noun “orientation”, to describe the period of time in which people were becoming oriented to their surroundings. Merriam-Webster seems to have very similar definitions for each.

  431. 557

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/08/12 at 11:50 pm

    @Carly: Thanks for the compliment. Concerning your submissions, “Chewsday” and “mischievieous” don’t add to or reveal the understanding of the words — not eggcorns I’m afraid. “Ashphalt” might be. “Nucular” is not an eggcorn — see a number of posts that have been written on this variant; Arnold Zwicky’s Language Log piece “The thin line between error and mere variation II: going nucular” is very complete on this matter.

    @ Carlos da Roza: “Orientate” and in particular “orientated” (and “disorientated”) are standard British English for words that in American English are one syllable shorter.

  432. 558

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/13 at 5:34 am

    ‘part for the course’ for ‘par for the course.’ The connection of the original with golf is lost. What the eggcorn users are trying to say, I believe, is something like ‘a part of the normal course of events.’ About 400 ghits, e.g.,

    The fight scenes aren’t bad, they’re just part for the course, exactly what you’d expect from any old boxing movie.…

    Social marginalisation, illiteracy, inefficient markets, conflicts or economic
    disasters are all part for the course for microcredit practitioners.…

    The Cantonese Stir Fried Vegetables and the Soya Braised Black Mushrooms were
    part for the course, but the Lady Finger Chilli Bean was different …… 04/01/stories/2002040100170200.htm

    Quite a bit of the material is sexist, but that’s part for the course with this
    style of music.…

    … it can be hard experience looking for that right opportunity — some rejection, delay and disappointment is part for the course.…

  433. 559

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/13 at 5:47 pm

    ‘affectionado’ for ‘aficionado.’ Surprisingly common-over 20,000 google references! Examples:

    I think it would be good if some of you linux affectionado’s could enlighten the rest of us as to what the benifits are ……

    If you’re likewise a sci fi affectionado, I highly recommend the film “Galaxy
    Quest,” a well-written comedic riff on “Star Trek” ……

    If you are an affectionado of Birds of Prey (and even if you’re not) then I’m
    sure you’ll be quite taken with this collector plate by Spode of England, ……

    Our editor at Harold Shaw is also a diner affectionado and we gathered at various diners in and around the city of Chicago to talk ……

    If you’re a motorcycle affectionado, consider staying with us during spring break for Bike week or in October for the Biketober Fest.

    I’m an AMD affectionado. I’ve been using AMD chips since the days of 386s, and they’ve consistenly rocked my computing world.

    iH5 iPod dock alarm clock … a bit much to spend on an alarm clock (although still cheaper than other dock/speaker combos), but seemingly essential for the insane iPod affectionado.…

    Looking for a sophisticated gift for the music affectionado? Give them a string trio to play classical music for a dinner or cocktail party. $600.…

    No one leaves Chicago without becoming an affectionado of the Blues.…

  434. 560

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/13 at 10:06 pm

    ‘co-tails’ for ‘coattails.’ In the idiom of American politics, a candidate for office is said to ‘ride the coattails’ of another,more popular, candidate when he campaigns by claiming an association or affinity with that candidate. The eggcorn version conceptualizes the 2 candidates as joined at the tail. Examples:

    …she ran on a presidential co-tail in one of the most liberal states
    in the country.…

    …the co-tail effect that a popular presidential candidate can have over
    the legislative election is minimized.…

    I think he’s a no-talent hack that just rode the co-tails of Biggie’s success.…

    Riding on the cotails of Intel’s success are most mainboard manufacturers with
    their first generation of dual channel PC1066 RDRAM-supporting mainboards.…

    Mustaine have been riding the co-tails of metallica for 20 years, the only
    reason he has a fanbase is because he was in metallica for less than a year…

    The problem was the Republican running that year was some astronaut celebrity running on Reagan’s co-tails.…

    Bush will milk Reagan’s death all the way to election time. he has nothing positive to use in his defense, so he will ride Reagan’s co-tails until november.…

    He’s actually got some talent so I’m crossing my fingers hoping he makes it so
    I can ride his co-tails like that show Entourage on HBO.…

  435. 561

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/08/14 at 6:35 pm

    tea-totaller instead of teetotaller.
    I noticed some tea-related websites on Google using this term deliberately in jest. Found my example on — a restaurant review site:

    “We went with a mixed group; some tea-totallers and some wine-sippers.”

  436. 562

    Commentary by Thomas , 2005/08/14 at 7:48 pm

    I’m contributing one (I don’t think it’s already been done), and I’m sure I’ll be back. I’ve seen this one several times. It seems that fanfiction is rife with eggcorns.


    “Out of his revelry” gets 529 hits on Google. “Out of her revelry” gets 654. Most of these have to do with daydreaming, not “boisterous merrymaking”.

  437. 563

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/14 at 8:56 pm

    ‘wrote’ for ‘rote.’ Especially in ‘wrote memory,’ ‘wrote memorization,’ and ‘wrote learning.’ When you learn a fact by rote, it’s as if you wrote it into your memory. Examples:

    It’s all wrote memorization. If anyone wants to know why management sucks so
    much, it’s because of wrote memorization.… read.cgi?id=26523&tid=51872

    Our study was structured more along the ideas of the Socratic method, as opposed to wrote memorization—-something we were taught to disdain. ……

    When one is on auto-pilot one is working from wrote memory or sheer habit.….

    The students who benefit the most from this course are the ones who have
    committed basic AutoCAD commands to their wrote memory.…

    I personally don’t do wrote memory well.…

    The wrote learning of skills is only one way of taking information.…

    Seeing the characters everyday makes this kind of wrote learning easy for Japanese children and bypasses thinking about the component radical meanings.

  438. 564

    Commentary by Thomas , 2005/08/15 at 3:19 am

    gleam instead of glean
    I didn’t find this one in your site search either. I think it fits the definition of an eggcorn.
    Remember the good old days, when you would read words like this in context often enough to know how to use them?
    “Gleamed from” has over 26,000 hits on Google. Many of these refer to shiny things. Far too many do not. For example:
    Shame on you
    “The insight gleamed from these principles will leave an impact on customer service for many small businesses when applied.”
    I’m not sure if this next writer was trying to be punny, or if this is a lame play on words based on an eggcorn. At any rate, Americans aren’t the only ones getting it wrong:
    “The premise behind The Wellingtons is simple - to create sassy, memorable tunes gleamed from shiny pop influences.”
    And apparently esoteric scholarship is no guarantee against eggcorns:
    “The truth is that nothing is known about Homer other than what can be gleamed from the Iliad and the Odyssey ….”; and
    “I will share with you information that I have gleamed from medical abstracts and medical articles on LyP.”

  439. 565

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/08/15 at 4:51 am

    Hand over foot instead of hand over fist.
    “foot” gets 694 Google hits; “fist” gets 89,000.

    I found my example at…

    Girl: …anyway, he was making money hand over foot–
    Guy: Isn’t it “hand over fist”?
    Girl: It’ll be “fist up your ass” if you don’t stop interrupting me.

  440. 566

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/08/15 at 8:22 pm

    This morning I spotted the verb “to tamper down” in a news article on gambling and alcohol addictions: “Men and women suffering from alcoholism tend to turn to alcohol to tamper down a range of negative emotions, including anxiety, the researchers found.” Here’s the URL:…

    The meaning seems to be the same as “to tamp down,” and that verbal phrase has obviously combined with “to tamper.” Googling produces many more examples. And this verb also has a Google-attested relative: “to temper down.”

  441. 567

    Commentary by Donna Richoux , 2005/08/15 at 8:24 pm

    “mind of information” / mine of information

    Google examples:

    I wish i could bottle your mind of information and store it for when required
    … You are either perfect example of a mind of information on nearly every …… link.asp?page=3&topic_ID=2961 - 18k -

    The Joint Service Housing Advice Office and their Magazine “Housing Matters” is
    a mind of information on housing issues especially if you are thinking of …… aws/afabsheets/your_page/families.htm - 38k - 13 Aug 2005

    Links to Film Music Sites
    … of reviews or information still worth reading, so don’t expect every site to
    be bang up to date, even old ones can still be a mind of information. …… - 13k - 13 Aug 2005

    This was posted in alt.usage.english by Dennis Baron, who reprinted an anrticle on “reanalysis” from “Linguist”, with more such errors. See…

  442. 568

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/15 at 8:59 pm

    mine -> mind is loosely similar to undermine -> undermind, which I had reported here a few months ago.

  443. 569

    Commentary by random , 2005/08/16 at 9:11 am

    morass -> morose, chiefly in “out of the morose“. It makes perfect sense if you take “morose” as a synonym of “depression”, even though the proper noun form is “moroseness” (or “morosity”).

    Could be “malaise” -> “morose”, now that I think of it, or a combination of both.

    Example: “a new leader would be elected within the next month to lead the Church, the world out of the morose it had fallen into.” [link]

  444. 570

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/16 at 3:29 pm

    ‘tankered’ for ‘tankard.’ There may be 2 influences leading to this substitution: 1) tanker ships and trucks which, like tankards, contain large volumes of fluid and 2) the occasional colloquial use of ‘tankered’ to mean ‘intoxicated.’ Examples:

    Talas leaned back took a sip from his tankered of Ale and …….

    LOVELY SHEFFIELD PEWTER TANKERED WITH HORN HANDLE…… - Supplemental Result - Similar pages

    He grunted in annoyance, and again made to drink from his tankered, and upon
    discovering that it was empty his face contorted into distress……

    Tellyna let the hood fall from her head, tossing her light blond hair from her face as she sipped from her tankered of ale …
    shadowdragon.kelticmoose…. php?t=203&view=next&sid=4f9bcc33274ee055ae277c39b3cc131d

  445. 571

    Commentary by Thomas , 2005/08/17 at 5:00 pm

    “Playing on my mind” (substituted for “preying on my mind”) actually makes a lot of sense in a video/audio-enabled world. Too bad it’s wrong.

    Sadly, however, the eggcorn appears to be replacing the original on the Internet. “Playing on my mind” gets over 6,500 hits on Google. The correct figure of speech (with its more menacing overtones) appears to be falling into disuse—and gets fewer than 1,000 hits (and the same pattern holds true for many conjugations of the two verbs). Even mispelling “preying” as “praying” only adds about 500 hits. What a shame!

    Some of those 6,500 hits may have to do with playing tricks on the mind, and some may have to do with music playing in the mind. Some seem to be quotations of lyrics from songs by Alabama and Atomic Kitten (whoever they are). But most occurrences appear to be bona fide eggcorns.

  446. 572

    Commentary by John Hayter , 2005/08/18 at 8:41 am

    “foolhearty” for foolhardy.

    “We need to put pressure on Congress to denounce this foolhearty policy.”

  447. 573

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/08/18 at 12:41 pm

    Jewelers loop instead of jeweler’s loupe.

    “Recently my husband bought a jewelers loop to look at pieces we sometimes come across at estate sales etc.”

    “I looked at it through a jewelers loop and discovered an A in the top left corner and a C in the bottom right with a Sword in a Stone between them.” (eBay auction description)

  448. 574

    Commentary by Dana , 2005/08/18 at 4:38 pm

    From a user’s security question “FAVORITE PASSTIME?” My answer: looking for eggcorns!

  449. 575

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/18 at 5:04 pm

    ‘insufferable’ for ‘insuperable.’ Weak overlap in meaning. Examples:

    ‘’The service of women in combat units creates an insufferable difficulty for
    religious soldiers,'’ said Chief Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron.

    Unless we can find a way round that, our Minister, of whichever party, faces
    insufferable difficulties.
    www.parliament.the-statio… pa/cm199091/cmhansrd/1990-11-23/Debate-2.html

    This event is memorable in that it is a fine example of the indomitable spirit
    of Americans who fought against insufferable odds to raise families…

    Children, seen through this lens, are at best an inconvenience and at worst an
    insufferable obstacle to the happiness of selfish men and women.…

    I can apply checkcellrenderer but get one of two insufferable problems, depending on method.… flashcoders/2005-June/142189.html

    When she gets up in the morning she looks like a middle-aged woman with insufferable problems and a hangover……

  450. 576

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/18 at 7:55 pm

    ’sprinter group’ for ’splinter group.’ Perhaps a political party splinters because the minority wants to move faster. (Or maybe this is just a malapropism.) Examples:

    …following reports of several attacks attributed to Rasta militia, an alleged sprinter group of the FDLR, in May 2005.…

    … the British Rapid Deployment Troops rescued Six British Soldiers, who were
    held hostage by the ‘West Side Boys’, a Sprinter Group of the RUF Rebels.

    A sprinter group, known as Rainbow Alliance, in Moi’s Kenya African National
    Union (KANU) party is campaigning for a free and fair nomination process… september/africa/0287414507.html

    According to a village, on October of 2004, the Mon Sprinter group arrived to
    our village and asked our village headman to provide them 300000 kyats.…

    Ever since the cessation of hostilities with the PLF sprinter group in fate 1974… Deepening the injury to national unity, the PLF sprinter group divided …

    Prime Minister Belka won a confidence vote in Parliament after his party was
    reluctantly supported by a Leftist sprinter group, Social Democrats of Poland. ecoReport/68/2004/Poland_Jul04.pdf

    The major grievance from this sprinter group which is not explicitly unfolded is
    the registration of the newly formed Uganda Nurses and Mid Wives Union …

  451. 577

    Commentary by Ryan Freebern , 2005/08/20 at 1:22 pm

    “full fletched” for “full fledged”

    1070 ghits.

    As a full fletched UN Program, the G77 wishes to see UN-HABITAT extending its operations
    He displays the payment communication to the cardholder from his own site and only transmits full fletched data to our site.

    Makes sense: a fully fletched arrow has all of its feathers and is this ready for use.

  452. 578

    Commentary by JoAnne Schmitz , 2005/08/20 at 8:55 pm

    The wonderful email list World Wide Words by Michael Quinion has this entry in the 20 August 2005 edition:

    ‘A fascinating feature of the Net is that mangled expressions often
    find their way into print. Michael McKernan found many Google hits
    for this splendid example: “lack toast and tolerant”. As in “My
    sister can’t eat cheese or ice cream because she’s lack toast and

    I never would have believed it, but Google it yourself.

  453. 579

    Commentary by Brad Macdonald , 2005/08/21 at 3:03 pm

    gainfully >> gamefully ??…
    “We all know that if his wife is gamefully employed, then each the husband and the wife could each have their $2,000 maximum yearly tax deduction provided they meet the percentage of earned gross income formula. Does anyone diasgree with that?”…
    “In the digital graphics age, one of the easiest things to neglect in our busy day is the critical backup of all the client files and databases we use to remain gamefully in business. Are you backing up your companies data & graphics?”

  454. 580

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/23 at 12:39 am

    ‘cornybacterium’ for ‘corynebacterium.’ The corynebacteria are a genus that includes the organism that causes diphtheria; the etymology mean ‘club-shaped.’ With 300+ ghits (and several hundred more for ‘cornyebacterium’) this may represent nothing more than collective dyslexis but ‘corn’ as ’seed,’ (as in the primordail ‘eggcorn’) does seem to have something to do with bacteria. Examples:

    Diphtheria is an acute upper respiratory infection caused by virulent strains
    of the toxin-producing gram positive bacillus, Cornybacterium diphtheriae.…

    A fluorescent antibody against Cornybacterium diphtheriae would probably stain
    both toxigenic and nontoxigenic strains of this organism…

    It is used to treat many kinds of infections including Staph.aureus,
    Staph.epidermis,Strep.pneumoniae, Cornybacterium diptheriae, Listeria monocytogenes, ……

    In vitro activity of daptomycin has also been documented for Cornybacterium
    spp., Bacillus spp., and Listeria monocytogenes.7-9

  455. 581

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/23 at 12:46 am

    Re gainfully -> gamefully @ comment 579: The eggcorn ‘gratefully employed’ is also seen. e.g.,

    Many of our members have been downsized, or are gratefully
    employed but concerned about job security.…

    Like most gratefully employed single women with outstanding school loans, I live
    in a substandard apartment with bad water pressure and a roommate. ……

  456. 582

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/23 at 10:45 pm

    ’stay’ for ’stray.’ Principally, but not exclusively, in ’stay dogs’ and ’stay cats.’ Apparently, a stray is conceived as something that’s staying where it shouldn’t be. Examples:

    My grandmother had around seven or eight stay cats living around her backyard.…

    I might even be able to set up an animal rescue here in Kota Marudu as there are plenty of stay cats in town.

    Feral stay cats also live inside the housing unit, they hide out during the day and prowl around at night.…

    The stay-dogs are the principal vector in the Ivorian region. The stay dogs transmit the virus in the 99 % of cases by biting.…

    Martyn was going to go into teaching before he chose to take home stay dogs from the vet place and keep them as pets.…

    The stay dogs I saw in Taiwan were in good shape especially compared to the street dogs I use to see in Mexico as a kid.

    Maybe Liam would have been rushed to the hospital, impaled by a stay piece of fencing.…

    He reached over and brushed a stay strand of hair from Joe’s forehead.

  457. 583

    Commentary by Lee Rudolph , 2005/08/24 at 3:18 pm

    I have just noticed “soak and wet” (for “soaking wet”), and don’t find
    it in the database, so here it is. A good example is at…
    which reads in relevant part “… I will never lose weight that way.
    I guess with him being 130 pounds soak and wet he wouldn’t understand.”

  458. 584

    Commentary by Thane Plambeck , 2005/08/26 at 8:54 pm

    Veal Farmer John for Veal Parmesan

  459. 585

    Commentary by Jason Parker-Burlingham , 2005/08/28 at 5:14 am

    I’ve actually used this one though Google Groups doesn’t turn it up: “sound byte” instead of “sound bite”. My feeling is that it might be a little more common online than off.

    While checking to make sure it had not already been submitted, I found an example on itself: “sound byte” ( Google returns about 60 thousand hits after you filter out results for a piece of Apple Mac software.

  460. 586

    Commentary by Leigh , 2005/08/28 at 6:54 am

    I saw “offly” for “awfully” on a (sadly) private message board. While that instance may have been a misspelling, Googling showed that it’s been used by others too, and it seems like it’s not too much of a stretch to assume there’s some sort of rationalization for writing it that way:

    “my cellar can get offly cold”…

    “The carb count is still offly high in a few items”…

    “But at any rate, scientists can be offly clever.”…

  461. 587

    Commentary by Jen , 2005/08/28 at 12:02 pm

    chock -> chalk
    as in “chalk full of information”

    Seen at, in the News posted April 10, 2005.

  462. 588

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/08/29 at 5:07 am

    I heard someone on TV mention taking a “pop shot” at someone, meaning a “potshot.” While Googling, I found out that a “pop shot” is something nifty executed with the ball in basketball, water-polo, or golf. It’s also something executed with a bottle-cap in Skully, the street game. It’s also a mining term, and part of a Britney Spears lyric, not to mention a gentleman’s climactic moment in porn movies. There are also several Google instances of people using “pop shot” where they clearly mean “potshot.”

  463. 589

    Commentary by Andrew , 2005/08/29 at 6:25 am

    Regarding comment 153: there’s some discussion of origins and corruptions of “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” at

  464. 590

    Commentary by christine , 2005/08/29 at 5:59 pm

    On accident.

    “We found it on accident also but the show is wonderful!!”

    Comment 27 at this site.…

    It’s funny, the other people on the site all said “by accident.” It seems to be an extrapolation from “on purpose.”

    Does this qualify?

  465. 591

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/29 at 10:22 pm

    ‘tic for tac’ for ‘tit for tat.’ Colloquially, ‘tit for tat’is the policy of mimicking the behavior of a potential adversary. It’s also the name of a formal algorithmic strategy for playing in the ‘iterated prisoner’s dilemma’ popularized by Robert Axelrod in his famous book, ‘The Evolution of Cooperation.’ The eggcorn obviously shows influence from ‘Tic-Tac-Toe,’ a primitive game of strategy. About 600 ghits, e.g.,

    In game theory the best strategy usually is tic for tac but in world trade something has gone wrong with this model.…

    The build up of English forces south of the Anglo-Scottish border didn’t go undetected and in a tic for tac action King John Balliol summoned all ……

    … as I have stated before both Israelis and Palestinians are not going anywhere, the cycle of tic for tac must end.…

    It’s a tic for tac situation. He states that he will never become like them and try to become someone they are not, and that he is proud to be himself.…

    Their tactic should be to filibuster tic for tac. Bring back the Clinton nominees and force the White House to accept one of yours for one of theirs.

    They will play this game as long as you continue to whistle back - tic for tac.…

    For me just using the military turns this into a tic for tac operation that plays greatly into the hands of the terrorists.…

  466. 592

    Commentary by Andrew , 2005/08/30 at 3:10 am

    Cathartic -> “cathargic”?

    Google finds many examples of this. It might just be a simple typing error (t and g are adjacent on a qwerty keyboard), but it’s remarkably similar to “lethargic”, and read out loud it sounds like a plausible word.

  467. 593

    Commentary by Jonathan Danforth , 2005/08/30 at 1:07 pm

    I’m starting to notice “a tab bit” for “a tad bit” in listservs I’m on. Example: (referring to a (perceived) crazy person) “She’s a tab bit off.”

  468. 594

    Commentary by -DeeT , 2005/08/30 at 5:24 pm

    Just heard this from a caller on Rush Limbaugh: “imminent domain”. Originally this was “eminent domain”, but it can be syntactically refactored so “imminent” makes sense: the Super Wal-Mart is going in soon whether you like it or not!

  469. 595

    Commentary by Lee Rudolph , 2005/09/02 at 12:32 am

    “All-in-law” or “all in law” for “all in all”. My first sighting (all of 5 minutes ago) was in a sci.math Usenet post, Message-ID: <>:
    in a context where the author is admitting that his mind has been changed by various arguments, he concludes “All in law, I am coming to believe that a definition of 0^0 = 1 is algebraically consistent”. I could and can imagine a semantic rationalization of the substitution, but of course it could have been a typo. Some Google searching finds it again (from a different author…) in a book review on “All-in-law, a phenomenal work (although more careful editing would have helped)”–but in that case, the reviewer has just been writing about a brother-in-law, so a typo is a very real possibility.
    Three hundred unproductive Google hits later, though, I find this (now only in Google’s cache, no longer at its original URL,…): “… CJ, LOL that was very funny although I don’t think you meant it to be, but all in law non of those things should make you unhappy, a little aggravated maybe …”.
    I’m convinced that instance, at least, is a genuine eggcorn.

  470. 596

    Commentary by John E. Hayter , 2005/09/02 at 4:56 pm

    I often hear people say “ex cetera” for the correct “et cetera.”

  471. 597

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/04 at 5:46 pm

    The eggcorn “all total” for “all told” appears today (9/4/05) in an AP article on the Katrina disaster on “All total, the number of Guard personnel in the stricken states is about 40,000.” The URL is…

    Since “all total” is a common combination of words (you get a lot of sites discussing total lunar eclipses), this eggcorn isn’t easy to google for. But searching for the phrase “all total, the number” produced more than a half dozen relevant hits, demonstrating that our AP scribe isn’t alone in his/her reanalysis of the phrase.

  472. 598

    Commentary by Leigh , 2005/09/04 at 8:54 pm

    Google shows several instances of “busting tables” and “bustboy” for “busing/bussing tables” and “busboy,” respectively.

    “Whether busting al-Qaida in Afghanistan or busting tables in Beaumont, your contributions to Texas, Texans and the world are indispensable.”

    “If I don’t go this very instant, the guy busting tables will have more to clean-up than what’s in his job description.”

    “A customer stated that he saw the bustboy pick up my camera.”

    “see if you could work at a restaurant or something.Ask to work as a dishwasher or a bustboy.”

  473. 599

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/05 at 3:29 am

    ‘fault de mieux’ for ‘faute de mieux.’ The original is, roughly, ‘for want of something better.’ The eggcorn derives, I suspect, from ‘default,’ as though the users were trying to say ‘in default of something better.’ It’s pretty but rare- only 6 ghits:

    The danger, he says, is rejecting what is good in the stress on rationality and
    descending, fault de mieux, into irrationality and arbitrariness.…

    Assuming the original painting (or even, fault de mieux, even the original photo
    from which your scan was made) is still in existence…

    She loved Leopold after they married, but he was more of a fault de mieux choice by that time.…

    Where would you put the Michelangelo Sonnets, which might be considered
    sort-of a 16th Symphony, fault de mieux?…

  474. 600

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/05 at 3:36 am

    ‘faux’ de mieux’ for ‘faute de mieux.’ This is more common than the preceding eggcorn, but the semantics is less clear. Is an item accepted ‘faute de mieux’ in some way a fake or ‘false’ better? (Note - I expected to see ‘foe de mieux’ also, but didn’t find it.) Examples:

    That has meant that faux de mieux, the standard has been passed to al-Sadr.…

    They have a faux de mieux reliance on amenable husbands, if they have them, or
    on means-tested benefits if they draw them.

    The babe in the manger happened to be, faux de mieux, a cabbage patch kid.…

    Many would argue that the Testors Nieuport fuselage should be buried, the litter
    box treatment being just a little faux de mieux.…

    The ethyl acetate is probably a bit faux de mieux in the mix, it is a mild organic solvent.…

  475. 601

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/05 at 3:49 am

    ‘foe pas’ for ‘faux pas.’ One more instance of the strange things anglophones do to French. Examples:

    A cloud of nerves and potential foe-pas traditionally shrouds this part of the

    Foe pas of the past such as not being able to use USB on NT4 are hopefully dead
    and gone……

    I sat down on a coffee table. “Wait!” an inmate next to me said, and
    I bolted upright. Had I made my first jail foe pas?…

    She must have decided to forgive our foe-pas. Instead she chanted and prayed over the cardboard to purify it before she used it in the fire.…

    And I kind of got stuck in my own foe pas, kind of a one joke thing.…

  476. 602

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/05 at 7:25 pm

    ‘assume’ for ‘as soon.’ Examples:

    Personally if my cluster is going to go down, I’d just assume the whole thing go
    down instead of all the nodes and not the server…

    No disrespect to all the fine artists out there, but I’d just assume do my work

    A chance encounter with someone he’d just assume avoid.…

    …Zanadar answered, “They will undoubtedly be here before long, I’d just assume be long gone once they do arrive.”…

    “Unless that’s for me,” he said, pointing at the mace, “in which case I’d just
    assume go back to bed, if it’s all the same to you.”…

  477. 603

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/09/06 at 7:31 pm

    Re comment #602: It doesn’t happen very often with Ken’s voluminous contributions, but this one is already in the database: as soon » assume.

  478. 604

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/06 at 9:51 pm

    Sorry Ben. Try this one:

    ‘basil’ for ‘basal,’ eseecially in ‘basil metabolism.’ Is it a condition arising from overindulgence in Pesto? Examples:

    The basil metabolism for adults is about 1500 calories per day.…

    A person with a “fast metabolism” medically has a high basil metabolism.

    Weight maintenance comes down to a simple formula of energy (food) consumed equaling that being expended (physical activity and basil metabolism).

    … she approached her complementary medicine physician and did a battery of thyroid tests including basil metabolism, TSH, T3 …

    You’d have to eat 80 heads of lettuce to get enough calories for your basil metabolism!…

  479. 605

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/06 at 10:04 pm

    ‘porkulent’ (or ‘porculent’) for ‘corpulent.’ Eggcorn, spoonerism, deliberate neologism, or all of the above? Examples:

    Marnek glances to the owner of the runner he’s due to ride, but the rather porculent Northern herder seems to think he knows better than his jockey.…

    And so last year, after once again being named by Mens Fitness as Americas most
    porculent metropolis, Houston got its own fitness czar, a thin guy named Lee …… 200402/TBJ-200402-haltom.html

    Our Friends The Mad Mullahs and the Porkulent Princes.…

    … reminiscent of a Michelin Man made of cottage cheese, his genitals hidden behind a veil of Mr. Bubble foam that cascades down his porkulent legs…… php?Board=UBB1&main=3905&type=post

  480. 606

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/06 at 10:32 pm

    ‘death charges’ for ‘depth charges.’ Depth charges are anti-submarine bombs, designed to explode at a specific depth- and’presumably, quite deadly. Examples:

    Anne Wroe tells the story of the Soviet Submarine B59. In October of ‘62 it was lying off the coast of Cuba and rolling wildly from death charges dropped by 14 US naval vessels.

    The battle scenes are well done and one feels they are in the sub when the death charges are hitting the ocean bottom.…

    I dont want the navy to drop death charges on me when I zip around underwater.…

    There was one time the destroyers were dropping death charges after sighting a German Submarine.…

    … not sure but I believe we also dropped a shallow pattern of death charges. ……

  481. 607

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/07 at 2:36 pm

    ‘Beautox’ for ‘Botox.’ ‘Botox’ is the commercial name for botulinum toxin, a paralyzing agent. The eggcorn version arises from the recent use of Botox as a cosmetic agent for reducing wrinkles. ‘Beutox’ is mostly used deliberately, but occasionally not. Examples:

    Emma looks absolutely amazing in this picture, but frankly, it looks
    like Crookshanks had a Beautox Injection.… id=3608&sessionid=76f5807459e3f84e36dcb17fd39cf0ae

    Your hair is thickening, youv’e taken to wearing large rounded glasses and as for the lips!!! You should never have gone for the beautox injections.… view=previous&sid=aac0c550dd50066f3d611c6b0638bef3

    With their ready access to the finest surgery and purest beautox money can buy, surely those boys can only get younger!… option,com_akobook/Itemid,52/startpage

    Your face looks frozen with beautox… area=18829&id=57223943&lastval=1107097104

    The current film’s errant departure into Egyptian mythology surrounded by a
    BeauTox-gone-bad plot is the point of greatest scrutiny because it is weak.… atype=articles&id=2168&page=2

  482. 608

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/07 at 2:51 pm

    ‘bite my time’ for ‘bide my time.’ The database already has ‘buy my time.’ This is another misconstrual of the relatively obscure ‘bide.’ (In the last example below, the writer seems to be substituting ‘bite my time’ for ‘bite my tongue.’):

    Got home had some dinner and thought i’d check my mail, pay some bills and
    bite my time for the next 45mins to allow for some digestion. showthread.php?t=315568&page=5

    The best thing is not to get excited about Hollywood, but bite my time to wait
    and see.… on_Carl_Raswan_From_His_Writings_pt1.htm

    I admit, I wouldn’t mind having a house instead of renting, but right now buying
    something would be stupid, I can bite my time and “sit it out” ……

    I have to bite my time everytime I hear someone say they believe the Bible is without errors because any reasonably sound person knows that it is not.…

  483. 609

    Commentary by tem2 , 2005/09/08 at 2:19 pm

    “laundry mat” or “laundrymat” for “laundromat” — Google has 104,000 citations of the former and 41,000 for the latter.

  484. 610

    Commentary by Bernard Greenberg , 2005/09/09 at 1:52 am

    Grizzly <=> grisly (bidirectional). What the bears do is grisly, all right, and many people must think that “grisly” acts and scenes bear that designation because they recall the savagery of these bruins. Google “grisly bear” and “grizzly scene”.

  485. 611

    Commentary by David Thomas , 2005/09/09 at 4:44 pm

    How about “duct tape” (originally “duck tape”). Here’s the history of the names.…

    Also my mom just sent me one: “while color crime/while color criminal”.

  486. 612

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/09 at 11:05 pm

    re ‘duck tape,’ see comment #350, 4/17/05. I think David has the direction of eggcorning backwards, but my mind could be changed by examples.

  487. 613

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/10 at 2:03 am

    ‘poor-faced’ for ‘po-faced.’ The origins of ‘po-faced,’ meaning ‘narrowminded,’ ‘censorious,’ or ‘humorless’ are obscure. Some dictionary sites suggest it comes from ‘poker-faced,’ or ‘pot-faced’ (with french pronunciation). The consensus is that it doesn’t derive from ‘poor-faced.’ If so, that would make ‘poor-faced’ an eggcorn. Examples:

    So many bands in Britain are so poor-faced and angsty and too serious about themselves.…

    Releases like this can often suffer from a rather poor-faced seriousness or just
    by trying too damn hard to be “scary”.…

    The tediousness, the ugly rear projection, the cheap look of the color and the
    sets at Universal during its poor-faced days in the late ’60s are all there ……

    It was like being in Liverpool instead of hanging around those poor-faced bastards who used to haunt the ‘80s.… - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

  488. 614

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/10 at 7:17 pm

    ’stuporific’ for ’soporific.’ From a neurological perspective, there’s a big difference between stupor and drowsiness. Here are some writers who don’t observe the distinction:

    At its best, then, the album lulls you, calling to mind the dreamy, stuporific
    state of lazing on the lawn in the heat of summer.

    Got up late, got on the couch, stayed on the computer waayyyy too long in a stuporific daze, and didn’t even get a shower until almost 6.…

    … found an empty patient room where I turned on the television and just stared at it as diplomat after politician after citizen made stuporific speeches……

    …when he received the word that a plane had flown into the
    World Trade Center, he responded as if in a stuporific daze?

  489. 615

    Commentary by Simon , 2005/09/11 at 9:43 am

    I added a comment about the phrase “death throws”, to the throws entry earlier this week but really I would like to see a seperate entry with cross references for this I suspect it as well established as the Throws of passion cited.


  490. 616

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/09/11 at 4:02 pm

    @Simon: I have updated the throes»throws entry to explicitly cite “death throws” as a usage example. Note that there was already an occurrence cited for “death throws” (I added a second one), just like for “in the throws of an alien invasion” and “in the throws of an epidemic”. The eggcorn occurs in established collocations and outside of them. There’s no reason to create a new entry.

  491. 617

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2005/09/11 at 4:13 pm

    @Ken Lakritz and David Thomas The history of “duct/duck/Duck tape” is a near-inextricable tangle. Michael Quinion at Word Wide Words has a new entry which clarifies things as far as currently possible.

    In any case, any eggcorning that has been going on is mixed up with deliberate word play.

  492. 618

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/11 at 8:24 pm

    ‘a pick in a poke’ for ‘a pig in a poke.’ To buy a pig in a poke is, in the idiom, to make a purchase (a selection, a pick) with inadequate information. Examples:

    Buying property at auctions is analogous to Buying a pick In a poke, you really
    don’t know what your getting.

    The choice of Andy Cobb was a pick-in-a-poke as I just did a search of Durban dive ops and he floated to the surface.…

    This way you are sure not to buy a pick in a poke. The Free demo version is not
    the full game, but will surely be sufficient for you to get an idea……

    Do you know the real benefit for your company only based on the offer? Do you sometimes buy a pick in a poke?
    www.institut-zimmermann.d… - 10k - Cached - Similar pages

  493. 619

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/11 at 9:16 pm

    ‘hand radio’ for ‘ham radio.’ Ham radio is a system of amateur radio transmission and reception (very useful in hurricanes and other disasters!). I think the ‘hand’ in ‘hand radio’ connotes the idiosyncratic, individualized, non-automated aspects of ham radio, like the ‘hand’ in ‘hand-made.’ (Note- I’m unable to discover the etymology of ‘ham radio’ and would appreciate help). Examples:

    As punishment, his teacher made him join the hand-radio club. But Patterson loved learning Morse code and got a licence for hand-radio operators……

    If you’re a hand radio operator, listen for me between 14.200-14.230 MHZ USB. Call sign is AC7X/mobile.…

    … Ramsey and Murray pursued advanced training through the BVCAP-RSVP: Ramsey became the organization’s first licensed hand radio operator ……

    My hobbies, when I was a 12 year-old were amateur hand radio, everybody thought I was a little nuts and I got electrocuted a couple of times, ……

  494. 620

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/11 at 9:41 pm

    ‘perimeters’ for ‘parameters,’ especially in ‘within the perimeters of.’ ‘’Parameter’ started out with a fairly precise technical meaning, but has acquired a colloquial meaning of ‘limit,’ ‘constraint,’ or ‘boundary.’ As such, it’s easily confused with ‘perimeter.’ The phrase ‘within the perimeters of’ gets over 100,000 ghits; some of these are in reference to a physical perimeter (but then, why the plural?), but many seem to reflect a confusion between the 2 words. E.g.,

    Our so-called free choices are made within the perimeters of a personality that
    was not freely chosen at all.…

    A classic resume can effectively do all of that, while also being aesthetically
    pleasing within the perimeters of your chosen industry.…

    It would be a society in which the individual freedoms of the unregenerate would
    be respected within the perimeters of biblical law.…

    Try everything you’ve dreamed about (within the perimeters of sanity and the
    law) and regret nothing.…

    By signing and submitting this form, I pledge that all my CI activities are
    executed and performed well within the perimeters of the SCIP Code of Ethics……

  495. 621

    Commentary by Nooks , 2005/09/11 at 10:04 pm

    “eek out” for “eke out”. Google lists 89,500 hits for “eek out”:

    While more than 100 million migrant workers from the countryside struggling to eek out a living in the major cities,

    [Koenning] faced Missouri and its star QB, Brad Smith, last year and found a way to eek out a surprise victory.

    But he is keen to eek out another couple of wins before going under the surgeon’s knife…

  496. 622

    Commentary by Simon , 2005/09/12 at 4:44 pm

    “Reductio and absurdum”

    As a student at the Polytechnic of Wales years ago now. A Maths lecture defining formal proofs.
    causing me to wake up.” Reductio AND Absurdum?” I queried.
    “Yes” she replied “Reductio and Absurdum.”
    Discretion being the beter part of valour I subsided.

    A google tells me this error persists.

  497. 623

    Commentary by Beth Young , 2005/09/12 at 7:43 pm

    “peak the interest of” instead of “pique”–which is an eggcorn because the goal is to bring interest levels to new heights.

    I noticed it in today’s “The Language Feed” (quoted below) but have definitely seen it other places, too.

    “Ebonics and Rednecks
    “One Republic Journal, September 1
    “A Cal State sociology professor recently convinced the education
    pooh-bahs in San Bernardino of the need to incorporate “Ebonics” into
    their curriculum–at least on a limited basis. By giving official
    linguistic recognition and respect to what most people consider
    street-talk, these officials hope to peak the interest of marginal
    students and to discourage them from dropping out of school.”

  498. 624

    Commentary by Beth Young , 2005/09/12 at 7:45 pm

    Whoops–I just submitted “peak” instead of “pique” and THEN found it in the dbase. Sorry. I had done a search before (using ’search’ box) but that didn’t turn it up . . . though it was in the alpha list.

  499. 625

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/12 at 8:37 pm

    ‘power outrage’ for ‘power outage.’ About 500 ghits, e.g.,

    Russias Energy Monopoly Chief Says Lack of Investment Led to Power Outrage.…

    “BOSTON (2003-08-15) Causes for the massive power outrage in North American remain unclear, but US and Canadian officials are already bickering …… pl?id=2198&isa=Category&op=show

    The US Geological Survey reports that every three days there is a snake-caused
    power outrage somewhere on Guam……

    Canadian officials blamed the power outrage on a lightning strike at a power
    plant in the Niagara region on the US side.… 2003-08/15/content_1028205.htm

    In a power outrage or brownout, the Universal UPS automatically switches your
    computer to battery backup power and gives you time to save open files … Search.aspx?C=SEO&U=OC&Criteria=A40BK

  500. 626

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/13 at 12:46 am

    ‘panultimate’ for ‘penultimate.’ This eggcorn starts with a confusion about the meaning of ‘penultimate.’ Many writers seem to think that the ‘pen-’ in ‘penultimate’ is an intensifier, like the ‘per-’ in ‘perdurable.’ (although a superlative like ‘ultimate’ doesn’t leave much room for intensification.) From there,it’s a short step from ‘pen-’ to ‘pan-’. (’Pan-’,meaning ‘all’ as in ‘pantheism’ looks like an intensifier of sorts.) About 900 ghits. Examples:

    Last night I read the utterly insane dialectic between Philip K. Dick and God, wherein Dick deliberated the panultimate meaning……

    I come across as the panultimate professional confident sexy female in her prime. Honestly though, I must suffer from a certain lack of self esteem.…

    Powerful and visceral - the panultimate historical novel. Cindy Brandner’s “Exit Unicorns” is one of very few books I care to read a second time…

    Who could have thought back in 1903 what the world would be like today: with panultimate weapons of insanity; with pollution and social decay?…

    In my admittedly limited experience, Kenpo is the panultimate study of biomechanics for the express, contextual purpose of articulate motion in combat……

  501. 627

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/13 at 1:42 am

    ‘elliptic’ for ‘ecliptic,’ especially in ‘plane of the elliptic,’ for ‘plane of the ecliptic.’
    This is one of the more esoteric eggcorns, but bear with me. The ‘plane of the ecliptic’ is the spatial plane containing the earth’s solar orbit (so called, because eclipses occur only when the moon lies within the plane of the ecliptic.) ‘Ecliptic’ gets turned into ‘elliptic’ for 2 reasons:
    1- ‘Ecliptic’ is an odd word, which, as far as I can tell, occurs nowhere else.
    2- Planetary orbits are elliptic.

    200+ ghits, e.g.,

    Most planets are within 3 degrees of the Plane of the Elliptic (exceptions -
    Mercury and Pluto)…

    In March-April, 1996, Comet Hale-Bopp crossed the Plane of the Elliptic on the far side of Jupiter, at a distance of approximately 70 million miles from ……

    Generally all planetary bodies tend to fall on the same 2-dimensional plane (the plane of the elliptic).…

    Over time, the earth’s rotational axis rotates or precesses around the normal to the plane of the elliptic.…

  502. 628

    Commentary by Andrew , 2005/09/13 at 5:50 am

    “tip bit” instead of “tidbit”, in the context of giving a small piece of advice. Googling (once you filter out screwdrivers and power drills with “carbide tip bits”!) finds about 2000 uses of “tip bit” and “tipbit” vs. over 2 million for “tidbit” and “tid bit”.

    Here “tidbit” of advice is being reinterpreted to mean a little “tip”, hence “tip bit”, so this appears to be a genuine eggcorn.

    I saw this at…, but google finds many other examples.

  503. 629

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/13 at 2:18 pm

    ‘parish the thought’ for ‘perish the thought.’ This is a very common substitution (28k ghits), but the intended meaning is somewhat obscure. Do you sequester or neutralize an offensive thought by confining it within the sanctified boundaries of a parish? Examples:

    I was just thinking that if I were a politician, parish the thought. My biggest
    challenge in being elected would be to get people in the voting booth ……

    I have absolutely no respect for Chirac, but if I was in Paris (Parish the thought)I would not go up to a Frenchmen and say that your President is a coward.…

    If humans were bred for efficient usage of food calories (parish the thought), Ms.Beltran would not be selected to reproduce ……

    Oh, parish the thought that 2 friendly states would share information with each
    other!… Balkans/milosevic/Prosecution/apriljuly03/p22ndjuly

    Disgusting sand fleas hopping around and broken sea shells just waiting to jab
    you in the foot should –parish the thought– you be walking along bare-footed.…

  504. 630

    Commentary by Steve Hartman Keiser , 2005/09/13 at 3:15 pm

    “play his/her trade” for “ply his/her trade”

    When talking of performers, this is an understandable analysis, though I doubt it is the result of conscious punning.

    Example in the wild:

    …someone like ex-Columbus Crew player Brian West, who currently plays his trade in Norway… (…)

    The numbers aren’t very robust, e.g., Google yields 600 “play his trade” vs. 35K “ply his trade”, but it’s out there.

  505. 631

    Commentary by Peter Lynn , 2005/09/13 at 6:25 pm

    One of the copywriters at work erroneously wrote “the bottle line” instead of “the bottom line” in an ad yesterday. I think the man is in need of a stiff drink.

  506. 632

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/14 at 5:56 pm

    ‘malice and forethought’ for ‘malice aforethought.’ ‘Malice aforethought,’ a legal term of art, contains the arcane ‘aforethought,’ which is easily misheard. Examples:

    … no one before had ever seen a wild animal repeatedly, unambiguously and with
    malice and forethought use a tool as a weapon against its own kind.…

    … in other words, murder includes malice and forethought. … knowingly and with malice and forethought, destroy an innocent human person.…

    I think a much simpler solution would be to remove the protection of the law, from those who are with malice and forethought committing a crime. …

    Because he had a drink before driving, he considered to have malice and forethought, so therefore is is considered a “Violent Offender” ……

  507. 633

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/14 at 9:03 pm

    ‘architexture’ for ‘architecture.’ an amazing 105,000 ghits; many deliberate, some not. Examples:

    The course will survey art and architexture from the Stone Age to the end of the Gothic period.…

    Its a kind of decentralization and redundancy plan that people later (mistakenly) believe is behind the architexture of the Internet.… history/2003/05/dispersal.html

    It is a magnificent piece of architexture. The locals call it ‘ Durian’ because it resembles the exterior of the spiky tropical fruit. asia/southeastasia/singapore/sights

    It was apparently that the artist went to some effort to capture the landscape and what passes as architexture in rural Alaska. archive/2003/02/30-days-of-night

    The memory architexture is separate, though I believe that you do need a 64bit system for 64bit memory.…

    Intel throws raw power at it, while AMD has smarter architexture.… archive/index.php/t-59916.html

  508. 634

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/14 at 10:54 pm

    ‘toll order’ for ‘tall order.’ A tall order is a goal that’s hard to meet. This gets metaphorically reinterpreted as a task that exacts a toll. Examples:

    These proved to be a toll order to fill, with the result that few bankruptcy cases were initiated even after the revised law came into force.…

    However, this is a toll order as it involves changing people’s attitudes.…

    … the challenge of redefining the current consumerist culture is a toll order
    indeed, and is a definite non-starter for the process of global reform.…

    We know it’s a toll order but we take cognizance of the fact that Rome was not built in a day;

    …but this is a toll order given the problems of fuel shortage and poor road network in some parts of rural areas.…

  509. 635

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/15 at 4:10 pm

    ‘internment’ for ‘interment.’ Internment is confinement; interment is burial. It’s easy to see why the 2 get confused. Examples (note double eggcorn in last example and see next entry):

    The VA provides certain benefits, including internment in a national cemetery
    and partial reimbursement for burial expenses.…

    Arlington National Cemetery and has established the existing burial criteria for
    the internment of casketed and cremated remains.… schedule107/dec01/12-13-01/rschneid.pdf

    Key West burial customs typically involve the internment of a casket containing
    the diseased in a closed box masonry vault.
    www.historicpreservations… keywestcemetery/id6.html

  510. 636

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/15 at 4:13 pm

    ‘diseased’ for ‘deceased.’ This is quite common. The phrase ‘recently diseased’ alone gets over 1,000 ghits. Examples:

    She hears a moaning on the other end and a voice that sounds like her recently
    diseased husband.

    A landlord was cleaning out the apartment of a recently diseased man and decided
    to pry open an old stove before throwing it away.…

    He was prediseased by his son, Rodger in 1980; his parents, Orval and
    Georgina ……

  511. 637

    Commentary by Robin Stocks , 2005/09/15 at 5:56 pm

    “Does not *mix* his words” rather than “does not mince his words”, as in: “Alan Somerville, who presented evidence to the Scottish parliament inquiry into Scotland’s broadband strategy, does not mix his words in expressing his concern about the initiative. He says it has created ‘an air of uncertainty’ and warns that it will lead to ‘real difficulties’ in marketing the Technopole business park, a £100m joint venture with the University of Edinburgh.” (The Scotsman, 2004-03-28,…)

  512. 638

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/16 at 4:19 pm

    ‘mints’ for ‘mince.’ Particularly in ‘mintsmeat’ and ‘mints pie.’ I don’t think mincemeat usually contains mint, but it might. Examples:

    They called desert a bread pudding, however I would describe it as a wonderful
    rum fruitcake-like/mintsmeat-like mixture with a rum vanilla cream sauce ……

    “Let’s hope Haldir doesn’t find out about our prank, he’ll not only warn the prince, AND tell the Lady - he’ll chop us into mintsmeat!” Rumil said. name=XForum&file=print&fid=30&tid=20138

    Destroyers make mintsmeat out of planes.…

    ON CHRISTMAS MORNING THE BOY RAN IN, CHEWING A MINTS PIE. … Song437860-Ringo-Starr-Scouses-Dream-lyrics.aspx

    … a Christmiss dinner prepared for us consisting short cake fresh beef ginger
    tea well sweetened and a large piece of mints pie…

  513. 639

    Commentary by Ryan Freebern , 2005/09/17 at 1:42 pm

    “shaft” for “shrift”, as in “got the short shaft” and “given the short shaft”, 59 and 43 ghits respectively.

  514. 640

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/17 at 9:16 pm

    “Digestive track” for “digestive tract.” I’ve seen this many times over the years, but I just spotted an instance last night in the Introduction (by horror writer Charles L. Grant) to the short-story collection Signs and Portents (Jove, 1987) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. It’s part of a very long sentence, so I provide only the relevant free-standing section; Grant is describing types of demons: “[A]nd not the alien kind, that slips through the atmosphere and infects the water and eventually absorbs our minds and turns us into ersatz zombies who have nothing better to do than run around chomping on people so as to fill a digestive track that doesn’t work anyway” (p. xi).

  515. 641

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/17 at 9:53 pm

    “Till the cows come home to roost” for “till the cows come home.” Googling “cows come home to roost” produced 579 hits. Many of these were clearly produced self-consciously, but the number suggests that many others weren’t. The fact that even the “standard” phrase is usually employed in a tongue-in-cheek way makes it impossible to sift the ironic from the unironic. (Hey, I wonder if the *eggcorn “tongue and cheek” exists…)

    So is a mixed metaphor an eggcorn? I’m not sure, but “till the cows come home to roast” might be:…

  516. 642

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/17 at 10:45 pm

    “It’ll cost a nominal egg.” Supposedly, this is the way some New Yorkers analyze the sentence “It’ll cost an arm and a leg.” Years before I had ever heard the term “eggcorn,” I had repeatedly seen the concept explained with this phrase. I have a vague — and perhaps faulty — memory of having seen it in a linguistics textbook in the 80s. Almost everyone who refers to it today is aware of its “eggcorn” status (even if they don’t know the latter term), so this phrase might be the linguistic equivalent of an urban legend; it should probably be considered a “fakecorn” rather than a true eggcorn.

    However, I did find one po-faced use of it on a cryogenics website. The writer is discussing financial obstacles to a wider adoption of cryogenics: “I propose to sidestep these problems with a new approach, one that doesn’t cost a nominal egg. If the cost of freezing were comparable to the cost of a conventional burial, we’d see a lot more people opting for the freezer.” You might suspect from that quotation that the whole thing is tongue-and-cheek, but the page appears to be quite serious and includes the wonderful/alarming neologism “meltees.” Just what a meltee might be in the context of commercial cryogenics we leave as an exercise for the reader. URL:…

    If you go searching for this eggcorn on the Web, you need to google “cost a nominal egg” rather than just “a nominal egg” — doing the latter will net you a bunch of archaeologists arguing about the relative strength of dinosaur eggs: “Using these dimensions etc I was able to take a nominal egg of 17 inches and a squashed 7 or 8 inch (that is a “real” diameter of about 8 or 9 cms). Using these dimensions one
    would get a diameter to thickness ratio (D/T)of 40.6, pretty hefty.”

  517. 643

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/19 at 8:14 pm

    ’seat change’ for ’sea change.’ A sea change is a dramatic or thorough transformation. For some people, getting out of one chair and into another qualifies. Examples:

    In general, I would say that there has been a seat change in American journalism over the last 50 years.…

    I think most of us in the room would agree that that really was a seat change in
    American politics.…

    Everything seemed to indicate that Pedroza’s professional career would end in 1976, but he underwent a seat change in 1977, when he defeated 3 formidable …….

    There is very much a seat change in our recognition and our understanding of what we should be looking at in the museum community.… aspx?type=354&archive=yes&id=181

    … well, they explained that they trust him, but I have to tell you, Dan, today
    and yesterday represent a seat change in The way this trial is going. …… php?t=21903&page=8&pp=25

  518. 644

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/20 at 12:59 pm

    Re: pat schwieterman, 9/17. The variant “’til the crows come home,” is fairly common. I even saw 2 ghits for “’til the crows come home to roost” (but none for “’til the crows come home to roast”). Examples:

    Some (not all) of the stuff that he’s been saying will pan out an
    he’s gonna toot that horn til the crows come home!…

    No lives jonsey and Donal will post their
    idiocies til the crows come home.… CommentsOverview.asp?ID=11209

    … at that kind of a low price and with a Warranty that covers everything ‘til
    the crows come Home, the Reno should be on everyone’S list.… templates/index.cfm/article_page_order_int/5/article_id_int/149

  519. 645

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/09/20 at 2:18 pm

    Maybe the Database should open up discussions with Microsoft (and other firms) with a view to improving their DP software. Many of the mistakes listed on this site could be reduced if these firms improved their spellcheckers to look for context, especially where a word is known to be problematic. Errors like “gaul” for “gall” could be significantly reduced this way.

  520. 646

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/21 at 5:17 am

    ‘primp and proper’ for ‘prim and proper.’ 400+ ghits. Outside the eggcorn universe, I don’tthink ‘primp’ is ever used as an adjective. Examples:

    I agree with a little upkeep, that’s understandable, but to keep it primp and proper, now that’s asking for too much.…

    Imagine yourself as one of these primp and proper Magi traveling hundreds of miles to visit an infant in a land which had previously been conquered ……

    … according to them, the troops should stop moaning and just climb on their horses, adjusting their hats to look primp and proper, and draw their swords.…

    I really don’t get how they could do that to the honeymooners though, its just not primp and proper.…

    Morrison was into Rimbaud, and he opened a world of psycho-lyrical poetry to the primp and proper public.

  521. 647

    Commentary by ACW , 2005/09/21 at 7:32 pm

    Landlocked >> Landlogged

    22 Google hits. Reanalysis, apparently by analogy with “waterlogged”.

  522. 648

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/21 at 8:10 pm

    ‘Reese’s Monky’ for ‘Rhesus Monkey.’ Species are sometimes named for their discoverers, but there was no Reese who sighted the first Rhesus. 100+ ghits, e.g.,

    a Reese’s monkey, you know, the ones that are trained to help quadraplegics,
    would be cool to have.… viewtopic.php?topic_id=1&forum=1&viewmode=flat&ord

    the Reese’s monkey, doesn’t he get an extra spring in his step when he rises in
    status and dominance, and manages to topple a once more dominant male?… dt_wn.html?a=chxx&id=10864

    …it was almost like taking a banana from a reese’s monkey. REPLY_ID=143323&TOPIC_ID=14637&FORUM_ID=14

    … Dream Car: Charcoal Lamborghini Countasch; Favorite Animals: Reese’s Monkey,
    Hedgehogs, Alaskan Wolves, White Tigers, Giant Panda Bears, and the Dingo.…

  523. 649

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/22 at 2:17 am

    ’stuff of life’ for ’staff of life.’ The phrase ’staff of life’ refers to any basic or staple food, but especially bread. The eggcorn is pretty common- > 14k ghits, e.g.,

    Bread is basic to human existence. It’s been termed the stuff of life for good reason.…

    It is often said that bread is the stuff of life but it is high time to forget about store bought bread and indulge in a little home baking!…

    Ah, bread. Steamy, chewy loaves. The stuff of life. The stuff of which dreams, and sandwiches, are made.…

    Whole Foods Market bills its Whole Wheat Farm Bread as the “stuff of life.”…

    Tasty bread sticks are the stuff of life in Northern Italy.…

  524. 650

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/22 at 2:36 am

    ‘foodstaffs’ for ‘foodstuffs.’ This eggcorn is a partial converse to the preceding one; the word ’staff’ is being used in the sense of ’support’ as in ’staff of life.’ About 800 ghits. Examples:

    So he started to walk home while it was snowing heavily, And he thought: at home there might be some foodstaffs.…

    The most frequently eaten foodstaffs were similar to those quoted by the metropolitan population of the respective areas.

    According to the Saudi Arabian news agency SPA, foodstaffs, tents and blankets
    will be sent.…

    According to Mr. Novikov, foodstaffs will be sent to more than 30 Russian regions, the regions where 40 percent of the population live under poverty line.…

    On the other hand, the State collects a value added tax of 17 % on staple foodstaffs.

  525. 651

    Commentary by John Bauman , 2005/09/22 at 2:23 pm

    “Strife to” for “strive to”
    There are about 500 hits on google for “strifes to”, almost all of which are this usage.

  526. 652

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/22 at 5:22 pm

    ‘parsimoney’ for ‘parsimony.’ There’s a semantic but not an etymological link between ‘money’ and ‘parsimony.’ Examples:

    … you are dealing with insurance companies who are not renowned for their
    generosity, their speciallity is parsimoney! with the accent on pass it to Me.… php?t=51506&goto=nextnewest

    … an indifference or distaste for humor, extreme parsimoney and LOVE of money,
    a marked preference for facts and figures and logical over emotional …… 02/random-thoughts-contrary-to-popular_26.html

    … most owners try to paint it as a Basketball decision but there is no One in
    h-ll who is going to tell Me we can recover from this type of parsimoney.…

    I had thought that they only need to find an optimal way, whatever it is maximum
    likelihood, parsimoney or something else, …

    Let us all support our council workers and the unions in this fight against the
    parsimoney of the government.… showthread.php?t=314&goto=nextoldest

  527. 653

    Commentary by Robin Stocks , 2005/09/23 at 8:24 am

    Just caught myself writing “teatotal” instead of “teetotal”. The mistake is probably as old as the word:…, or see OED.

  528. 654

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/09/23 at 11:24 am

    scene>seen, eg. don’t make a scene…

  529. 655

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/24 at 6:34 pm

    ‘predirection’for ‘predilection.’ Examples:

    She had a passion for the theatre, and one of her peculiarities was a predirection for the centre seat in the dress circle.

    Purpuric macular, papular or urticarial lesions with a predirection for the
    extensor aspect of limbs.

    …and my own predirection is to towards mid-size universities.

    … Department of University Hospital Michallon (Grenoble, France), specializing
    in abdominal imaging, with a predirection for interventional radiology.

  530. 656

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/24 at 10:28 pm

    “Jurist prudence” for “jurisprudence.” 968 Google hits, though lots of those are self-conscious fakecorns. There are clearly still hundreds of examples of the genuine eggcorn, many of them on government sites. Examples:

    In 1999, 15 states required physical therapist applying for initial licensure to take a jurist prudence examination, and 11 states require physical therapist assistants to take the jurist prudence examination [….]…

    […] there will be an inquisition for blood with which nothing that has been known in the annals of criminal jurist prudence can compare.

    Based on British law, Bermuda practices the highest standard of jurist prudence.…

    She earned her masters of social work and doctorate of jurist prudence from the University of Louisville.…

    Try to use the words correctly: jurisprudence is the philosophy of law; jurisprudent is one steeped in the law; prudent jurists are those who apply the philosophy correctly and according to actual law. Jurist prudence, in the way you’ve used it, is meaningless gibberish.…

  531. 657

    Commentary by ken lakritz , 2005/09/24 at 11:26 pm

    ‘Post-dramatic stress disorder’ for ‘post-traumatic stress disorder.’ ‘Post traumatic stress disorder’ is an official psychiatric diagnosis, listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-4 handbook. The eggcorn version sounds like an unkind joke but it occurs over 600 times, apparently without irony. Examples:

    … psycho-physicological is another term used to discribe to such disorders as Post Dramatic Stress Disorder ……

    Bruce McEwen: And in fact people who have post-dramatic stress disorder probably experience some form of allostatic load because of their over-reactivity ……

    … in this research were found to have psychiatric disability including clinical depression, post dramatic stress disorder and general anxiety disorder.…

    If you know of anyone that I can get Zanax from (I cant sleep the last year due to post dramatic stress syndrome) let me know.…

    … war journalist who returns to her Glasgow home from the Middle East with post-dramatic stress disorder after she puts her cameraman in serious danger.…

    My psychologist evaluated me and said I have severe depression, panic w/agoraphobia, post dramatic stress disorder, annorexia, bulimia, I am so de-tached ……

    It’s clear he is suffering from Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder - what with having to kill a fellow CTU agent in the head to satisfy a terrorist, ……

  532. 658

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/09/25 at 6:38 pm

    “beg and call” for “beck and call.” One of many reanalyses of “beck and call” – “back end call,” “beckon call,” “beacon call” and others are already in the database. The version of the phrase using “beg” might have seemed particularly appropriate to the writer of the final example below, which is taken from an online catalogue for (apparently) domination/submission apparel. Examples:

    This situation will be inevitable if the majority of Rwandans (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa) perceive the institutions put in place by the Security Council, to bring peace and reconciliation in their country, as partisan instruments of oppression at the beg and call of the victor.…

    I’m an all day sucker when it comes to you
    So from morning until evening I’ll be at your beg and call
    I’ll do anything at all that pleases you
    You can wind me round your finger almost anyway at all…

    You’ll put him in a trance, he will be at your beg and call in these 5 inch black Seduce heels with adorning studs all over.…

  533. 659

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/25 at 10:17 pm

    ‘nicked and dimed’ for ‘nickel and dimed.’ To be ‘nickel and dimed’ is to be financially drained by a multitude of small charges. ‘Nicked’ has a colloquial and largely British meaning of ‘cheated,’ especially by being overcharged. The 2 definitions fit together neatly. Curiously, Barbara Ehrenreich’s book about the travails of American workers, ‘Nickel and Dimed,’ is frequently referred to by the eggcorn- see the last 2 examples.

    I do not accept PayPal because PayPal charges me for the transaction. I can’t afford to be nicked and dimed by PayPal when I am posting this for $0.99.…

    I don’t like being nicked and dimed to death and would prefer an all-inclusive
    option If offered.…

    Resort fees: guests don’t like to be shocked by their ultimate bill or ‘nicked
    and dimed’ during their Hotel stay.…

    Its not that any of them are really that expensive, I’ve just been nicked and dimed to death getting ready for an upcoming trip.…

    …the one time fee will cover all training opportunites at the Conference
    and I will not be nicked and dimed for each session I wish to attend.…

    Barbara Ehrenreich, activist, journalist, and author best known for her book, Nicked and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, is the keynote speaker.…

    If you have the desire to learn how difficult it is to live as a low-wage employee read Barbera Ehrenrich’s “Nicked and Dimed.”…

  534. 660

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/25 at 10:44 pm

    ‘rocksack’ for ‘rucksack.’ ‘Rucksack’ derives, in part, from the German word for ‘back.’ No rocks are involved. About 3,000 ghits, e.g.,

    This may be harsh, but anyone with half a brain who’s been to London knows You need to be mindful of your rocksack in and around The tube.…

    “Can I see your ID card please sir”? “Yes sure its in my rocksack”.…

    I was so knackered that I was feeling sick walking with my big rocksack, and once in the car I fell asleep straight away for half of the journey.… - 18k - Supplemental Result

    yesterday we had our 5k roadmarch in the morning with a fully loaded rocksack, LBE, and rifle.….

  535. 661

    Commentary by David Hiebeler , 2005/09/26 at 2:50 pm

    “surfari” for “safari”.

    Probably because “surf” is used so commonly now to mean “looking around casually,” as in “surfing the web.” Going on safari is like surfing the landscape in a sense. And it doesn’t help that many businesses related to actual surfing use “surfari” in their marketing.

  536. 662

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/27 at 12:39 am

    ‘one trip pony’ for ‘one trick pony.’ This is scarce - 200 ghits vs. 400k ghits for the original. The eggcorn effect comes from thinking of ponies as a mode of transport. Examples:

    I’m loaded like a pack horse..guitar on my back, amp and stool in one hand and bag with my mini PA and tracking stuff in the other..I am a one trip pony ……

    … any sports car from dodge will Just turn out to be another one trip pony like the mustang……

    I HATE cyber and I’m not a one trip pony, so guys with a one track mind need not apply.…

    the Democratic Party needs To pay attention To What is going on, not be a “one
    trip pony” that just blames the President and his Party……

    We all know them as a “one trip pony”, “a shot in the dark” but most of all…a
    “one hit wonder” ……

  537. 663

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/27 at 12:50 am

    ‘watch fop’ for ‘watch fob.’ a watch fob is a pretty foppish decoration. Examples:

    His black hat, sideburns, and leather vest and watch fop crossing from pocket to
    pocket is maybe more like a old west gambler.….

    Sheriff “Jim” comes dressed in a western style suit, duster overcoat with shoulder cape, a watch fop and a ‘leather’ hat.…

    Just a note to advise the list that there is a BIG MUSKIE watch fop being auctioned at eBay.…

    Rebecca recalls how Finley was killed on the journey to Kentucky and notes the
    arrowhead Daniel wears on his watch fop.…

  538. 664

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/09/27 at 1:39 am

    I heard Cokie Roberts on NPR this morning talking about “two strains of thought” (about how and why the Democratic senators might vote on John Roberts’s nomination as Chief Justice of the U.S.).
    On Google…

    - strain of thought, 22,800 hits
    - train of thought, 2 million plus
    - strains of thought, 17,200
    - trains of thought, 121,000

  539. 665

    Commentary by Lara Hopkins , 2005/09/27 at 3:48 am

    “Mid-drift top” for “midriff top”.
    I spotted this on a mailing list just now. Maybe the speaker is imagining the hem to be progressively drifting upwards on the torso. “Midriff” in isolation is more or less obsolete nowadays.

    Google confirms nearly 6000 examples, including a number of dress code handbooks:

    “Thongs, “baggy” pants, mid-drift tops, “spaghetti strap tops”, etc. are not considered safe for school”…

    “please forgo any mid-drift tops, tennis shoes, torn jeans, etc.”…

    “#3 NO halter, tank or mid-drift tops.”…

    “Matching bra or mid-drift tops are available, but are VERY small. ”…

  540. 666

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/09/27 at 8:41 pm

    hypercritical for hypocritical

  541. 667

    Commentary by SeattleTodd , 2005/09/27 at 9:46 pm

    “Photogenic Mind” for “Photographic Mind” (or “Photographic Memory”)

    I heard this one on the street and it has stuck with me for more than a decade.

  542. 668

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/28 at 12:18 am

    ’split’ for ’spilt,’ particularly in ‘crying over split milk’ for ‘crying over spilt milk.’ This looks too common to be a typo (over 1500 ghits), but I’m not sure what ’split milk’ is. Milk can be split into curds and whey, but that seems irrelevant. Is ’split milk’ milk that has left the premises and is no longer available? Examples:

    Of course, it would have been wonderful to have Michael Crawford star as the
    Phantom, but no point crying over split milk.…

    This should be a time of jubilee in Cape Breton, an occasion to pop champagne corks, not cry over split milk.… typeID=3&id=589&fd=0&p=1&pg=socialprograms.asp

    About losing the Immunity Challenge, Keith states “that’s the way the cookie
    crumbles” and that he can’t “cry over split milk”.… S/Survivor2/2004/11/28/739040.html

    Senator Combover from the great state of Michigan, cries over split milk by
    bemoaning the blocking of Clinton administration nominees.… 2005/06/6th_bush_nomine.html

  543. 669

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/28 at 12:49 pm

    ‘explanation point’ for ‘exclamation point. The relation between exclaiming and explaining is obscure, at least to me!!!! Nevertheless, this phrase appears over 10,000 times on a google search!!!! Examples!!!!:

    Comments must begin with an explanation point (!) and end with an inverted
    explanation point (¡).…

    The separator character is either a semicolon or an explanation point.…

    How could any parent be so cruel as to make their poor child go through life
    dragging an explanation point at the end of their name??!!…

    Excessive punctuation prohibited (only a single period, question mark, explanation point, etc. allowed); No flashing or blinking font types will be accepted.

    For a movie whose title practically begs to be followed by an explanation point,
    Rad is a surprisingly mellow affair.…

  544. 670

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/09/28 at 1:41 pm

    Re #659: “‘Nicked’ has a colloquial and largely British meaning of ‘cheated,’”…

    Does it? Have have never heard “nicked” used with this meaning in the UK (and I lived there for 35 years). It can mean “stole”, as in “I nicked a BMW from outside the theatre last night”; or “arrested” as in “After I nicked the Beemer I was nicked by a couple of coppers” (whence also “the nick” meaning “police station”).

  545. 671

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/28 at 2:48 pm

    Re: ‘Nicked.’ Nigel hasn’t heard it used to mean ‘cheated.’ Not being British myself- alas!- I was relying on the definition I found at

    Meaning #3 there is ‘ Slang. To cheat, especially by overcharging.’

    Perhaps it isn’t a Britishism. To my American ear, it isn’t familar either. Does anyone use it this way?

  546. 672

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/28 at 7:56 pm

    ‘odor cologne’ for ‘eau de cologne.’ More fractured French. Excamples:

    Give a man with frills like that his own way and he’d be a sprinkling odor cologne and peppermint all over the country.”… Phyllis-Of-The-Sierras,-A/Chapter-3/

    Also, please do not pick such a cheap, making up for low price in strength of odor cologne.…

    The only way they will deviate is perhaps with odor-cologne, after shave lotion, or deodorants. view/20050805160548/1/.html

    … a born and bred fricken French-Canadian downhill skiing freak, who reeks odor cologne, ……

    Jonno - you smell. It’s his socks Odor Cologne.… client=printer&f=2&t=333 -

    … things are smelling quite rotten, remembering of course that as much as u and Mr. Steven may think u piss odor cologne …… Robert%20Ferrell%20-%2010-8-03.htm

  547. 673

    Commentary by John Coleman , 2005/09/29 at 12:13 am

    “Much to do about nothing” is all over the place. Maybe they’re thinking of “a big to-do”.

  548. 674

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/29 at 2:46 am

    ‘ansister’ for ‘ancestor.’ Feminist-inflected eggcorn or mere subliteracy? Examples:

    You are lucky to have an ansister like Granny to teach you to spell.…

    When that first simian ansister of ours rose up onto two legs and lifted his heavy browed face to the heavens and growled ……

    As a matter of fact my ansister in Wild Bill Cody.…

    Message: : Please help me find out who my ansisters are.I’m only 10 but still would like to know who my ansister are but not willing to pay.…

    Plus I was told that I am the spiting image of my ansister, Mary Queen of Scots, and I do not want to freack people out.…

  549. 675

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/29 at 3:03 am

    ‘modest operandi’ for ‘modus operandi.’ Possible but dubious eggcorn. Examples:

    … both Europe and the United States would greatly benefit–if there is a modest vivendi or modest operandi between Europe and the United States.…

    in a show of support for our fellow controllers at ANC Tower and to display our
    disgust with the FAA’s current modest operandi; I here by declare April 1 ……

    … That’s our modest operandi. Giving of ourselves, laying over of our lives.…

    while Nancy Lieders actions are consistent with her known modest operandi and
    therefore are of little consequence to the big picture, I am very disappointed.…

    in September 1970, having tried and failed to reach a modest operendi with the
    PLO King Hussein of Jordan ordered his army to clear Jordan of Arafat’s men.…

  550. 676

    Commentary by Rod Williams , 2005/09/30 at 12:39 am

    Dewey-eyed for dewy-eyed (meaning innocent, or naive, according to the American Heritage dictionary). It makes me think of the eyes of that editor who OK’d the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune, in November 1948.

    I found this example of “dewey-eyed” in the wild:

    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana then emerged from the pit, hand in hand despite their well-publicized break-up, and walked the runway dewey eyed as the fashion crowd jumped to their feet for a standing ovation.…

    Google found some 9,730 more examples.

  551. 677

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/30 at 7:44 pm

    ‘wreckless’ for ‘reckless.’ The implicit meaning of ‘wreckless’ as an eggcorn is ‘foolhardy but avoiding the consequences (i.e., wrecks.),’ which is vaguely similar to the meaning of ‘reckless.’ The substitution is common and often deliberate. Here are some that aren’t:

    Urgency is understandable; wreckless abandon is not.…

    Euiripedes on the other hand wrote with wreckless abandon and often drenched his work in way too much emotion ……

    I just got a wreckless driving ticket going 82 in a 55 out on Rte. 28 near Dulles Airport.…

    “Malice” (ie “wreckless disregard for the truth”) is satisfied if the publisher of the statements is informed of the true facts but continues to republish ……

    You have to remember, this is all consistent with what we already knew about Bush, that he had a wreckless youth, and then got his act together.…

  552. 678

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/30 at 7:57 pm

    ‘cohorde’ for cohort.’ Cohorts and hordes are both groups of people. Examples:

    The survey involves the same cohorde as in 1990.

    Data from this cohorde of patients were analysed to illustrate the benefit of
    combining demographic, disease and graft related variables……

    In the cohorde of such primed AML patients we performed leukapheresis in more
    than 40 patients with a succes rate of <50% in total.…

    apparently, the entire cohorde of reporters were equally stunned at the lack of
    material they were given.…

    The station is always in the forefront of the happening cohorde as the official
    youth radio station for many highly acclaimed concerts and music acts.…

  553. 679

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/09/30 at 9:43 pm

    ‘thread’ for ‘tread,’ particularly in ‘thread lightly’ for ‘tread lightly.’ About 1,000 ghits vs 400,000 for the original. In using ‘thread’ to mean ‘walk’ or ‘navigate’ through a hostile or delicate environments, writers are perhaps influenced by the concept of threading a maze. Examples:

    We do not offer canned tours and practice a “thread lightly” philosophy and teach the same to the locals - including proper hygiene, trash disposal……

    The snakes are extremely well camouflaged, so you have to thread lightly in their domain.…

    Hilarie was delighted they shared the same vision: a desire to help but also to
    thread lightly and do no harm with one’s good intentions.…

    He thread lightly and sure-footed around all kinds of aspects of programming and
    made sure never to pick sides, always remaining the neutral observer…

    To this day, I thread lightly when it comes to UFO’s.…

    NFL coaching demotivational pre-game speech: “All right, guys, there is a strong
    chance one of you will break his spine tonight, so thread lightly.…

  554. 680

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/01 at 2:05 am

    ‘a poseable thumb’ for ‘opposeable thumb.’ Examples:

    … why do we have thumbs? we don’t need them to live, look at every other species without a poseable thumb, they’re lives are just peachy……

    Aside from a poseable thumb and the need to get ourselves out of situations… we would have never made it as a species……

    A poseable thumb, A mutation that allowed us to grip things. A mutation likely due to our environment.…

    Treecats have 3 fingers and a poseable thumb and a massive obsession for celery as far as I can tell.…

    Poor Gators if only they had a poseable thumb and were able to spell they could
    have gone to college and really been someone.…

    now, this animal looks like a chicken with with a tail and a poseable thumb on it’s hands and feet.…

  555. 681

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/02 at 7:09 am

    “rooted out of bed” for “rousted out of bed.” I found only a few hundred Google hits for various permutations of the phrase, but it occurs in some surprisingly toney places. The first example is from a Publisher’s Weekly review excerpted on And examples two and three are from debates in the Irish and English Parliaments, respectively. The simile of a pig rooting for truffles in the final example (from a Tolkien fanfic website) may explain part of the unconscious logic that led to the substitution of “root” for the less familiar “roust.” Examples:

    The story unfolds as Dale Peck Sr., at age 14, is rooted out of bed by his good-for-nothing father and unceremoniously dumped at an upstate New York dairy farm owned by his kind but unfamiliar Uncle Wallace.…

    Would it be expected that he should hare off through the country, leaving the motorist on the side of the road, expecting him to be there when he returned having rooted out of bed a qualified mechanic and a P.S.V. inspector from some place miles away […] ?

    At 6 o’clock the following morning he was rooted from his bed by the police who had arrived in Land-Rovers with radios blaring.

    In spite of himself, Merry began to laugh. He ought to be furious, to be rooted out of bed like a truffle discovered by a hog, but Pippin always made him laugh, somehow.…

  556. 682

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/02 at 9:42 pm

    “cardshark” for “cardsharp.” A cardsharp is a person who cheats at cards habitually or professionally. The “-sharp” in the original term isn’t terribly resonant for most of us, but the “-shark” ending captures a predatory aggressiveness that seems appropriate to the word. The eggcorn appears to be supplanting the standard term. I got 153,000 ghits for “cardshark” compared to 92,100 for “cardsharp.” At this point, neither the OED nor Merriam Webster’s Collegiate recognizes “cardshark” (they both have the parent term), but some on-line dictionaries list it as a variant of “cardsharp.” Examples:

    Jack may have “the hands of a conjurer (or a cardshark),” but he’ll need a peculiar kind of magic to extricate himself from a situation he agrees to be party to.…

    Despite himself, Lando found that he had a knack for administrative duties, and enjoyed being a businessman and community leader as much as a cardshark.…

    […] while kids will get a kick out of visits to […] the grave of the town’s best-known resident, cardshark and gunfighter Doc Holliday.…

    But like a skilled cardshark who’s forced to use an unmarked deck, my advantage
    of being at the console had been tainted.

  557. 683

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/02 at 11:06 pm

    ‘wind’ for ‘wing,’ particularly in ‘left-wind’ and ‘right-wind’ politics. I thonk this comes not from the ‘windiness’ of politicians but with the metaphorical identification of wind and ideology as invisible forces. Over 2,000 ghits, e.g.,

    It is also hard to get info on political issues because people are not impartial
    when writing about politics. they are either right wind or left wind.…

    No, this has nothing to do with a “good ole boys club” so you left-wind feminists can calm down.…

    His government was preceded by a left-wind government who attempted to negotiate with the Palestinian side and their answer was a huge outbreak of violence.…

    Catholicism and right-wind politics expurge any serious debate on this issue. Posted by Giuseppe Michieli on February 22, 2005 08:27 PM. Offensive?…

    Your gross stupidity and parochial in-bred attitudes are alarming – even for a right-wind nut ……

  558. 684

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/10/02 at 11:23 pm

    “savely”: “People still haven’t figured out how to drive savely ON the road.” and plenty more by googling “drive savely”.

  559. 685

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/10/03 at 7:19 pm

    inherely for inherently. not common, but there’s a few out there, and you can see how people might think it’s “in here”+ly.

  560. 686

    Commentary by Ryan Freebern , 2005/10/03 at 7:21 pm

    “the other hand of the spectrum” rather than “the other end of the spectrum”

    618 ghits

    “On the other hand of the spectrum are those suffering from schizophrenia.”…

    “Towards the other hand of the spectrum one would find organisations trying to exist in harmony with the environment.”…

    “And on the other hand of the spectrum, people couldn’t be happier to put their dog or cat in the machine, start the process and then run across the street for coffee.”…

  561. 687

    Commentary by Sean , 2005/10/04 at 6:46 am

    An eggcorn, a suggestion, a near miss and a final warning:

    The eggcorn is to establish credibility ; )

    ‘nerves’ as a misspelling of ‘nervous’. I’ve been surprised internet chatting to Americans to find that many of them think ‘nervous’ is spelled ‘nerves’. Sure enough, if you google a complete phrase like “are you nerves”, a few hits come up.

    The suggestion/s: You could convert your database list of eggcorns to an HTML table, where the first column could contain variations on the correct expression, and the second column the true expression, for quick reference. Or vice versa. A third column could contain your hyperlink reference (”See such-and-such”). You have plenty of horizontal space on the screen to do all that. MS-Word’s ‘text to table’ converter would do the work for you quickly.

    If you really wanted to go crazy, you could link in the letters A-Z to jump to entries starting with each letter, and even try to generate an index of the common keywords, correctly spelled and misspelt, perhaps, such as at the end of a dictionary of quotations or a thesaurus, to jump you to the quote.

    A couple of near misses: expressions like “bully pulpit” — often used now to mean a bully preaching at people from a secular pulpit, like a hellfire and brimstone preacher. It was actually a different meaning in a single written sentence by President Wilson (?), saying the Presidency was a ‘bully pulpit to preach from’ etc, meaning it presented a good opportunity, in the 1920s colloquial use of the word.

    I notice Americans say ‘I could care less’ where Brits would say ‘I couldn’t care less’, which is the logical original form of the expression. If ‘I could care less’ about something, that doesn’t really make sense, it needs the negation. But let’s not go after American English, it’s too easy ; ) It’s almost an adapted Irish-English dialect, which explains why it sometimes diverges from Home County English.

    On parting, beware etymological history also: before printing presses became widespread, a number of different phonetic spellings of words were possible, especially as English is almost an adapted Creole of several other languages. Hence, who knows, by and bye could have been legitimately spelt the same way once upon a time. (Also see spelt and spelled, heh). Further, I wonder if any expressions and words have been shortened then accidentally lengthened again to their original root, e.g. fo’csle becoming common as an abbreviation of forecastle (but back again). That is probably less likely to occur. Eggcorns are generally a little more obvious as malapropisms. Hope I didn’t inadvertently use any here ; ) (I actually thought it was shoe-in, as in using a shoe-horn to get your foot into a shoe…)

  562. 688

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/05 at 4:23 pm

    ‘casual’ for ‘causal.’ This is another substitution that reverses meaning; I’d like my doctor to employ causal reasoning, but not casual reasoning. >1,000 ghits, e.g.,

    Bayesian nets are widely used in artificial intelligence as a calculus for casual reasoning, enabling machines to make predictions, perform diagnoses……/cHI9MTAmc…

    Title: Diagnostic Problem Solving : Combining Heuristic, Approximate and Casual
    Reasoning…John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 1989. ……

    This course introduces students to casual reasoning in criminology.…

    As recently shown, preferences are also a desired feature in planning and casual
    reasoning [89].

    He is also developing methods for casual inference for randomized clinical trials afflicted by non-compliance, and subsequent non-response.…

    We review some of the concepts and vocabulary of the casual inference literature and provide a non-technical introduction to the more commonly used methods.…

    Casual determinism can be described as the belief that every effect has a cause
    and so from this if one pursues (eg science,) determinism can explain all ……

    This view is called Casual Determinism - nothing ever happens without a
    cause and that same cause always produces the same effect.… blog/learn/2002_11_01_learnarch.html

  563. 689

    Commentary by Rob Leachman , 2005/10/06 at 3:26 pm

    “Monday detail” for “mundane detail”. Not many hits, I stopped when I found three:
    one and two and
    three. It’s always harder to get things done correctly on a Monday, isn’t it?

  564. 690

    Commentary by Michael Cohn , 2005/10/06 at 5:21 pm

    “sited” for “cited.” This is a common misspelling, but this page suggests to me that it may also be a transformation in meaning. From the footer: “All the content on this site is public information. It is all sited with internet links.” In other words, people may be coming to think that you cite/site something by pointing to the site where you found it. More here and here. They’re difficult to find with a search because “sited” is also a common misspelling for “sighted,” as well as a legitimate word meaning “situated” or “at a physical site.”

  565. 691

    Commentary by Micah Johnson , 2005/10/06 at 7:31 pm

    I’m not sure if this counts as in some cases it is obviously intentional, but I’ve been seeing the phrase “feral judge” in place of “federal judge.” In some cases, it’s an obvious typo and in others it is definitely meant humorously as a slur against the judges themselves. At, there are a series of quips riffing on this idea of a feral judge. Perhaps I am misclassifying this one…

  566. 692

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/10/07 at 12:26 am

    “Rove Said to Testify in CIA Leak Case”…

    Should be “set to”. t flapping?


  567. 693

    Commentary by David Taylor , 2005/10/07 at 1:05 pm

    “out of sink” instead of “out of sync”
    google search

  568. 694

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/07 at 3:11 pm

    ‘onto’ for ‘unto,’ particularly in ‘do onto others…’ The rare and obsolescent ‘unto’ gets replaced with something easier. Very common- over 24k ghits, e.g.,


    “Do onto others as you would have others do onto you” seems to be a universal rule.…

    “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you… …no matter how bizzarre.”… action=display&thread=1100283286&page=1

    Do onto others pre-emptively, before they do onto you. index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=030612

  569. 695

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/07 at 4:50 pm

    ‘onto’ for ‘unto,’ particularly in ‘do onto others…’ The rare and obsolescent ‘unto’ gets replaced with something easier. Very common- over 24k ghits, e.g.,


    “Do onto others as you would have others do onto you” seems to be a universal rule.…

    “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you… …no matter how bizzarre.”… action=display&thread=1100283286&page=1

    Do onto others pre-emptively, before they do onto you. index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=030612

  570. 696

    Commentary by Dan Schmidt , 2005/10/07 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve now seen “abject lesson” a few times, presumably mislearned from “object lesson”. Googling turns up plenty of uses.

  571. 697

    Commentary by Nigel Pond , 2005/10/07 at 8:11 pm

    Have we done carmel instead of the correct caramel yet?

  572. 698

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/08 at 12:24 am

    ‘riff off’ for ‘rip off.’ To rip off is to steal or expropriate. To riff on (or off) a theme is to borrow and elaborate it; it’s originally a jazz term. It’s sometimes hard to tell which of the 2 meanings is intended. Here are some quotes in which ‘riff off’ is clearly used to mean expropriation:

    OK, now I’m embarrassed. I just realized that I more or less riffed off of Buzzflash’s Monday editorial when I named this post.

    Unless I sub-consciously riffed off someone else, then that’s all me.…

    Star Wars Origins… I think he may have riffed off Oedipus Rex (430-415 BCE), by Sophocles ……

    Most other media outlets just riffed off that report. As the papers all note,
    Hamas rejected an Egyptian delegation’s pleas to sign onto a ceasefire.

    To a surprising extent, given the antipathy between the two writers, Morrison
    has riffed off Reed……

  573. 699

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/08 at 6:45 am

    “runt of the mill” for “run of the mill.” The OED explains the origin of the standard expression in this way: “[T]he material yielded by a mill, mine, etc., as it emerges from the production process and before being sorted or inspected for quality; also run-of-mine, etc.” The reanalysis seems to be based on the idea that the runt isn’t going to be eye-catching in any particular way. “Runt of the litter” may be running a bit of interference here. Still a fairly rare bird – only 48 ghits. Examples:

    “So this doesn’t seem the work of our runt-of-the-mill vampire,” Buffy noted, looking to Giles for confirmation. “I mean with them it’s just bite and drain: no muss, no fuss.”…

    As the general everyday runt of the mill gentile I must admit I don’t know much about the Hebrew language.…

    I’m just a runt of the mill swedish person…

  574. 700

    Commentary by Adrian Bailey , 2005/10/08 at 10:57 am


    In this case, as those far as those who also read u.m.r.a are concerned, the suggested change would also amout to tortology and is therefore unecessary!…

  575. 701

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/08 at 3:57 pm

    ‘neat tide’ for ‘neap tide.’ Examples:

    …this may be the flood tide in this debate. It is certainly no neat

    “The neat tide of history had, as usual, left them high and dry.”…

    It can be used as a rough guide to tell you when is the spring tide and neat tide ……

    … best time to dive is on a incoming neat tide or slack water.…

  576. 702

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/08 at 10:57 pm

    ‘wholemark’ for ‘hallmark.’ Examples:

    Literary analysis, explication de texts, essay writing, in depth class discussions are the wholemark of this course.…

    In the current treatment strategies, the inhalation therapies are accepted as the wholemark of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment ……

    Consistency and being true to principles and absolute commitment to the peaceful
    resolution of the conflict has been the wholemark of Ethiopia’s position …

    The length is 60 centimeters and the weight exactly 196,4 grams. Stamped with the official dutch wholemark for 18 krt. gold.…

    However the membership carries with it a wholemark of high professional standard
    and high professional education ……

  577. 703

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/09 at 7:47 pm

    ‘cash’ for ‘cache.’ Especially eggcornish in confusing phrase, ‘cash of money.’ Examples:

    TDU has gotten far too much political milage out of the propaganda that there is
    some mysterious cash of money, “our” money, being hoarded by “someone …….

    …Martian Doctor Doom: He has an infinite cash of money and technology
    beyond the world’s comprehension……

    It seems that insane Stuart is hiding a large cash of money somewhere on the

    … But I wonder if you could explain to us all, about the LARGE cash of weapons, guns, ammo, motor’s, etc etc as well as the HUGE amount of cash found at the site ……

    “Those who would say that Saddam Hussein willingly destroyed his enormous cash of weapons of mass destruction in the five years since he expelled ……

  578. 704

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/09 at 7:59 pm

    ‘perannual’ for ‘perennial.’ ‘Annual’ and ‘perennial’ both derive from the Latin ‘annus.’ 900+ pccurrences:

    One of my perannual favourites is two slices of white bread (buttered on the inward facing side) with hot salted chips.…

    See why this trek is a perannual favorite among the trekkers.

    “How to stop a Thread?” is a perannual question for Java programmers.…

    It was a beautiful place next to Pend Orielle River, with huge and full-blooming perannual gardens, and a lavender field.…

  579. 705

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/09 at 9:56 pm

    “bard wire” or “barred wire” for “barbed wire.” “Barred wire” can probably make the better claim to eggcornicity — those using the latter spelling may be thinking of the small piece of wire twisted into the two longer strands in barbed wire. Examples:

    A family party of Stonechats used the barred wire fence as a base for sorties into the rushes.…

    The helicopter hesitated to turn, started to turn east, drifted north, hooked a barred wire fence with the right side skid, and lost control.…

    There is a rip on the sleeve where it was snagged on the bard-wire fence.…

    The bard wire fence will survive the most demanding conditions because of its durability and corrosion resistance.…

  580. 706

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/10 at 2:51 am

    ‘elementary canal’ for ‘alimentary canal.’ Examples:

    This spiral bound 80-page book starts by examining the elementary canal, then
    leads to the gastrointestinal tract and finishes with the accessory structures.…

    Being so desiccated, there is a danger that the swallowed particles may expand when they encounter the moister conditions of the elementary canal……

    This Astrological Aspect correlates to the human body’s elementary canal.

    I was treated to the rare pleasure of viewing the entire expedition
    up my elementary canal on a live color video monitor.…

    It is the opinion of doctors that treat arthritic patients with saponins that the saponins reduce the production of inflammatory toxins in the elementary canal.…

  581. 707

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/10 at 3:07 am

    ‘minus touch’ for ‘Midas touch.’ Deliberate wordplay aside, ‘minus touch’ is used in 2 ways: as a substitute for ‘Midas touch’ without a change in meaning, and to denote just the opposite of a Midas touch. Here are 3 examples of each:

    Furthermore, Abramovich’s minus touch may reach beyond just soccer, with reports
    the club owner is interested in trying his hand at Formula One racing ……

    … I’ll admit I’m getting my ass kicked here, but would you people stop
    pretending Ric Flair has the complete unquestionable minus touch.…

    now lawrie is proving he has the minus touch to make us a better team all round.…

    But, perhaps more frequently, the lovelorn end up having a minus touch — every
    partner they meet ends up taking them for a ride.

    GWB certainly seems to have the Minus touch in that everything he touches turns
    to s..t.…

    I been trying to recording somethings and today it just seems like I have the minus touch Everything electric has been breaking on me.…

  582. 708

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/10 at 3:34 am

    ‘midas well’ for ‘might as well.’ Common- 3,000 ghits- but a doubtful eggcorn. Examples:

    To buy a new heat exchanger would be around 700 bucks- We figure we midas well get a new furnace at that price……

    If I work on base, its american wages, and you midas well cut that
    in half cause $1.oo equals like 50 pence here.…

    You midaswell not even bother with trying to perfect the special moves, because
    your fingers will slip all over the game controller.…

    I’ve been doing this for a lot of elderly people but
    now i midas well advertise for the general public.…

  583. 709

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/10 at 3:35 am

    ‘midas well’ for ‘might as well.’ Common- 3,000 ghits- but a doubtful eggcorn. Examples:

    To buy a new heat exchanger would be around 700 bucks- We figure we midas well get a new furnace at that price……

    If I work on base, its american wages, and you midas well cut that
    in half cause $1.oo equals like 50 pence here.…

    You midaswell not even bother with trying to perfect the special moves, because
    your fingers will slip all over the game controller.…

    I’ve been doing this for a lot of elderly people but
    now i midas well advertise for the general public.…

  584. 710

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/10 at 3:53 am

    ‘monkery’ for ‘mockery.’ You can make a mockery of something and make a monkey of someone; they’re parallel activities. So it’s natural to combine ‘mockery’ and ‘monkey’ into one word. (Note: ‘monkery’ is a real word, used to refer to monks as a collective. This is distinct from the usage here.) Examples:

    From the gentle monkery of the title story to the absurdist reportage of ‘Mr.
    Sleepwalker, ‘ Wilson exerts unerring narrative control.…

    The Alpha Condé affair: a monkery of a trial ……

    The house he procured, and in which the monkery of translating the characters on
    the golden plates was gone through with, is still standing……

    …but The likes of Swami Prabhupada Have a made a monkery of This great mind and warrior supreme.…

    Makeing a monkery of Gods Love! forgetting scripture! the wrath And Judgement of
    God shall come quickly upon the unrightious ways ……

    Please Help support Normal Marriage…they are making a monkery of Marriage.…

  585. 711

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/11 at 3:37 pm

    ’stave of execution’ for ’stay of execution.’ This is influenced by the idiom ‘dtaave off,’ meaning ‘forestall.’ It’s a rare eggcorn. Examples:

    Coen received both a literal and figurative stave of execution when his transport vehicle was attacked by James Marcus.… residentevil101/individuals/billycoen.html

    it was on the brink of cancellation after its First season, Then it won some
    Emmys, So it got a stave of execution and was brought back for a second season.… topic=32014&page=0&item_page=10

    … McCarthy will be entitled to a stave of execution if and when The going gets tough.… - 12k - Supplemental Result

    ….an eleventh-hour stave of execution was granted to the Goats of the Week.… steeler_goats/2004_season/contents/new_regime.htm

  586. 712

    Commentary by philip eden , 2005/10/12 at 12:38 pm

    Chris … just spotted this on

    “Sorry to keep harking on, but they must have some idea. As an example, they
    (the Met Office) might have said the current ten-year winter/January average
    was x, while the current 30-year winter/January average was y.”

    An elementary google search shows harping on / harking on 515,000/1800

    Philip Eden

  587. 713

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/12 at 6:08 pm

    ‘parting of the waves’ for ‘parting of the ways.’ A parting of the ways is a pont of divergence or the end of a collaboration. The parting of the waves is the miracle of the Red Sea in the Old Testament. There’s only a loose connection between the two. Examples:

    He identified three distinct evolving characteristics that have in part caused
    a parting of the waves when it comes to supply and demand: ……

    It did debate Lemmy’s recalling of events which led to the parting of the waves
    of Wilko and Dr Feelgood and other losses that Wilko suffered on the way.…

    Following the parting of the waves between Hayle Harbour Company and their
    development partner London and Amsterdam Developments, we can reveal that ……

    I suppose a parting of the waves was inevitable. Thank you all for giving me the
    music I searched so long to find……

    There is often a parting of the waves between the political rhetoric about equality and the economic redistribution of wealth to allow equality.…/ Dr.%20Ann%20Louise%20Gilligan%20Inclusive%20Education%20For%20All.doc

    Moston and Beswick had something of a difficult parting of the waves with Robert
    Taylor last year, and lost a number player in the process……

    The Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended the War of Independence, caused a parting of
    the waves. Those opposed to the treaty, the so-called Irregulars ……

    David was assigned to; we had a parting of the waves, for the time being

  588. 714

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/14 at 9:36 pm

    “mordantly obese” for “morbidly obese.” Still a rare phrase, with fewer than three dozen unique ghits. Probably not an eggcorn in the technical sense, but I like it. The OED defines morbid obesity as “the condition of having a body weight high enough to pose a severe risk to health.” Mordant means biting or incisive, as in “mordant wit.” The confusion is probably due to the fact that the usual definitions for morbid — “gloomy,” “depressing” — don’t seem to fit here, so people assume it must be that other mor- word they don’t quite understand. Examples:

    You might get the impression that she’s some mordantly obese butterball who’s one Hostess snack cake shy of a massive coronary.…

    she will be in the area of 200 pounds overweight. Mordantly obese is how the doctor puts it.…

    Along the way Shell looks at how medicine is dealing with the fat crisis with radical and controversial surgical techniques, what the incidence of mordant obesity among native islanders in Micronesia tells us about its evolutionary roots….…

  589. 715

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/14 at 11:39 pm

    ‘festal virgin’ for ‘vestal virgin.’ Vestal virgins were handmaidens of the goddess Vesta. Festal virgins probably have more fun. Examples:

    I woke up in the shower … and before a Festal Virgin could stab me with her knife, Hitchcock shouted “Cut!” and the play had ended.…

    There was even talk of reviving the pagan tradition of burning a Festal Virgin inside a gigantic wicker elk.…

    All this talk about “first” has this Festal virgin all excited.…

    Hi Its Jessica, The former festal virgin!

    “When you told me that you were gay I didn’t think you meant gay like a festal virgin.

  590. 716

    Commentary by Tim McDaniel , 2005/10/15 at 7:18 pm

    Another citation for “grizzly”, on the cable program guide: Wild West Tech, “Revenge Tech”: grizzly tales of score-settling.

  591. 717

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/15 at 9:32 pm

    ‘harkening’ for ‘hankering.’ To harken is to listen attentively or to pay attention. To hanker is to desire. Attention follows desire, hence the substitution. About 700 ghits, e.g.,

    But for those old-schoolers harkening for some good old red brick, don’t fret:
    the 90-year-old Western Metals Supply building is the striking centerpiece of ……

    Always had a harkening for a COBRA, but wanted something more. Something more
    than a 50’s + 60’s car?

    But unlike reactionaries harkening for a world long gone, Rousseau gladly accepted many of the modern refinements introduced by his recent predecessors.

    Bartlett’s “tough liberalism” means harkening for the power of a Roman Emperor.…

  592. 718

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/15 at 10:12 pm

    ‘willow the wisp’ for ‘will o’ the wisp.’ ‘Will o’ the wisp’ was first a faint flickering light over a marshland, now hypothesized to be burning outgassed methane. Metaphorically, it became any delusive perception or false hope. None of this has much to do with willows, although they do have whispy foliage and grow in marshes! Examples:

    The phenomenon has been referred to as “foxfire” or “willow the wisp”.…. - 5k - Cached - Similar pages

    “The skatepark is a bit of a willow the wisp. If it’s in Bailey Park there will
    be more yobbery because its not visible from the road.”

    Wonderful music, faint as a willow the wisp, crazy as a loon, Sad as a gypsy
    serenading the moon.

    It stars Fiona “Fi” and she solves paranormal cases, such as ghosts, willow the
    wisp, Bigfoot, and other weird things.…

    A willow the wisp character, Flora, takes you through the controls and demonstrates the various actions that Tak can perform.….

    The fireflies of Dongshih Forest bring back memories and willow-the-wisp dreams
    from childhood.…

    I’d say it seals my case that we ought to expect Roberts to be much like O’Conner: a “conservative” only in the willow-the-wisp sense.…

    So Roemer comes clean: how long will people follow the willow-the-wisp of a
    Catholic Democratic party?…

    For musicians, the willow-the-wisp of perfect sound quality is the last of the
    parameters that troubles us.…

    “No, I am but a willow the wisp, but you can call me Delia.”…

  593. 719

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/15 at 11:36 pm

    ‘beery-eyed’ for ‘bleary-eyed.’ To be bleary eyed is to have ‘dull or reddened eyes as from exhaustion or lack of sleep.’ Or from beer. 600 ghits vs 400k ghits. Examples:

    There is no seeing him unshaven and beery eyed in the morning.…

    I can’t tell you how many beery-eyed guys with funny fez hats knocked on my door
    in the middle of the night, but they did not receive a very warm reception.…

    His heel crushed like velvet through the alien’s smug beery-eyed stare. It
    snarled menacingly and whispered invitingly, “Naughty human!

    You need t’hook up with Master Templeman and come on over to this
    side of th’Pond and we’ll all get beery-eyed in Manhattan together.…

    … ‘This is London in all its rain-sodden, beery-eyed,nervy exhilaration’……

    “If you’re going to support a losing team,” was the sage council given me by a
    beery-eyed sportsman with a Coventry parlance, “it’s best to lose to Brazil.…

    The original idea to reincarnate one of the H-boats was the beery eyed result of
    brainstorming by:. Bruce MacGowan; Gary Rockwell and; Mike Crutchlow ……

    “Some beery-eyed mariners even said they could see the skeletal faces of crewmen
    staring blankly out the pilothouse windows!”…

    Demigods to the masses of beery-eyed supporters, pinups to any 12-year-old boy,
    and any mother’s pride and joy.…

  594. 720

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/17 at 12:04 am

    “Bespeckled” for “bespectacled.” It’s impossible to get a ghit reading for this, but there are at least hundreds of instances. You’re almost certainly dealing with the reanalysis (rather than a skin disease) when the word refers to celebrities who famously wear eyeglasses, like Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello.

    While not flush with the digital sheen of recent CD packages, this early Buddy Holly hits collection will please vinyl fans in search of the bespeckled one’s late-’50s hits.…

    Upon its completion, a rare break in music was measured from the bespeckled man himself, “Good evening…How are ya?”…

    Naturally, so does an eclectic mix of New Yorkers, ranging from stroller-pushing house moms and sharp-dressed executives to bespeckled intellectuals and paint-splattered artists.…

    THINGS WE (THINK) WE KNOW ABOUT HOWARD FINEMAN: — He is seeing his life (or, at least, his career) flash before his bespeckled eyes.…

    Behind the driver’s wheel of the car they found a bespeckled, unimposing government clerk from Cumberland named Carl Hopler.
    [From page 237 of the novel Fitzpatrick’s War by Theodore Judson; Daw Books, 2004]

  595. 721

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/17 at 2:26 am

    “Ice sickle” for “icicle.” Almost 3500 ghits for this and its plural. Sickles are of course curved where icicles are usually straight, but it’s clear the writers are thinking of something long and sharp – and sometimes, potentially dangerous. Examples:

    When my father finally returned with the fish wrapped in plastic bags there was sweat dripping from his forehead and off the tip of his nose like drops of frosty water from a pendulous ice sickle.…

    Each blade of grass looks like an ice sickle as the frost still embraces it.…

    A scene that was cool in 1990 in Die Hard 2 reappears in this film, where someone uses a sharp ice sickle to pierce into the head through the eye.…

  596. 722

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/17 at 2:32 am

    A correction to my entry on “bespeckled” on page 72 — the page number I cited in my final example for that entry should read 437, not 237. My apologies.

    While I’m here, congrats to Chris, Ken and all the eggcornologists on Eggcorn #500. Will there be a big party for #1000?

  597. 723

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/17 at 3:34 am

    ‘mass’ for ‘mess,’ particularly in ‘mass of pottage’ for ‘mess of pottage.’ About 150 ghits. ( ‘Mass’ and ‘mess’ have distinct etymologies.) Examples:

    If you vote, you will be selling your own birthright, and your future, for a mass of pottage.…

    And that is something I find extremely inflammatory: akin to Job’s “selling his
    birthright for a mass of pottage” ……

    … ‘akin to Job’s “selling his birthright for a mass of pottage’ i think you
    are referring to esau, not job.…

    We betrayed our Call to ministry, clinical training and our profession of Faith–for their mass of pottage!…

    Hayek in “The Road to Serfdom” explains exactly where The Europeans went wrong.
    They gave Up their birthright for A Mass of pottage.

    Squandering our birthright for a mass of potage is easy.…

  598. 724

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/17 at 4:02 am

    ‘icing glass’ for ‘isinglass.’ Isinglass is the mineral mica, which flakes into translucent sheets and can replace glass in windows. What makes the substitution especially eggcornish is that isinglass is an insulator- it protects against icy conditions. (The word ‘isinglass’ derives from a Dutch word for ’sturgeon’s bladder,’ another source of a translucent material. It has nothing to do with ice.) Examples:

    The old type of glass called mica or icing glass, had great resonant properties.…

    The curtains were made of canvas and they had windows made of icing glass–a
    forerunner of plastic.…

    We had had an old Four touring car with icing glass window to keep the cold out,
    but it didn’t keep out much cold.…

    “I’m going to clean off the windshield.” Jumping out of the car,
    he removed the snow from the icing glass.

    I purchased a big Hudson touring car (#37) with jump seats and icing-glass windows for the trip.…

    A base burner is a big stove with icing glass in front so you could see the flame and on top it had a silver-like……

    When you put the canvas back it had side curtains that snapped on with icing glass windows to look out of. it was a really old car though, even back Then.…/Ame…

  599. 725

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/17 at 4:53 am

    ’soaponify’ for ’saponify.’ Saponification is the chemical process of turning an oil into a soap. The term derives from’saponins,’ a class of plant glycosides, and has no etymological connection with ’soap.’ About 150 ghits, e.g.,

    Re: Why does my skin feel soapy if I get sodium hydroxide on it?
    Sodium hydroxide will in fact soaponify (turn into soap) the fatty acid esters
    and oils on your fingertips & skin.…

    All farmers in those days made their own soap, but lye was essential to soaponify the grease.…

    the most effective way To remove fat-based grease is To soaponify it with caustic……

    Enjoy the moisturizing rich lather of this soap made with Soaponified Extra-Virgin Olive oil ……

    This 4 ounce bar of Soap contains soaponified palm, coconut, and olive oils,
    fragrance oil, avacado butter, and green mica.…

  600. 726

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/17 at 2:44 pm

    I’d like to join Pat in congratulating Chris on reaching the milestone of eggcorn #500. The next 500 may be more difficult, since we’ve already gathered the low-hanging fruit, but I’m confident we can do it. Here’s a candidate for #501:

    ‘ill literate’ for ‘illiterate.’ About 5,000 ghits, most with a delightfully self-referential aspect. Examples:

    i am not computer literate and i guss i was insurance ill literate for i am paying and have no survice.…

    Before this class I was very much computer ill-literate.… - 7k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

    He’s ill-literate in two languages, falsifying reality , in both.…

    Basically the people are ill literate, this is the main cause
    that allows such sorrowful incidents to happen.

  601. 727

    Commentary by John Bauman , 2005/10/17 at 3:08 pm

    Mysonginistic for misogynistic. I see 90 Ghits, most of which seem to be serious misunderstandings/misspellings.

    ‘Narnia is corrupting, racist, mysonginistic religious propaganda….’….

  602. 728

    Commentary by Leigh , 2005/10/17 at 8:16 pm

    “death nail” for “death knell”

    “This would mean the death nail to already fragile and vulnerable local industries in African countries with increased unemployment as a result.”…

    “I contend that an Oldies format will eventually become a death nail for a radio station within 20 years”…

    “Deborah, you’ve signed the death nail to your own career, you will never be taken seriously again.” (???)…

    It seems to often be used in contexts where ‘death knell’ wouldn’t really work, but the reshaping to ‘nail’ sort of does (except when one is signing that nail for some reason). Google shows many others.

  603. 729

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/18 at 2:57 pm

    ‘fraction’ for ‘faction.’ A political faction is, after all, a fraction of the populace. Examples:

    A Brief History Of The Red Army Fraction
    In April 1992, the Red Army Fraction (RAF) took the step of unilaterally calling
    … The Red Army Fraction creates the connection between legal and illegal ……

    … the struggle between rival fractions in educational politics, fighting
    under the rather vague banners of ‘traditionalists’ and ‘progressives’.

    In contrast to most other women’s journals in Iran, Zanan’s is an independent voice; it is not tied to the state or to any specific political fraction.… _nr-9/_p-1/i.html?PHPSESSID=3d190cf33fc39a7efafd72508f94509f

    The breakaway fraction of the SPLA is calling for the complete independence of
    southern Sudan.

    The Left party, as the new party is called, is more a leftist breakaway fraction
    of the SPD than the PDS successor.…

    A “compromise” solution was found, in that Gus Dur, representing the second-largest reform fraction, was elected as president.…

    As the election day nears the campaigning is becoming
    characterised not by fractional politics but by the civil war.… Linrodeth/Chronicle/150/Kruthos50.htm

  604. 730

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/20 at 5:16 am

    ’sort of Damocles’ for ’sword of Damocles.’ Examples:

    He was sure that one day he would get his revenge. But that day was still far away, unlike the Transfiguration exam that hung over him like a sort of Damocles.…

    This latest threat represents a sort of Damocles hanging over our heads.…

    But until we can get our arms around it, it’s going to hang like this sort of
    Damocles over the market.…

    People are very open minded, and they applaud the fact that they can now breathe
    after this sort of Damocles — the nuclear sort of Damocles had been averted.…

    Many of us today are plagued by anxiety and conscious of a sort of Damocles hanging above our heads.…

    I was feeling very good about what we were doing. But always over my head was this sort of Damocles that if we lost the court case, AMD was history.…

    So airlines are already doing things to avoid the sort of Damocles, but I think
    that for some of the smaller, more vulnerable guys it is soon.…

  605. 731

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/20 at 12:59 pm

    ‘grit iron’ for ‘gridiron.’ A gridiron is a football field. Grit is, colloquially, courage and tenacity. Players show their grit on the grit iron. About 500 ghits, e.g.,

    REPLACEMENTS; Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Orlando Jones …A warm-hearted romp with grit iron bumps, bruises, and rah-rah team spirit. … The Replacements captures football in a pure Hollywood formula ……

    When Sept 30 gets here and the teams are on the grit iron and the 4thQ is over … I am SO GLAD FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL IS HERE AT LAST! … viewtopic.php?t=768&start=0&

    Lucas has played well under the direction of the defensive coaches, Teryl Austin and Ray Rhodes, whose coaching style demands grit iron toughness… article.php?story=20040912012429266

    It’s going to be an extremely good game on the grit iron at the GMFL field Saturday, October 11, 2003 as the Varsity Eagles…… Nov%20Paw%20Prints%20page%2011.pdf

  606. 732

    Commentary by Dan Schmidt , 2005/10/20 at 2:15 pm

    “Playoff birth” for playoff berth. 22,000 hits on google.

  607. 733

    Commentary by Wes Munsil , 2005/10/20 at 3:41 pm

    “Be who of” for “behoove”.

    Several hits on Google, not all of which are this error. One wonders what mental model this usage reflects.

    E.g., ‘Phillips told the council members she felt it would “be who of us to try to do this.”’

  608. 734

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/21 at 4:14 am

    ‘bewhere’ for ‘beware.’ Inspired by the peculiarity of ‘be who of,’ I decided to look for ‘be where (of).’ It’s out there! Examples:

    So baby bewhere, because now its just a matter of time ……

    Buyer bewhere.…

    … wear a bullet proof vest and bewhere of Escalade EXT’s and Naviators on Ventura Blvd.….

    this game is very addictive so bewhere!!….

    It is possible to anchor just inside the outer breakwater but bewhere of Spanish
    fishing boats captains driving their boats with gusto.…

  609. 735

    Commentary by Idris Mercer , 2005/10/21 at 7:05 am

    I just discovered “commoner garden” for “common or garden” at this site:

    There are about 250 ghits for the string “commoner garden,” but many of them are non-eggcornish, as in “this is one of your commoner garden plants” = “this is one of the more common plants found in gardens.” But some are clearly misanalyses of “common or garden,” which I must admit is a pretty opaque construction, so it’s understandable that people would reinterpret it as “commoner garden.” As ordinary as a commoner (not a nobleman), whom you’d be likely to see in their garden.

  610. 736

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/21 at 4:10 pm

    ‘Ruffled Grouse’ for ‘Ruffed Grouse.’ The Ruffed Grouse is a North American game bird with protuberant feathers (ruffs) at the side of its neck. Several websites suggest that it’s easily startled (ruffled), but I don’t know if this is true or it’s just a conclusion people draw from reshaped name. ‘Ruffled’ is common- 30k ghits vs 400k for ‘Ruffed.’ Examples:

    The ruffled grouse is a large reddish brown or grayish brown bird resembling a small domestic chicken in shape.…

    The Ruffled Grouse, or pheasant, has caused much dispute in reference to how it produces the drumming sound which can be heard at a long distance, ……

    ‘No person shall at any time kill any woodcock, ruffled grouse or quail for the purpose of conveying the same beyond the limits of the state; ……

    Ruffled grouse have orange, tan and black feathers. Mostly these are pretty large feathers. Woodcocks have similar body feathers which are smaller.…

    Choice upland hunting areas offer excellent blue and ruffled grouse habitat.

  611. 737

    Commentary by pat schwieterman , 2005/10/21 at 5:31 pm

    “Whether eye” for “weather eye.” No doubt a simple misspelling in some instances (esp. when the context is nautical), but in other cases the writer implies fairly clearly that someone is keeping an eye on whether or not something will happen. The final example below seems to acknowledge “whether eye” as the standard phrase — and the author then plays on the meteorological pun he/she finds in the term. Examples:

    As mischievous Mercury clashes with idiot Uranus, you’re dealing in a brisk and professional manner with a growing queue of the committed and the newly curious while keeping a whether eye on those parts of Perky inclined to wear.…

    Neither was he going to let the man do anything with the sword though. As he’d drawn it Duncan had kept a whether eye on it, looking for signs of action.…

    Twig-sitting quietly now, he kept a “whether eye” skyward for life-threatening silhouettes; but before long it was the other “weather” which engaged his eye.…

  612. 738

    Commentary by Julie McCord , 2005/10/22 at 9:35 pm

    “Frothed with peril” instead of “fraught with peril,” from a private yahoogroup. A thing fraught with peril would have peril throughout, whereas a thing frothed with peril only wears its danger as a foamy topping.

  613. 739

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/22 at 10:32 pm

    ‘and so fort’ for ‘and so forth.’ About 700 ghits. The connotation of ‘fort’ with strength or emphasis may be an influence here. Examples:

    I placed the most important elements like logo and designs in the left top column, the following elements in the second top column and so fort.…

    Description: The carbon next to the -COOH group is the alpha carbon; the next
    one is the beta carbon, and so fort.…

    … Robert K. Merton’s theory concerning the compounding of iniquity among prominent and marginal individuals — the rich getting richer, and so fort……

    Here in Sweden we have seen the effects of privatization: fewer employed in
    elderly care, chaos in the train-traffic and so fort.

    Then I’ll work on poker articles dealing with poker strategy, tips, tactics, and
    so fort you can use to win more money at the tables.…

    … that is why it is not right to assume that the social security you applied
    for say in California will be the same as those found in Ohio and so fort.…

    I think its because the doctors want to be able to check my blood levels for fasting glucose, cholesterol, and so fort……

  614. 740

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/22 at 11:17 pm

    ‘trump l’oeil’ for ‘trompe l’oeil.’ ‘Trompe’ is from ‘trompez’ - ‘to deceive.’ “Trump’ means ‘to overcome or defeat an adversary’ - which is what a deceptive painting does to the eye of the beholder. 400+ ghits, e.g.,

    My mom’s old kitchen didn’t have any windows so she bought a trump l’oeil style
    painting of a window and put it up.…

    By the mid-1990s they had restored Mercury to his place atop the tower, albeit
    in a two-dimensional form painted in trump l’oeil style ……(Nashville)

    … fake windows and wall dressings, fake sculptures and whatnot to trick the
    eye (the art term being trump l’oeil which is French for…trick of the eye).…

    This Thermomass facility utilizes the Trump L “Oeil” effect around the windows and includes a recessed canopy entrance.…

    The glamour of the 80s, the decade of Dynasty, Dallas, and poofy skirts, was
    baroque and ersatz: Trump l’oeil.…

    The Victoria Mansion was quite impressive; I especially liked the
    numerous trump l’oeil paintings on the walls and ceilings.…

  615. 741

    Commentary by N. Petrikov , 2005/10/23 at 4:34 am

    From the Flat Earth Society’s Web site, on the page entitled, “Why a Flat Earth?”:

    “The complexities of Efimovich’s theory, that theory’s convoluted nature and dependence on flawed logic and the omission of obstructions make it nearly impossible to understand at all, let alone understand why anyone would believe such dribble.” The last word is evidently an eggcorn for ‘drivel.’ I can imagine ‘drivel glasses’ being sold at tourist gift shops, with feeble jokes and trite sentiments lacquered on the sides.…

  616. 742

    Commentary by A.J. Rush, MD , 2005/10/23 at 2:30 pm

    What about a special category for medical eggcorns? For example, ‘dilatated’ instead of ‘dilated’. There are also many medical words which seem to be more frequently mispronounced by physicians than by civilians (perhaps because they wish to seem highly educated?): DUE-oe-DEE-num for due-aw-den-um, SONT-i-mee-ter for SENT-i-mee-ter, and um-bil-IE-kus for um-BILL-i-kus.

  617. 743

    Commentary by Kevin Slater , 2005/10/24 at 1:49 am

    “He got off stock-free”. Assuming the broadcaster (Randy Cross 10/23/05) meant “he got off scott-free”.

  618. 744

    Commentary by Andrea Day , 2005/10/24 at 5:21 am

    How about cheatgrass? It’s a common annual Western grass on the high plains desert of ID/NV/OR that grows early in the spring. As it dries in the summer, it develops a single sharp awn that will get into a dog’s paws, eyes, or ears, and will irritate the mouth of a horse by being driven into the gums. The horse will develop large wads of the seed heads in its mouth. I believe this is where the eggcorn “cheek grass” comes from. The other variation on the word is cheat grass, with the idea that this isn’t a true forage for horses, but a “cheat.” The last variant that I’ve heard is “cheap” grass–and it is. Generally, pasture grass hay will sell for twice the price as a “cheap” grass bale.

  619. 745

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/10/24 at 2:17 pm

    ‘hanker chief’ for ‘handkerchief.’ Also ‘hanker-chief’ and ‘hankerchief.’ this is very common- over 50,000 ghits for ‘hanker chief’ and 120,000 ghits for ‘hankerchief.’ The one-word variant may be a simple misspelling, but when writers go to the trouble to separate the 2 words it’s clear that some semantic reshaping has occurred. (Of course, ‘hanker chief’ to describe a piece of cloth doesn’t make any sense. But many well-loved eggcorns don’t really make a lot of sense- e.g., ‘lack toast intolerant,’ ‘’stalk raving mad,’ pie-line,’ etc.) Examples:

    Jurgen sat back and stifled a sudden coughing fit with his hanker-chief.….

    A piece of dad’s hanker chief wrapped around the plug further helped seal the leak.… - 10k - Cached - Similar pages

    His blood soaked hands and face were wiped clean with a hanker-chief from his
    back-pants pocket.…

    A Bicycle Trip Packing List
    tooth brush; tooth paste; dental floss; suntan lotion; comb; towel; hanker chief; talcum powder. Cook Gear. cup; bowl; spoon; dull knife; pot; stove; fuel ……

    It used the people like you would use a hanker-chief to blow your nose; discard
    their comrades when they were no longer of any use to them.…

    The subjects costume was quite amusing as it consisted of a hanker chief as a
    mask, a john deere baseball cap, an old plaid jacket and dusty grain coveralls .…

  620. 746

    Commentary by Marty Carpenter , 2005/10/24 at 9:54 pm

    Candle opera, an incorrect analysis of candelabra, sold often on eBay.
    Also sold on eBay, spit tunes for spittoons.

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