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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2019-05-16 08:57:26

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1616

"Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

I can conceive of the genesis of this altered version through the canonical route of Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind. I first heard ne’er-do-well pronounced as “near-do-well” in a youtube account of the last days of Jim Morrison. There are more than 100 hits for near-do-wells on google. If it is an eggcorn for a ne’er-do-well, the modified sense might be of someone who falls short of doing well. It is a weak substitute, admittedly, for someone who never does well.

“That’s nice, Bayonne, New Jersey. Irving don”t we know somebody from Bayonne” meaning well at least your father is not a jobless near-do-well like my Irving. My father acknowledged that he had a friend who once worked in the naval depot in Bayonne during the war, meaning, I may be a near-do-well, jobless preson, but I know people who led successful lives and worked.
autobiography

The husband is a professional gambler by the name of Bradford Linley. He was a near-do-well from outside the the Byrd’s social circle.
online western

In short he was a near do well, a drunk, a womanizer and a steady visitor to the city jail.
biography

A lonely young orphaned girl is taken in by an Uncle who lives in a large house with his housekeeper and near-do-well son.
book review

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#2 2019-05-16 18:38:35

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 208

Re: "Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

I can see it as a definite eggcorn, one step up from a ne’er-do-well. Next step up is an almost-do-well, then a barely-do-well. :)


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#3 2019-05-30 12:03:33

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2689

Re: "Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

My head explodes. Ah, if I’d only had that eggcorn before I wrote the book…


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#4 2019-05-31 18:32:02

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2295
Website

Re: "Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

Bruce, the rare-do-well and the half-do-well fit in there south of the near-do-well.


*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 .)

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#5 2019-05-31 21:08:56

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 208

Re: "Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

David,
It’s a good thing that half- and rare-do-well don’t exist (yet, of course), because they would eventually lead to a never-do-well, perpetrated by a person totally oblivious to the origin of all of this. ;)


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#6 2019-06-01 06:38:16

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2295
Website

Re: "Near-do-well" for ne'er-do-well

Good point. (Btw I just ran across, and loved, the spelling obilvious . Self-referential stupidities are the best!)


*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 .)

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