Eggcorn: *flea market* > *flee market*

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Thu Mar 6 14:27:42 UTC 2008

No, it's a calque of the French "marché aux puces."

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Dennis Preston
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 10:25 PM
Subject: Re: Eggcorn: *flea market* > *flee market*

Isn't "flea market" an eggcorn to start with?


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>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Damien Hall <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>Subject:      Eggcorn: *flea market* > *flee market*
>This is a copy of the post I've just made to the Eggcorn Forum:
>Spotted in todayís (5 March 2008) _Daily Pennsylvanian_:
>ëPrevor spoke about growth and celebrity licensing as well as his humble
>beginnings selling T-shirts in *flee markets*
>during high school. íîWhen we had
>our booths at the *flee market*, we would climb on top of a van and yell
>scream to the top of our lungs for people to buy our T-shirts,î Prevor said
>he mounted a table in the mid-sized lecture
>hall. During Prevorís undergraduate
>career at Penn, the business broke out of its *flee market* roots into a
>storefront venue inside Houston Hall.í
>from Bianca Gonz·lez, ëSteve & Barryís CEO back
>at Penní, _Daily Pennsylvanian_,
>5 March 2008, p4:
>The semantic connection between _flea market_ and _flee market_ could be
>these markets are places that people are hurrying through and making
>purchases (often true, given their size), or else that vendors have to
>very hard in order to get potential customers to
>buy from them before they flee
>out of reach. This second analysis makes more sense in the context (see in
>particular the second instance above). Either way, an eggcorn, I think.
>relatively common: about 89,400 ghits.
>Reflecting the relative uncommonness of the
>ending _-ea_ in English, this is the
>third eggcorn in the Forum to feature this confusion:
>plea bargain > flee bargain:
>flea powder > flee powder:
>Damien Hall
>University of Pennsylvania
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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