I used to think when a player put the ball in his own net it was called a home goal because that's what the older kids in school called it. Then at some point I noticed that TV commentators were actually saying own goal and it was abbreviated o.g. on the score sheet.

It's obvious to even the most casual football fan that a home goal is one scored by a team on their home ground but the erroneous usage is quite common, for example in this newspaper headline:

Piers Morgan's scores home goal as Thierry Henry comment leads to Irish heritage claim [sic]

So, does home goal qualify as an eggcorn?

  • 1
    The Daily Mail is capable of anything. However, I'm not sure this counts as an eggcorn because the goal at the defenders' end of the pitch might be considered to be the 'home goal'. But then I know little of football. Nov 11, 2011 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


The Eggcorn Hunt Club thinks so, but concludes:

It's difficult to Google for other examples of this eggcorn, since 'home goal' has at least two non-eggcorned senses as well: a goal scored by a player at their team's home ground, and a small goal designed for use in the garden of one's home. "home goal" on Google gets about 108,000 ghits, and the first hundred all seem to be examples of one of these two non-eggcorned senses.

Ngram suggests "own goal" antedates "home goal".

Reports containing home goal usually refer to a goal scored at the home ground. But you can find examples of both used in the same newspaper report.

For example, a headline says "Another home goal for Newcastle owner", and the article says "Football shirt-wearing Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley scored another own goal in the City yesterday." Normally reporters don't write headlines; it's possible the copy/sub-editor got it wrong.

So in general, yes, home goal is an eggcorn for own goal, if it means a player scores a goal against his own team.

  • 1
    Also of note is that 'home goal' does not require semantic acrobatics to interpret as a metaphor of 'own goal' (home is a thing that you call your own). For a term to be an eggcorn it is required that the phrases or words should be unrelated.
    – Unreason
    Nov 11, 2011 at 13:58
  • @Unreason: Agreed. I've said much the same thing in my comment on the OP's question Nov 11, 2011 at 14:02
  • @Unreason It's not a requirement that the words should be unrelated but that the replacement should be plausible. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggcorn
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Nov 11, 2011 at 16:53
  • @z7sgѪ, I see - it seems I failed to grasp the concept. Thanks.
    – Unreason
    Nov 11, 2011 at 17:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.