Eggcorn: *flea market* > *flee market*

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Mar 6 18:46:17 UTC 2008

On Mar 6, 2008, at 9:30 AM, Damien Hall wrote:

> Notwithstanding the easy spelling error 'flea' > 'flee', it seems to
> me that
> 'flea market' > 'flee market' is at least a potential eggcorn;  not as
> obviously one as many others, but couldn't people have thought that
> the insect
> was called a <flee> because it fled (jumped away) if disturbed?  This
> explanation could potentially account for many mis-spellings of
> 'flea' as
> <flee>, obviously, not just this particular phrase.

yes -- then "flea" > "flee" would be the eggcorn.  perhaps that was
what dInIs was suggesting.

>  But, granted, this isn't
> indisputably an eggcorn.  Maybe I'm reaching here.

this is a case where you could actually ask people about their
understandings of the words involved.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list