Eggcorn? - *stent* > *stint*

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Dec 23 16:40:28 UTC 2007

More on this.  A friend over on Facebook has said:


I particularly like the semantic imagery of this possible eggcorn. A stint
usually refers to an activity or role for a fixed or alloted period of time; a
stent does indeed have a ends along with a person. Apologies for my
dark humor.

People often say "I had a stint as...." I think people might logically sub
*stint* for *stent* because they associate that word with a function whereas
*stent* derives from the name of a British dentist.

Stint is listed as a variant for stent in M-W Medical Dictionary, but I don't
think it hurts the eggcorn status. Any other thoughts?


I hadn't got dictionaries to hand when I posted this as a possible eggcorn, but
it seems to me that this makes it less likely that using the word 'stint' for
the medical implement *is* an eggcorn by my friend, since his doctor may just
use that alternative to refer to the thing.  But it may have been an eggcorn to
begin with (since the inventor's name was apparently Stent), which has
subsequently become mainstream.  Can anyone shed any light?

This gives me the opportunity to advertise the Facebook group the Eggcorn Hunt
Club.  I didn't set it up - the friend previously referred to did - but anyone
here is of course most welcome there, and indeed encouraged to join there!  It
does exactly what it says on the tin:  people post their eggcorns and we
discuss them.

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society -

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