turn » term

Chiefly in:   term of speech

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • He testified that he was upset by Spencer’s criticism of the way he ran his business and said he thought her reference to a union was just a term of speech. (Decisions of the NRLB, Aug. 28, 1990)
  • I think that originally as people migrated North in New York State it became a term of speech to say that one had moved “upstate” if the area was north of their former location. (GEN-NYS mailing list, Feb. 22, 2003)
  • Just to spite the fellow below, who actually still believes that the term “pseudo-intellectual” is even remotely insulting, when in fact it is a term of speech employed solely by those who are just that. (Amazon customer review, May 12, 2003)

This is a case where the eggcorn substitution makes just as much sense as the original, replacing turn in the sense of ‘a particular form of expression or peculiarity of phrasing’ with the more common _term_.

See also term » turn.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/08/24 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Tom Neely , 2006/09/04 at 4:04 am

    People do not know this. Even too-clever eggcorn people do not know this. Which shows earlier? Which REALLY is the eggcorn? TERM? or TURN? The Shadow knows, and I will try to look it up.

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