Eggcorn

Eggcorn

 

PRONUNCIATION:

(EG-korn)

 

MEANING:

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”.

ETYMOLOGY:

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”.

 

USAGE:

“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.

2 comments

  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.
    Jan

    Like

  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!

    Sarah

    Like

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