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I am looking for a word that describes the mistaking of a word for one that sounds similar. For instance "you aren't allowed to do that, but I guess we can make a deception." Obviously, "deception" should be "exception." The words don't sound the same, but they're pretty close.

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Also see this question/answers: english.stackexchange.com/q/83232/18655 –  JLG Apr 9 at 23:23
    
Also see this question/answers: english.stackexchange.com/questions/138812/… –  Doc Apr 10 at 13:21

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Perhaps malapropism?

The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect, as in, for example, “dance a flamingo” (instead of flamenco).

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Perfect. I knew there was a word for this, but forgot it. Thanks bib! –  KnightOfNi Apr 9 at 21:51
    
Or the classic: "I'd rather be pissed off then pissed on" –  Cruncher Apr 10 at 14:16
    
@Cruncher Perhaps the order is reversed? –  bib Apr 10 at 14:22

Also eggcorn

a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one that sounds very similar or identical (e.g. tow the line instead of toe the line ).

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Best because eggcorn is itself an example. –  dmourati Apr 10 at 6:09

How about "catachresis?"

catachresis: the incorrect use of words, as luxuriant for luxurious.

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A special class of this situation is a mondegreen:

the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning.

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