roller coaster » roll-a-coaster

Variant(s):  rollacoaster

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Thanks for the saga advise. I will take you words to treatment with me tomorrow. I’m sure it will be a roll-a-coaster, but I don’t intend to let it throw me off.” (Posting to a cancer e-mail list, as reported by Horn)
  • “SO CONFUSED, I AM ON A ROLLACOASTER RIDE … and I feel like I am on a rollacoaster which I have said that to him, and he tells me the other day that he …” (link)
  • “In this episode of “Reading Rainbow,” Levar goes to the amusement park and rides the roll-a-coaster.” (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • Larry Horn (American Dialect Society mailing list, 12 June 2005)

Horn wrote:

The “saga” is quite possibly a typo, the “advise” a simple misspelling that I suspect I’ve encountered in students’ papers. But
the “roll-a-coaster” is the interesting one, and not novel or unique to this writer. Google has 411 hits, some literal, some ‘emotional’.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/06/15 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Lois Fundis , 2005/06/17 at 7:27 pm

    In my neck of the woods, people call them rollycoasters, sometimes seen as two words, rolly coaster. It’s the pronunciation I grew up with, and in fact still feel most comfortable with. I’d reached a double-digit age — as tall as Henry and thus able to ride the things at the annual school picnic — by the time I realized rolly was really “supposed to be” roller, but as long as I don’t move any farther away, hardly anyone will notice.

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