Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Thanks for your understanding.
Chris -- 2015-05-30
Good spotting. The fabrication “besmirk” makes sense in context—making wry fun.
“Besmirch” from “smirch.” There’s another lost radical. At least I think it’s lost. I haven’t heard “smirch” without the “be-” in my lifetime. OED indicates that it was not a lost radical in the nineteenth century.
Quite a few examples of “besmirk” on the web:
: “a few childish idiots besmirked the … reputation of all Navy pilots”
: “His General Besmirked By Amateurs”
: “ you’re the one who belittled and besmirked my ride”
Last edited by kem (2013-04-25 11:39:35)
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.
I remember struggling unsuccessfully not to laugh in church when I heard the preacher say
the woman who washed Jesus’ tears with her feet [sic] had a smirky reputation
*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .
spread malicious lies to besmudge my reputation
Any negative statements that you may have read or heard are fabricated by my competitors in an attempt to besmudge my name.
‘Murky’ is right. There on the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘besmudge’
is a Nearly Eggcorn, a Nearcorn:
Thomas Penn was most upset that his reputation as an honorable man had been besmudged by Sir William’s insinuations. —Beth Fowkes Tobin, Picturing Imperial Power, 1999
Whether or not ‘besmirch’ was what the writer meant we’ll never know.
Both words are smoky words, besmirch meant to cover with soot (or mud) and a smudge is a smoky fire, as in smudge-pot.
On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.