malapropisms

Discuss word origins and meanings.

malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:41 pm

Beware of the allegories on the banks of the Nile.
Reply from Melvyn Goodman (London - England)
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Malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:56 pm

Forswear the Nile, and parch!
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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Malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:25 pm

Some of Mrs. Malaprp's lines from The Rival:
"...you will promise to forget this fellow--to illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory."
"He is the very pineapple of politeness."
"She's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile."
"She would have a supercilious knowledge in accounts, and, as she grew up, I would have her instructed in geometry, that she might know something of the contagious countries. This ... is what I would have a woman know; and I don't think there is a superstitious article in it."
"If I reprehend anything in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs."

Reply from Susumu Enomoto (Shiraokamachi - Japan)
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Malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:39 pm

Listen to W for five minutes and I'm sure you'll get many. An example of this comes from my late Aunt Helen (she had many)
I was in such bad shape that they had to put me in IUD.
Reply from christine Gilpatrick (New Windsor - U.S.A.)
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Malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:53 pm

I heard this one, christine, but not from Aunt Helen:
"I gave the newlyweds bed linens that had their mammogram on them."
Reply from Catherine Dart (Ashburnham - U.S.A.)
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Malapropisms

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:08 pm

I used to have a boss who must have been a blood relative of Mrs. Malaprop. Here are some of his "doozies":

It's growing by leaps and browns.

It's ten of one and 15 of the other.

I can't think of any more at the moment, but when I worked for him, we used to keep a list of his "best" sayings. By the time I left, our list had grown to well over two pages. Almost every word out of this guy's mouth was a malapropism! The only thing that made our staff meetings interesting was to see what new phrase he could come up with!
Reply from K Allen Griffy (Springfield, IL - U.S.A.)
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Re: Malapropisms

Post by PhilHunt » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:50 am

Happy New Year everyone.

After spending Christmas with my mother in Spain I realized that she suffers from a terrible case of malapropism. In our family we call it Doderisms (I guess the Bush family have their own term for theirs).

The funniest one my mother came out with was while we were watching a movie in which a racing car driver loses control of the car after letting his mind wander.

"Oh dear, he's lost his condensation", said my mother, though she meant concentration.

When I pointed out her error she responded angrily, "Don't be so fastidious", though she meant facetious, but even then it was probably a mistake.
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Re: Malapropisms

Post by Phil White » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:20 pm

My mother loves the Rivals. She particularly loves the Malathropisms.
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Non sum felix lepus

Re: Malapropisms

Post by PhilHunt » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:56 pm

Happy New Year Phil. Hope you're well.

My mother isn't even aware that she makes these Doderisms. For years she's been saying 'fasteceous' to mean 'fastidious' or perhaps 'facetious', and no-one ever told her it wasn't a real word until last year. I even had to show her the dictionary to prove it wasn't there.

I wish I'd taken note of them all this Christmas because it was hilarious.
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Re: Malapropisms

Post by trolley » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:23 pm

When I was a kid, I had a friend who claimed that his mom had treated his poison-ivy rash with "kinda mild" lotion.
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Re: malapropisms

Post by Shelley » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:25 am

How do you tell the difference between a malapropism and a mondegreen? (Sounds like a joke, but there's no punch-line. I really just want to know if there is a clear difference.)

Recently, a colleague wrote ". . . they tried to pawn themselves off as . . . " I mentioned that I thought the expression was ". . . they tried to palm themselves off as . . ." believing it to be a reference to sleight-of-hand magic tricks and the deception thereby. First: was I right? Second: is this a case of malapropism or mondegreenism?
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Re: malapropisms

Post by Tony Farg » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:38 pm

I'd say:
First, yes
Second, neither...an eggcorn
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Re: malapropisms

Post by Shelley » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Thank you, Tony. Eggcorn it is, then.

Interestingly, in the same conversation, my officemate laughed about mishearing "egging him on" for the "correct" expression "edging him on". Since I'd just disagreed with him about pawning versus palming, I didn't have the guts to disagree again about edging versus egging. I believe the expression is to "egg one on". Why do we say that? Where does it come from? Maybe it really is "edging one on". I think I'll see what I can find out -- first a Wordwizard search . . .

Aha. Egging on is discussed here, and it appears "egging on" and "edging on" were used interchangeably for centuries -- but not any more.
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Re: malapropisms

Post by russcable » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:47 pm

I'd say
First: no. When a magician "palms something off", he makes it disappear. When you pawn something, it has little immediate value to you and you try to get someone to take it from you who also values it very little (the pawn shop gives you a fraction of the value). He tried to pawn the baby off to me but I didn't want to watch it either. There's no deception or disappearing going on.
And where does the "as" version come in for the magician? With "pawn", he tried to pawn a brass ring off as gold.

Second: Eggcorn.
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Re: malapropisms

Post by Tony Farg » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:52 pm

Nope. No matter how hard I try, and despite Russs clear argument, pawn is wrong, just wrong!
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