"thing/think" [was: on the eggcorn beat]

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 1 14:01:49 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 9:14 AM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
>  How can " think" in "have another think coming" be original when "think"
>  isn't a noun? I.e., if you don't have a single think, how can you have
>  another think?

OED has the noun "think" in the sense "an act of (continued) thinking; a
meditation" from 1834 and in the sense "what one thinks about something; an
opinion" from 1835. Beyond "have another think coming", it survives in other
contexts, such as "have a (good/serious/proper) think about X". It's not
present in my dialect either, but it evidently remains common in the UK and

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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