Definition of eggcorn in English:



  • A word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one which sounds very similar (e.g. tow the line instead of toe the line).

    • ‘By the way, there seems to be a little discrepancy in what an eggcorn actually is.’
    • ‘In the comments, Phil asks "Are we witnessing the birth of an eggcorn?"’
    • ‘Looks like we're way past the eggcorn stage here.’
    • ‘I really enjoy reading your ' eggcorn ' entries on the Language Log.’
    • ‘There probably are vast numbers of hidden eggcorns out there in English; we just don't detect them.’
    • ‘Most of the eggcorns we've been collecting show up in spelling.’
    • ‘The eggcorns mount up alarmingly here at Language Log Plaza.’
    • ‘Mandarin eggcorns will be even easier to detect than English ones.’
    • ‘If I'm right about this, it's only the spelling that signals the eggcorn, because lynchpin of course sounds just like linchpin.’
    • ‘Robert Coren checked out my last eggcorn posting on LL and inquired.’
    • ‘Along with this eggcorn came a classical malapropism as well.’
    • ‘Rachael Briggs sent in a lovely example of that rare subspecies the resyllabification eggcorn.’
    • ‘Finally, there are examples that appear to be in a special category of non-native-speaker eggcorns.’
    • ‘I guess I'm getting interested in eggcorns after all.’
    • ‘But to succeed as an eggcorn, a collocation has to have something going for it, a theory that licenses it and makes it seem reasonable.’
    • ‘That one seems to be a joke, though it's hard to be sure, but there are many folks out there for whom the same phrase is an eggcorn.’
    • ‘Some eggcorns are just non-standard spellings.’
    • ‘Have I found an eggcorn?’
    • ‘I've uppercased the eggcorn to emphasize it.’
    • ‘At first, I thought that this was only an urban legend eggcorn, but of the 359 examples in Google's current index, I found a few apparent keepers.’


Early 21st century with reference to a misinterpretation of acorn.