The English language is full of phrases and saying that makes perfect sense in our heads, but when it comes time to put these terms down on paper, they can leave us baffled.
We’re all familiar with homophones, two or more words that sound the same but have different meanings. But we’re about to introduce you to their distant half-cousin, eggcorns.
Eggcorns are a fairly new grammatical term, having only been used since early 2003. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, an eggcorn is defined as, ” a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase.” The term eggcorns came to be after a lengthy discussion in which a woman misheard the word acorn as eggcorn. At the basis of most commonly recognized eggcorns, the misheard phrases often swap out the right words with homophones.
Here’s a collection of our favorite eggcorns that plenty of people are guilty of using every day!
1. “Doggy-dog world” instead of “dog-eat-dog world”
Used to describe a situation in which people compete with each other for success in a cruel and selfish way. First used in 1834.
2. “Buck naked” instead of “butt naked”
Completely naked. Not wearing clothes.
3. “Biting my time” instead of “biding my time”
To wait patiently for something to happen.