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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-06-28 19:09:33

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"thai-dye" for "tie-dye"

“Tie-dye” is a dyeing process that really does involve folding and tying up a fabric (or even threads on a loom) before dyeing it in order to attain a certain sort of design. The earliest citations in English actually use “tie and dye.” Tie-dye is an art that’s long been practiced in Thailand, but judging from early citations the British seem first to have encountered it in India. I think people who write “Thai-dye” or “thai-dye” may be assuming that the process is named for an origin in Thailand – the “capital” “T” in a couple of the citations below helps support this claim (esp. #1, where it’s made explicit).

We’re currently debating on the forum what role the concept of “familiarity” has in defining an eggcorn. I think this example might be relevant. It looks like an eggcorn to me, but it’s a case where people are substituting a word that’s arguably not-so-common (the adjective “Thai”) for one that’s terribly common (the verb “to tie”).

Over 1400 raw hits for “thai dye,” but many are from commercial sites either using it as a pun or hoping to catch misspellers in a Google net. Examples:

NOW LISTEN TO THIS!! TYE DYE!!!! I KNOW YOU LOVE TYE DYE SHIRTS, or at least you used to, or maybe your brothers and sisters and parents did, but tye-dye came from this region of the world, ASIA. Correctly spelled Thai Dye, this is the process where they take the silk strands and weave plastic strands through the white silk in a pattern that they choose to create. … /intro.htm
[from a teacher apparently posting from Cambodia—near Thailand]

It seemed to me that my former flatmate chooses his friends well, as Oleg had on him a leopard print cum Thai-dye t-shirt, a canvas jacket, one of those Noel Gallagher style hats and sandals. … 7d2a222fa8

We also carry Strathmore assortments of handmade Thai Dye Papers. … apers.html
[perhaps this is a brand-name – in which case it wouldn’t be strong evidence]

She’s wearing a thai-dye t-shirt! What type of neo-con wears thai-dye??? … in-shannon

Usual hippy bullshit of course; plenty of trustafarians who stepped off the plane, hit the thai dye and dreadlocks, but the good outweighed the bad. … er?page=31

I`m not what people would expect (not a thai-dye in sight), then again when are preconceptions ever right? … 70343.html

I wore jean and orange&yellow thai-dye T-shirt without sleeves. … 553a7e5b8a

[At one point I thought while flipping through google hits that I had found a site where the person thought “tie-dye” was named that because neckties were often put through the process. But either I misread it, or I’ve lost it.]



#2 2008-06-29 01:40:37

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2740

Re: "thai-dye" for "tie-dye"

Thai-dyed. Love it.

The eggcorn doesn’t break the rule of familiarity, though. The issue is whether “tie,” used in conjunction with “dyed,” is more familiar than “Thai” used as a companion to “dyed.” For a few people, clearly, “Thai” with “dyed” is less jarring than “tie” with “dyed.” But it does make us think harder about what lexemes we apply the rule of familiarity to.

Last edited by kem (2009-05-16 00:08:01)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2008-06-29 17:28:15

Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: "thai-dye" for "tie-dye"

Just to add to kem’s point, Thailand is an exporter of silk fabrics. Thus Thai might, for some speakers, be common in the context of dye.



#4 2020-05-17 22:07:50

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1373

Re: "thai-dye" for "tie-dye"

Some years ago I worked in Cotati, California at one of a few tie-dye clothing shops operated by Cali Kind Clothing Company. The owner, Jay, a very nice fellow, had the dying done overseas; even with the cost of shipping the finished stuff to California, it was cheaper that way. The country where the tie-dying was done? Thailand.



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