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#1 2020-12-10 11:14:55

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

ten pot < tinpot

There are a few examples of people replacing “tinpot” (tawdry) with “ten pot.” Most of them seem to be transcription errors, though. Here are a couple examples:

gaming forum: “Same with Auara, a lot of people thought he was basically a ten pot dictator”

comment on news item: “once the Soviet union was out of the way every ten pot dictator from here to there”

Presumably the replacement is carried along on the semantic tide of “cheap.”


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#2 2020-12-10 16:06:41

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

Re: ten pot < tinpot

I.e. a ten spot isn’t worth much anymore?


*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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#3 2020-12-27 23:55:58

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1669

Re: ten pot < tinpot

I love this one. If it’s truly eggcornical, the reasoning would seem to be that a ten-pot dictator has more kitchenware than the average citizen—but from a global perspective, that’s not so impressive.

Like Kem, I’m not sure, but I’d say it’s possible. I’ve got the pin/pen merger really bad, and “tin” are “ten” are exact homophones in my (unselfconscious) pronunciation. (In older descriptions of the pin/pen merger, I often saw it described as a hallmark of Southern American English, but I know lots of fellow native Californians who are similarly afflicted.)

Kem’s note on transcription made me wonder whether any of us “mergers” overcorrect. I’ve been called out for saying “pin” instead of “pen” many times; could some speakers anticipate the correction and substitute “pen” for “pin” or “ten” for “tin”? If so, I’ve never noticed it, but now I’ll be listening for it.

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#4 2021-01-12 23:10:06

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

Re: ten pot < tinpot

Same here. How I have suffered at the hands of those who can hear (or claim they can hear) the difference between “pin” and “pen.”

A glance at the map from the Phonological Atlas of North America shows how confused we two are. I grew up in Nebraska. Pat lives (I think) in the Bay area of California. People ten miles away from me didn’t have the merger.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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