Eggcorns were named in 2003 by Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist, because this mishearing of ‘acorn’ is quite common.
This list was suggested by Georgina Wragg, who nominated ‘cold slaw’, ‘dough-eyed’ and ‘wipe board’ (for whiteboard). One correspondent said, ‘From little eggcorns do mighty irks grow,’ but these are charming.
- Curve your enthusiasm Nominated by Citizen Sane
- Damp squid Set off by James Chapman. Squib is an obsolete word for a firework or banger.
- To all intensive purposes From Matt Prisseck and Andy Willetts.
- Ex-patriot Nick Morris’s favourite: “Someone who previously loved their country but became so sick of it they relocated.”
- Eaten mess From Luke Hildyard, who has also seen “mould wine” on a pub menu.
- Duct tape Amazingly, it was originally duck tape – strips of cotton duck cloth (from Dutch doek, canvas) made adhesive on one side. With thanks to Ben Stanley.
- A doggie-dog world A former colleague who shall remain nameless.
- Foe par Citizen Sane says he saw an email at work in which someone apologised for one.
- Card shark For card sharp: David Artley thinks this must be the most common eggcorn.
- To be pacific Heard by Lisa Markwell. Also, “pacifically”– Iain Dale
Originally published in the Independent on 24th August 2014.