Another think, again

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri May 23 00:15:27 UTC 2008

on 5/22/08 2:19 PM, Benjamin Zimmer at bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU wrote:

> On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 1:33 PM, Brenda Lester <alphatwin2002 at>
> wrote:
>> On Thu, 5/22/08, Geoff Nathan <I><geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
>>> Wilson wrote:
>>>> "If you think that, then you have another think coming!" is one of my
>>>> mother's favorite clich=E9s, when she's pitching a bitch. I've heard it
>>>> under that circumstance all of my life and I hate it hearing it, for
>>>> that reason. Since she was born in 1913, my guess is that, if "think"
>>>> isn't original, then it's at least a relatively old reanalysis.
>>>> Besides, why couldn't a person use "think" as a noun, if he wanted to?
>>>> We are discussing English, after all.
>>> My mother, who was born in London, England in 1924, used exactly the
>>> same words.  Given the distance in geography and ethnicity a comparative
>>> linguist would be compelled to push the proto-form rather further back.
>> My mother was born in rural Laurens County, GA, in 1926, and she used
>> the "think" phrase.  OT:  My grandmother used "holp" for help."
> Just to clarify, for anyone who hasn't been following the ongoing
> discussion of antedatings and such, all evidence points to "another
> think" as the original form, with "another thing" a later reanalysis.
> Earliest citations thus far are 1897 for "another think" and 1904 for
> "another thing", so the reanalysis happened pretty quickly. It's
> comparable to other swiftly developing eggcorns like "home in on"
> (1944) > "hone in on" (1965).
> --Ben Zimmer
The substitution of "hone" for "home" reminds me of another which we may
have discussed here:  "pawn" (off)   in place of "palm."  I think of these
as coming in at about the same time, but that may be simply because  I
became aware of them through my children(all born in the '50s)'s speech.

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