Usage Notes

What Is an Eggcorn?

And how did it get that name?


play merriam-webster eggcorns title page
26,328 views
Featuring: Emily Brewster
How did eggcorn become the term used to describe a word or phrase that sounds correct but is the result of a mishearing? Senior Editor Emily Brewster explains.
Some of our favorite eggcorns include for all intensive purposes, would just assume, and hunger pains.

Transcript

An eggcorn is a word or phrase that sounds right and seems to make sense, but is the result of a mishearing. Linguist Geoff Pullum came up with the term inspired by the use of eggcorn to mean acorn. It may be like an oak tree's egg, but it's not an eggcorn. It's an acorn.

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