"ridden with"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Jan 29 20:21:47 UTC 2007

I think the phrase "ridden with" is sometimes confused with "riddled with" (OED "riddle" v.2: 2b).


---- Original message ----

>Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 11:29:39 -0800
>From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>

>Subject: "ridden with"
>in following up a report (from Phil Jensen) of the eggcorn "ridden with" >> "riven with", i discovered that OED2 doesn't have a subentry for "ridden with" 'afflicted by, full of', though there are ca. 414,000 google webhits for "ridden with" (only a few involving actual riding).  just from the first two pages, it appears that things or people can be ridden with: loopholes, lies, errors, typos, rumors, skin problems, tooth decay, disease, potholes, and inaccuracies.  oi.
>what OED2 does have is the etymology ("ridden" the past participle of "ride") and the sense development:
>   that has been ridden upon
>   oppressed, taken advantage of
>   2nd element in compounds like "priest-ridden"
>from the second and third, the way would be clear for an extension to the 'afflicted by, full of' sense (or better, the 'full of [undesirable elements]' sense).

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