folk etymology

folk etymology

noun
1.
a modification of a linguistic form according either to a falsely assumed etymology, as Welsh rarebit from Welsh rabbit, or to a historically irrelevant analogy, as bridegroom from bridegome.
2.
a popular but false notion of the origin of a word.

Origin:
1880–85

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
folk etymology
 
n
1.  the gradual change in the form of a word through the influence of a more familiar word or phrase with which it becomes associated, as for example sparrow-grass for asparagus
2.  a popular but erroneous conception of the origin of a word

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