What is a mondegreen?

Have you ever heard someone sing the wrong lyrics to a song? possibly a child gave the nursery happiness “Row, Row, row Your Boat” a new meaning by replacing the line “life is yet a dream” v “life’s a butter dream.” Or possibly you’ve unironically belted the end “Excuse me while ns kiss this guy,” instead of Jimi Hendrix’s plan lyrics, “Excuse me while i kiss the sky.”

A word or a expression resulting from mishearing an additional word or expression (especially in a track or poem) is a common phenomenon well-known as a mondegreen. A mondegreen frequently sounds prefer the initial phrase, (i.e., they’re homophonous) however the definition is often entirely changed—with presumably funny results.

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Mondegreens aren’t confined come songs and also poetry; lock can likewise refer come other species of speech, like mistaking the sarcastic speak “Thank you, Captain Obvious” v “Thank you, Katherine Obvious.”

What are malapropisms and eggcorns?

Mondegreens space not come be perplexed with malapropisms, “the action or habit the misusing native ridiculously, particularly by the confusion of words that are comparable in sound.” One ready instance is come “dance the flamingo” rather of “dance the flamenco.”

Nor must mondegreens be puzzled with eggcorns, “a word or expression that is a watch logical change of one more word or expression that sounds similar and has actually been misheard or misinterpreted.” where malapropisms have tendency to it is in obviously ridiculous, one eggcorn can be a plausible different of the initial phrase, often working in the exact same context. A common eggcorn is “old wise tale” for the much more canonical “old wives’ tale.”

Where go the word mondegreen come from?

So, why perform we contact these misinterpretations mondegreens? The ax is chin a mondegreen. Sylvia Wright, an American author, coined it after a phrase she recalled mishearing together a young girl. Wright reportedly believed the first stanza come “The Bonnie Earl O’Moray,” a 17th century ballad, featured 2 unfortunate aristocrats:Ye Highlands and also ye Lowlands,Oh, where have ye been?They have actually slain the Earl O’MorayAnd Lady Mondegreen.The correct phrasing the the 4th line is, “And laid that on the green.”

While Wright provided us a name for this phenomenon in 1954, people have to be misinterpreting words and also phrases because the start of speech.

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What space some more examples of mondegreens?

Mondegreens can often be a good source the entertainment. For example, Pearl Jam’s 1990s struggle single, “Jeremy,” attributes the chorus, “Jeremy speak in class today,” which to be popularly puzzled as “Jeremy smokin’ grass today.”

Children in basic prove come be specifically entertaining resource of mondegreens. Younger student in the United states are recognized to confuse lines that the Pledge the Allegiance, causing mondegreens such as “I led the pigeons come the flag” (“I pledge allegiance to the flag”), “to the Republic for witches’ dance” (“for which that stands”), “invisible” (“indivisible”), and also “liver tea and just united state four, all” (“liberty and justice for all”).

Speaking of kids saying cute stuff: in 2013, a six-second video clip on the social-media communication Vine walk viral for its portrayal the a young girl adorably misinterpreting Lorde’s lyric “You can contact me Queen Bee” indigenous “Royals” together “You can call me eco-friendly beans.”