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Questions tagged [malapropism]

A malapropism is an act of misusing or the habitual misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results.

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Trump's pronunciation of “origins” as “oringes”

President Trump pronounced the word origins [ˈɔ:rɪʤɪnz] as oringes [ˈɔ:rɪnʤəz] in a meeting with NATO secretary general Stoltenberg at the White House on 3 April 2019. See this clip on Youtube. ...
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What did Colbert mean by “bedude form"?

In his most recent monologue on The Late Show, the comedian host Stephen Colbert, gently mocked a New York Times reporter's style of writing (watch the excerpt on YouTube) “500 words” she whispered,...
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Kids' slang questions

I'm ESL and have some questions on some of the phrases used in 'Dive Olly Dive!' "Hide and Seaweed" episode. Hope you can help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yst45J7SFCI "...it's back to SURF with ...
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Is “in the essence of time” legitimate? Standard? Regional?

I had never heard "in the essence of time" before a recent trip to Virginia. Various local attendees of a meeting I attended used the phrase to justify moving on to a new topic, in a situation where I ...
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“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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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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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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Is “cast in stone” a malapropism?

There'a a similar question (How can something be "set in stone"?), but "cast" is a more specific verb than "set". I was telling about Russian PM's famous malapropism "my words should be ...
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Would this be considered a malapropism?

Would it be considered a malapropism to substitute a word or portion of a word in a phrase with another word or portion of a word, generally rhyming with the original word, and generally considered an ...
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Can “tact” be used to replace “tack”?

Fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took a similar tact as she spoke at the rally. I believe the CNN writer meant to use the word 'tack' like in the phrase ‘take a different tack’. ...
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Squeegee with a squeegee

Squeegee is: a scraping implement, usually consisting of a straight-edged blade of india-rubber, gutta-percha, or the like, attached to the end of a long handle, for removing water, mud, etc. [OED] ...
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Are there any real-world examples of malamanteau?

I know that Randall (from xkcd) invented this word as a joke, but now I'm wondering. Are there any examples of real words that are "A portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a ...
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Term for the blatant use of the wrong word?

In my line of work I am confronted with people who blatantly or ignorantly misspeak. Ex: Customer - "Hi. Can I get a bagel" Me - "I'm sorry, we only sell pretzels here sir." Customer - "Yeah, ...
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Semantics and malapropism

When correcting somebody on the application of a word, could it be said that you are being critical of their use of semantics? For example, calling the tool used to pick a lock a "tension wrench" is ...
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Abstract noun for solecism

I am looking for the abstract, non-count form of solecism, if it exists. Just as "brevity" describes the quality of being brief, I am looking for an abstract noun to denote the quality of being ...
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How would a phrase such as “Does the pope sh*t in the woods” be classified? The closest I can get is “intentional malapropism”.

How would phrases such as "Does the pope sh*t in the woods? Does a bear wear a funny hat?" be classified? The closest I can get is "intentional malapropism". Thanks for your help.
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What does “throw down (an order, an idea)” as in “The offer was thrown down to join the Sith” mean? [closed]

What's the actual meaning to "throw down something" as in "His offer was thrown down"? Is it the same as saying "His offer was rejected", or is it like saying that the offer was made for ...
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“Assist someone do” vs. “assist someone to do (or ”in/with“ doing)”

I just recently came across "assist someone do" searching Google for examples to my previous question, and would like to check with you whether it is an acceptable option to "assist someone to do (or "...
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“Occupation” and “professional occupation (plus calling and career)” vs. “vocation” and “professional vocation” [closed]

Is "professional vocation" an acceptable alternative to "professional occupation", and to "professional calling or career" also? You might want to consider the following sourced examples for this: ...
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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 ...