Questions tagged [eggcorn]

An eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context.

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1answer
22 views

What is the error name of “incorrect” but semantically valid variations of fixed expressions (e.g., “false news” instead of “fake news”)?

What is it called when one says "false news" but they mean "fake news" and just didn't notice the difference or didn't realize it mattered? It's like an eggcorn but the way it sounds is not quite the ...
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1answer
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Is there an existent terminology for ironically replacing a word in a phrase with something related that does not sound similar to the original word?

This is mirrored to the question: "Jokes where you replace a word with something unrelated but similar sounding" (Jokes where you replace a word with something unrelated but similar sounding). ...
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409 views

Corduroy etymology

The typical treatment of the etymology of "corduroy" notes that an oft-proposed explanation, French cordes du roi, "the king's ropes", is apocryphal, and that the word's origin is really unknown. ...
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684 views

“Hearts and prayers”: eggcorn/malapropism?

I've recently seen a phrasing that I don't think I've ever heard before. But that is often a sign more of consciousness rather than evidence. The phrase is: hearts and prayers. There are similar ...
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3answers
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What is the term for the incorrect use of a similar sounding word when writing?

What is the term when, in writing, a word is incorrectly replaced by a similar sounding word? I think this occurs more commonly with popular phrases where the writer has only heard the word being ...
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1answer
60 views

Speech error whereby the speaker makes up a word [closed]

In this scene in The Sopranos, Anthony Soprano uses the term "penisary contact" when, in fact, there is no such word as "penisary". For a guy like that, who's going out with a woman, he could ...
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2answers
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“legal beagle” vs. “legal eagle”

Both legal beagle and legal eagle are informal terms for a smart, eagle-eyed attorney or lawyer. Someone who is a stickler for the rules, and who thrives on the minutiae of the law. Oxford ...
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2answers
377 views

What is a “sea laser”? [closed]

A client has sent me a document with the word "sea laser" as part of a list of additional services chiropractors offer in the United States. I've looked under "sea laser", "sea laser acupuncture", and ...
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3answers
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Difference between a “crowned jewel”, “crown jewel”, and “jeweled crown”?

I was grading a student's paper and found their use of the term crowned jewel confusing. They used the term in this way: The article was the crowned jewel of their evidence.. It sounded wrong at ...
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2answers
456 views

What is this kind of spelling mistake called? [duplicate]

Consider the following sentence from this web page (a review of an episode from the TV show "How I Met Your Mother"). "The focus on Robin really aloud her character to get the kind of attention she ...
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2answers
795 views

“we do not want to overstate our welcome”

"we do not want to overstate our welcome" meaning "we DO VERY MUCH welcome you!" OR “we'd better keep our message of welcome at a moderate level”? as in this context each season, more people ...
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0answers
897 views

“Season's greetings” or “Seasoned greetings” [closed]

Today I heard the phrase "Seasoned greetings." Is this just some clever word play on the traditional "Season's greetings," meant to mean greetings spiced up with seasoning, or is it a legitimate ...
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Shoo-in vs Shoe-in and etymology

I noticed a USA Today article today that said "Mary Barra has been a growing force within General Motors. While she wasn't necessarily a shoe-in to be named to the CEO job...". I was pretty sure shoe-...
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“On sight” or “on site”? [closed]

"You should kill trolls on sight" "You should kill trolls on site" Which is correct? I'm not a native speaker, so I don't really have much intuition for these idioms, but semantically both seem to ...
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1answer
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“Ridden” and “Riddled”

I am familiar with the "-ridden" construction, e.g. "anxiety-ridden". I also know that "riddled with X" is possible. I recently saw the combination "ridden with X", which sounds off to me, but I'm not ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there a term/word for using an incorrect homophone

What would you call the following: Speak now or forever hold your piece.
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Is it “peek”, “peak” or “pique”?

I have always thought the phrase was "pique my interest" as in: Her mysterious background piqued my interest. However, of late, on blogs and social networks, I have seen people using "peek my ...
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1answer
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“Soft-peddle” vs. “Soft-pedal”: eggcorn blunder or sly play on words?

In chat the other day I asked the following question: "Recently I've been seeing writers using "soft-peddle" in print (in reputable publications, to boot) when I am certain the trope is "soft-...
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“Glaringly obvious” vs. “blaringly obvious”

I've heard both phrases in everyday speech, so there's little doubt in my mind that the answer is both. I suspect, though, that one of these phrases is more the original than the other, and the other ...
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Is “make due” now considered acceptable?

Whilst plodding through Patrick Rothfuss' "The Name of the Wind", I came across: Our dinner was nowhere near as grand as last night's. We made due with the last of my now-stale flatbread, dried ...
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Origin of “lacksadaisical” (misspelled and mispronounced for “lackadaisical”)

I was astonished to learn that the word lacksadaisical or laxadaisical is both misspelled and mispronounced. It is still commonly used in Southern Africa (with the same meaning), whereas it is rare to ...
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“Piece of mind”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Personal Health: Diagnosing PMS” in The New York Times, Women's Health, (August 28, 1996). Experts insist that no ...
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Is it “a tough row to hoe?”, or “a tough road to hold?”

Is it an old farming metaphor, or a military saying? Where did this(these) saying(s) originate?
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1answer
246 views

Is “banned from the airways” an eggcorn or malapropism?

It should be "banned from the airwaves", meaning "not allowed to be played on radio". I noticed this mistake in a British newspaper story. The former star's music has largely been banned from the ...
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4answers
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Is “heinz sight” an eggcorn of “hindsight”?

I've spotted a new eggcorn in the wild, that isn't mentioned in the eggcorn database. At least, it certainly has some of the elements of an eggcorn but is it a proper one? I'll let you decide. Im ...
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1answer
7k views

Is “home goal” an eggcorn of “own goal”?

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 ...
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4answers
2k views

“Sick and tied” and “sick and tired”

What is the difference between phrases "sick and tied" and "sick and tired"? Is the first phrase correct? Possibilities (summary from comments): The standard phrase is definitely “sick and tired” ...
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1answer
871 views

Is this usage of “reign” correct?

Lately I've noticed increasing usage of the phrase "free reign". Is this a legitimate usage of the word "reign", or is this a corruption of the phrase "free rein"? I've been dismissing usages of "...
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5answers
35k views

Is it “just as soon” or “just assume”?

If someone says a phrase that sounds like: I'd just as soon you don't get in an accident, so I'll call you later. Are they actually saying "just as soon" or "just assume" or something else?
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5answers
15k views

Meaning of “I'll make due”

When someone says "I'll make due" what does it mean?
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1answer
83k views

“One another” or “one and other”

I thought this might have already been asked, but apparently not. Is using the phrase "one another" considered equivalent to the phrase "one and other"? Is one of the two considered right and the ...
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3answers
66k views

“Intents and purposes” versus “intensive purposes”

I know that "for all intents and purposes" is the correct saying, but I often hear/see people say/write "for all intensive purposes". I was under the impression that the latter is completely ...
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4answers
331k views

Is “yay or nay” an acceptable alternative to “yea or nay”?

Is "yay or nay" an acceptable alternative to "yea or nay"? I have seen it several times in recent weeks, enough to make me wonder whether it is an emerging usage or just a common typo.