heel » heal

Chiefly in:   well-healed

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • The mellifluous, well healed Bavarians, deeply Catholic and geographically closer to Milan than Berlin are infuriatingly cynical. (BBC, Feb. 22, 2000)
  • Their retro Chairman Mao jackets brought a few stares from the well-healed of Princeton. (Princeton Packet, May 23, 2001)
  • Lee is eyeing one of those coveted six spots, despite the fact that his “pockets don’t run deep enough” to serve among the traditionally well-healed members, he said. (Yale Daily News, Sep. 25, 2001)
  • But the reality of limited funding remains and is something that the leaders of the less well-healed school districts can understand. (Illinois Issues Online, May 2002)
  • Is it asking too much for a few well-healed and well-placed individuals to risk their jobs? (The Crisis Papers, Jan. 2, 2004)
  • When it comes to the economy, the antagonists to rural strife are not their well-healed metropolitan counterparts, but corporations, Dudley said. (Street News Service, June 13, 2005)

The expression _well-heeled_ has never been particularly transparent: originally it may have had to do with spurs used in cock-fighting, and eventually it was reinterpreted to refer to fancy footwear. This eggcorn reinterprets the idiom yet again — perhaps implying that the wealthy have access to especially good healthcare?

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/07/21 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Tim McDaniel , 2006/05/16 at 9:34 pm

    “These well healed cadres will see little mention of 1966, when Mao unleashed a decade of anarchic fury.”, at news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/s…, 16 May 2006.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2006/05/16 at 11:27 pm

    Great eye, Tim. I’ve taken a screenshot of the BBC picture caption. What is it about chairman Mao and this eggcorn?

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