At last. A home for drinkers!

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 14 04:00:40 UTC 2007

I've seen a woman write "hocking his wares", when the term is "hawking his wares".  Yet she must be in a region where "awe" is replaced by "ah".  So having heard "hock" for "hawk" she apparently believes that the term is indeed "hock", which means he pond (pawned) his wares instead of selling them.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

> Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 13:48:46 -0500
> Subject: Re: At last. A home for drinkers!
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Baker, John"
> Subject: Re: At last. A home for drinkers!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> No, it was just an ADS-L supposition that this was a pawn shop
> and that the name reflected the caught/cot merger. It was a second-hand
> or consignment shop, and "hawk" was used in the sense of the verb
> meaning to sell.
> It's another example, I think, of how difficult it is to tell
> what is going on in someone's else mind when they use language,
> especially if we are trying to infer the existence and nature of an
> error. Linguists thought that the Hawk Shop owner was the victim of
> confusion deriving from merger, when investigation showed that he
> actually knew the difference between the two words (though he pronounced
> them the same) and used them correctly. There are competing theories as
> to whether "phase" is an eggcorn for "faze" or simply a variant or
> incorrect spelling. It clearly is the latter at least some of the time,
> but if there really are people who use "phase" because they reanalyze
> it, then for them it's an eggcorn. "Flush out" is sometimes an eggcorn
> for "flesh out," but sometimes it's used correctly to mean to find and
> expose something, as a dog flushes out quail. In context, it can be
> difficult to tell whether the correct or the eggcorn sense is intended.
> In contrast, here's an example I came across today, from
> days-and-family.html, where the writer really is using "hock" to mean
> "hawk": "Look at the bright side; at least you are not making minimum
> wage hocking books at Barnes and Noble."
> John Baker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Dennis Preston
> Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:21 PM
> Subject: Re: At last. A home for drinkers!
> arnold,
> Thanks; had no idea it was out there. My favorite more subtle example
> was "Otto's Autos" a Calgary used-car lot, which I first thought sounded
> a little funny and then realized the sign-maker thought they were
> homophones (as did no doubt most of the sign readers). Someone offered
> this list an example of "Hawk Shop" from central Indiana a few years ago
> (and it was indeed a pawn shop, not a bird store), just to how that
> their phonological disability can have spelling repercussions in either
> direction.
> dInIs
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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