mosh » marsh

Chiefly in:   marsh pit

Classification: English – /r/-dropping

Spotted in the wild:

  • By the way, I went the Boingo concert on November 1. It was good! The marsh pit went crazy over “Insanity” and “Dead Man’s Party.” (, Nov. 3, 1994)
  • Today, the plaintiffs played the 30-second ad tune, titled “Mosh Pit 2″ by its songwriter (and repeatedly called “Marsh Pit” by Judge Henry Hupp). (E! Online, May 7, 1997)
  • i turned on m t.v and it looked like a documenty on marsh pits and slug fests. […] all i remembered back in the days when u went into a marsh pit all u could find were fat chicks pierces and tatooed all over talk about taking that to the next level and starting a health club that teaches u things to do in a marsh pit. (Lafoot blog post, May 5, 2002)
  • Right now when all the 7th grade students enter the building or return from lunch the scene in the halls reminds one of a marsh pit at a rock concert. (Bedford (NH) School District Annual Report, Feb. 10, 2005)
  • It was like a marsh-pit at a No Doubt concert, only thing there were not only people, but cars/bikes/scooters/autos also in the marsh-pit. (, Mar. 28, 2005)
  • I knew there would defiantly be a marsh pit but yet again another crowd surfer only hit me once. (Stupid-Boy forum post, Mar. 22, 2006)
  • many ppl who marsh pit can dance. but i have been in many a pit where each and every stupid, wanna-be-punk-rock-jock in there thought that the point of marshing was to hit and push as many people as they could, before getting knocked over. ( forum post, Mar. 26, 2006)

Analyzed or reported by:

As with sought after » sort after and others, this eggcorn works best for non-rhotic English speakers who have mosh and marsh as rough homonyms (/mɑː∫/). But it appears that many rhotic Americans also use this substitution, presumably because of an unfamiliarity with the slam-dancing sense of mosh and mosh pit (terms that emerged from the hard-core punk scene in the early ’80s). The reanalysis of mosh pit (area in front of a stage where concertgoers mosh) as marsh pit makes a certain sense, since as Ken Lakritz points out “from a distance, it looks like a swamp (or marsh) of bodies.”

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2006/05/22 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Travis Hedglin , 2006/05/28 at 12:29 am

    A mosh pit, was a slang term for the pit that was dug to recieve and contain waste in an outhouse.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Nancy Hall , 2006/08/24 at 11:49 am

    There are American dialects that have “warsh” for “wash”, “Warshington” for “Washington”. The insertion of [r] in “mosh” (which for me rhymes with “wash”) could be part of the same phonological process.

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