More tumble in:
An example of an eggcorn has stayed alive in my memory for many years. A coworker, a smart college student, referred to an injury as having left whelps on his arm. Unable to resist, I started my version of canine howling. He quickly realized he was using the wrong term and we would howl together when other poor souls misused the word thereafter.
I didn’t know this thread was still active, so here’s my eggcorn.
My wife and I were watching a cooking show and the segment was on beef roasts. The chef said we should cut the FAT CAP off the roast prior to searing it. My wife heard it as FAT CAT. Yes, that layer of fat on a roast can look like a cat, if the cat has white fur. I liked her description better and it conjures up the whole idea of skinning the fat cats with tax increases, which I think is a good idea.
I know now the Pennsylvania illustrator I interviewed for a class essay said she would give up illustration if it ever lost that “olfactory feel,” but what I heard at the time, and what found its way into my essay, was “that old factory feel.” I thought she meant to rough feel of paints and turpentine, but she meant the aroma of paint and turpentine. I did not catch this until several years later, rereading the essay.
No funny story, but I have heard this on occasion: Rock-weiler instead of Rottweiler.
Another points to Wikipedia:
Commander Lloyd M. Bucher was psychologically tortured, such as being put through a mock firing squad in an effort to make him confess. Eventually the Koreans threatened to execute his men in front of him, and Bucher relented and agreed to “confess to his and the crew’s transgression.” Bucher wrote the confession since a “confession” by definition needed to be written by the confessor himself. They verified the meaning of what he wrote, but failed to catch the pun when he said “We paean the DPRK [North Korea]. We paean their great leader Kim Il Sung”. (The word “paean” sounds identical to the term “pee on” in American English.)
Update from another:
My boss, complaining about new regulations in the mortgage lending industry in the ’90s: “We’re getting raped over the coals.”
Many years ago, I listened to the radio while applying makeup before going to work in the morning. I usually heard, with not much interest, the announcers giving baseball scores and accounts of the previous day’s games. Some years later I delighted my husband and his best friend by relating my understanding of the expression, “there’s one up in the win column.” I had heard it as “wind column.” Made perfect sense to me. The ball had been caught by the wind and gone higher than usual, resulting in a score.
When my wife and I were young and very poor, we went to a free clinic in Ocean City, Maryland to get birth control. In the waiting room we eavesdropped on a couple younger than ourselves, so they must have been teenagers. The girl went in, had her exam, came back to report the results to her boyfriend and announced that she needed a pap smear. To which her boyfriend, mystified, said, “The doctor says you need a Pabst Beer?”