curb » curve

Chiefly in:   curve one's hunger , curve one's appetite , curve one's enthusiasm

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “This will help you curve your appetite and cause you to eat less. Eat complex carbohydrates.” (link)
  • “Curve your enthusiasm! As yesterday, today you can find pessimistic headlines talking once again about housing problems…” (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Paul Brians, Common Errors (link)
  • jorkel and others, Eggcorn Forum (link)
  • brians and others, Eggcorn Forum (link)

Brians: “A “curb” was originally a device used to control an unruly horse. Already in the 18th century people were speaking by analogy of controlling their appetites as “curbing” them. You do not “curve” your hunger, appetite, desires, etc. You curb them.”

Curb ‘control’ survives only in this metaphorical use, so it’s ripe for eggcorning.

(Suggested to me by Lee Rudolph.)

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2008/08/29 |

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