Definition of haplology
: contraction of a word by omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables (as in mineralogy for hypothetical mineralology or \ˈprä-blē\ for probably)
haplology was our Word of the Day on 10/03/2015. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Try to say "pierced-ear earrings" three times fast. That exercise will demonstrate why haplology happens: sometimes it's just easier to drop a syllable and leave yourself with something that's easier to say (such as "pierced earrings"). American philologist Maurice Bloomfield recognized the tendency to drop one of a pair of similar syllables a little over a hundred years ago. He has been credited with joining the combining form "hapl-" or "haplo-" (meaning "single") with "-logy" (meaning "oral or written expression") to create "haplology" as a name for the phenomenon. Haplology is quite common in English, and often the contracted forms it generates spread into the written language. In fact, haplology played a role in naming the nation that is the cradle of English: "England" was condensed via haplology from "Engla land."
First Known Use of haplology
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up haplology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).