lost » loss

Chiefly in:   no love loss

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • Now naturally, the Shiites, as you were saying earlier, have no love loss for the Iraqi leader President Saddam Hussein. (CNN transcript, Apr. 2, 2003)
  • For Red Sox fans, especially in New England, there is no love loss between the two teams. (New Paltz Oracle, Oct. 16, 2003)
  • Those games are always competitive and fiery and there is certainly no love loss between us. (Amherst College Athletics, Mar. 10, 2005)
  • No love loss between Williams and Sharapova. (Edinburgh News, June 29, 2005)
  • Really, no love loss between the two of you certainly now. (CNN transcript, Oct. 12, 2005)
  • Sobule has no love loss for the Bush administration. (WorldNetDaily, Feb. 16, 2006)
  • No love loss for Zhang Ziyi in Hong Kong. (USA Today, Mar. 27, 2006)
  • Mind you, I’ve got no love loss for Phoenix. (Arizona Daily Star, UA Fans Sports Blog, May 17, 2006)

The idiom “no love lost,” i.e., ‘no love that is lost,’ is reinterpreted as “no love loss,” i.e., ‘no loss of love.’ Since lost and loss are closely related, this eggcorn is rather subtle — so subtle that it has even worked its way into newspaper headlines (Edinburgh News, USA Today).

The reinterpretation may help to clarify the idiom, since “(there is) no love lost” has never been particularly transparent. As the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explains, the expression actually had two contrary senses through the 18th century: implying either extreme affection or extreme dislike. The latter sense eventually won out.

In the Eggcorn Forum Sphinxie notes the reverse substitution from loss to lost, as in “I am sorry for your lost” (appearing frequently in online memorials and guest books).

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2006/05/18 |

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