noun: An erroneous alteration of a word or phrase, by replacing an original word with a similar sounding word, such that the new word or phrase also makes a kind of sense.
For example: “ex-patriot” instead of “expatriate” and “mating name” instead of “maiden name”.


Coined by linguist Geoffrey Pullum (b. 1945) in 2003. From the substitution of the word acorn with eggcorn. Earliest documented use as a name for this phenomenon is from 2003, though the term eggcorn has been found going back as far as 1844, as “egg corn bread” for “acorn bread”.



“Will eggcorns continue to hatch? This is a moot point (or is that mute?). Yet certainly anyone waiting with ‘baited’ (bated) breath for ‘whole scale’ (wholesale) changes may need to wait a while.”
Bill & Rich Sones; If Elevator Falls, Don’t Jump to Conclusions; Salt Lake Telegram (Utah); Jul 3, 2008.


  1. Sarah,
    Thank you for the Eggcorn lesson. Immediately I thought of “acorn” when seeing the title. Then I learned more about words—specifically here the meaning, etymology, & usage. Words—-how they delight us. Enjoyed.


  2. Thanks Jan,

    I was cleaning up my hard drive and found “Egg Corn” and thought it was a recipe.
    I do not remember seeing it before, but obviously I must have. : )

    I love finding these tidbits! Glad it caught your eye!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s