Word of the Day

Monday, February 01, 2010


\MON-di-green\ , noun;
A word or phrase resulting from a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that has been heard.
Mondegreens can be found in every area of the spoken word, from the record buyer who asks for a copy of the Queen single "Bohemian Rap City" to the schoolchild who is convinced that the Pledge of Allegiance begins "I led the pigeons to the flag."
-- Gavin Edwards, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics
There is something consoling about Web pages that collect "mondegreens." Sites featuring these often hilarious examples of misheard song lyrics offer proof, at last, that botching the words to popular songs is a nearly universal human failing.
-- Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell, "Sweet Slips Of the Ear: Mondegreens", New York Times, April 9, 1998
As we've observed, English is a slippery language, strewn with homonymic banana peels, slapstick mondegreens, and tongue twisters. Even fluent speakers of English constantly make mistakes.
-- Steve Rivkin and Fraser Sutherland, The Making of a Name: The Inside Story of the Brands We Buy
Mondegreen was coined by Sylvia Wright, US writer, from the line laid him on the green, interpreted as Lady Mondegreen, in a Scottish ballad.
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