Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Registrations are currently closed because of a technical problem. Please send email to if you wish to register.

The forum administrator reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2020-12-01 13:19:11

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2777

posthumous

This came up on Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day:

The etymology of the word posthumous tells a complex story. In Latin, posterus is an adjective meaning “coming after” (from post, meaning “after”). The comparative form of posterus is posterior, and its superlative form is postumus, which means, among other things, “last.” Postumus had specific application in referring to the last of a man’s children, which in some cases meant those born after he had died. Latin speakers incorrectly identified the -umus in this word with humus, meaning “dirt” or “earth” (suggesting the ground in which the unfortunate father now lay). The Latin spelling became posthumus, as if the word were formed from post and humus , and both the “h” and the suggestion of “after burial” or “after death” carried over into English.

I don’t think we’ve looked at this transformation of “posthumous” on the Forum. The spelling switch from “postumus” to “posthumus” under the influence of a mistaken etymology would make it an eggcorn-but a Latin eggcorn (a “caunea”) since the transformation had already happened before the word was assimilated into English.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

Offline

 

#2 2020-12-01 15:00:43

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2459
Website

Re: posthumous

Beautiful.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

Offline

 

#3 2020-12-04 09:49:34

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1661

Re: posthumous

Offline

 

#4 2020-12-09 12:05:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2777

Re: posthumous

My search skills are declining (more quickly than my other skills are declining, I mean).


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts