Eggcorn: 'touting a gun' < 'toting a gun'

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 14 16:23:54 UTC 2006

One more for the database?

In a reader's online response to a BBC diary article about what Brits miss about
Britain when they live abroad

one reader says that he misses

'police that are trustworthy yet not always touting a gun'

Google searches this morning (14 July 2006) reveal:

TOUTING A GUN - 30 ghits
GUN-TOUTING - 572 ghits

The TOUTING A GUN count includes three or four non-eggcorn hits, talking about
'an article touting a gun-control report' and 'a billboard touting a gun
store', but all of the others seem to be eggcorns for 'toting a gun';  most of
the GUN-TOUTING ghits seem to be genuine eggcorns.

This could be derived from the fact that someone toting a gun is carrying it
regularly, in such a way that others might have noticed;  the *OED* has under
*tote* verb, definition a:

'to wear or carry regularly as part of one's equipment; to take (a person) with

>From there is is perhaps a small step to 'touting' a gun;  the interface comes
in the fact that both *tote* and *tout* might be 'carry in a showy way, for

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society -

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