Alzheimer's » Old-Timer’s

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “His father was diagnosed with Old-Timer’s disease.” ()
| link | entered by Lisanthrope, 2005/05/06 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Carla , 2005/05/15 at 8:41 pm

    I have never encountered this eggcorn in the wild, but I do recall once hearing it used as a joke in a TV sitcom; I believe it was “Designing Women.”

  2. 2

    Commentary by ivan reid , 2005/05/17 at 8:20 pm

    My mother, who is approaching that age, uses Old-Timers as a deliberate euphemism. I presume it’s a common Australian expression.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Bello Jiafra , 2005/05/20 at 3:00 pm

    This is a deliberate substitution, like very close veins. You might even call it a dysphemism

  4. 4

    Commentary by Jake Tolbert , 2006/04/24 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve heard this influence the pronounciation of the actual term….people start to think there’s a ‘t’ sound in it.

  5. 5

    Commentary by Arnold Zwicky , 2006/05/31 at 10:40 pm

    In reply to Jake Tolbert: An English speaker who is trying to nativize the pronunciation of the name Alzheimer (from German) will hear the German affricate spelled with the letter z as the English consonant sequence /ts/; there’s the source of the /t/. A spelling pronunciation would have English /z/ in it. I myself said the name (in English) with a /ts/ for years before I discovered that people sometimes called this dementia “Old-Timer’s Disease”.

  6. 6

    Commentary by Emily-Elizabeth , 2006/12/06 at 6:17 am

    My great-grandmother had Alzheimer’s (or just the senility that comes with extremely advanced age) before she died when I was nine. I heard the word bandied back and forth by the adults, and my child’s ears heard it as “Old-Timer’s,” mostly because she was 97 when she passed away. It wasn’t until several years later, when I actually saw the word written, did I realize my mistake.

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