Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 30 14:09:52 UTC 2008

In horse operas of the 'Forties, heroes such as "Lash" LaRue and
"Whip" Wilson, for example, ofttimes had to horsewhip both
_cardsharks_ and _cardsharps_, despite the fact that my spellchecker,
like Herb, is surprisingly unfamiliar with the former term.

As irony would have it, in *my* experience, _cardshark_ is the older,
more familiar term. As a consequence, when I first began to hear
_cardsharp_, my impression was that *that* was what we now call an
"eggcorn." Or else that I had somehow begun to mishear "-shark" as


On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 11:19 PM, Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>
>  Subject:      cardshark
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Is "card shark" a candidate for eggcorn?  Neither OED nor AHD list it,
>  although both, not surprisingly, have "card sharp."  Google gives the
>  following results:
>  card shark      549,000
>  card-shark      259,000
>  cardshark       259,000
>  cardsharking         112
>  cardsharker              9
>  card sharp      857,000
>  card-sharp      138,000
>  cardsharp       137,000
>  cardsharping      9,130
>  cardsharper        8,980
>  The hyphenated and single word searches produce essentially the same
>  lists, and there appears to be considerable overlap between the forms
>  with and without the space.
>  Herb
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society -

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