Good examples would be writing "nite" for "night", "4" for "for", "wimmin" for "women". I guess it also applies to substituting final s with "z", as in "wordz". In the way that Prince was prone to. Recently I've seen it a lot in alternative literature and music.

Example sentence: "Nice ... in that album title 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx'"

I can't find them under figure of speech schemes on Wikipedia. Which is odd, because this sort of rhetorical device seems to me currently more popular than, for example, hysteron proteron.

These stylistic devices are different from “kinda”, “sorta”, “coulda”, “shoulda”, “lotta”, “oughta”, “betcha”, “tseasy” etc., in that these are informal contractions, coming from "natural" speech acts like slurring. This question is about deliberate misspelling for artistic or satiric effect.

  • 1
    I know that Heinz, in Britain, and no doubt other companies, have infuriated primary-school teachers with their advertising slogan BEANZ MEANZ HEINZ.
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 10:11
  • There is also an overlap with textspeak, again already covered on ELU. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 11:07
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensational_spelling Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 11:35
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    @EdwinAshworth - you’ve been trying to CV this question twice with inappropriate older questions. Finally the correct original one has been found.
    – user 66974
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 7:07
  • 1
    It was pretty clear that I didn't mean contractions and that people on Stack Exchange are overly eager to close questions and find duplicates. I guess you get internet points for it?
    – Maarten
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


I think it is generally referred to as eye dialect:

the literary use of misspellings that are intended to convey a speaker's lack of education or use of humorously dialectal pronunciations but that are actually no more than respellings of standard pronunciations, as wimmin for “women,” wuz for “was,” and peepul for “people.”.


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    I take it you'll now delete, as you recognise this to be a repeat answer. Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 11:16
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    @EdwinAshworth - this answer is correct and fits OP request. That’s more than enough to keep it alive.
    – user 66974
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 11:46

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