send in your mondegreens

John M. Spartz jspartz at PURDUE.EDU
Thu Jul 24 18:30:33 UTC 2008

Hasn't this already been done?:

John M. Spartz, PhD
English Language & Linguistics
Purdue University
jspartz at

Quoting Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      send in your mondegreens
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> from
> Send Us Your Favorite Mondegreens
> The 2008 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
> features a fresh crop of new words and phrases that have successfully become
> part of the mainstream English language through prolonged and widespread
> usage in a variety of publications. One of these new entries, mondegreen ("a
> word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung") has
> delighted wordplay aficionados for years. Mondegreen was first coined by
> author Sylvia Wright in 1954 in Atlantic magazine, when she confessed to a
> childhood misinterpretation of the Scottish ballad "The Bonny Earl of Moray."
> When she first heard the lyric "they had slain the Earl of Moray and had laid
> him on the green," she felt terribly sorry for the "poor Lady Mondegreen."
> Do you have your own favorite mondegreens? Share them with Merriam-Webster’s
> online community! Just submit your mondegreen, the actual lyric, and the name
> of the song and artist below.
> examples:
> The ants are my friends = the answer my friend/is blowin’ in the wind
> Bob Dylan, "Blowin’ in the Wind"
> There’s a bathroom on the right = there’s a bad moon on the rise
> Credence Clearwater Revival, "Bad Moon Rising"
> Hold me closer, Tony Danza = hold me closer, tiny dancer
> Elton John, "Tiny Dancer"
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
> See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at
> >
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