mondegreens / Jackson beans

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 13 14:03:56 UTC 2009

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 12:43 PM, Scot LaFaive <slafaive at> wrote:
> I heard one today on The Bob and Tom radio show. A comedian was saying how
> he went to a Starbucks where someone ordered a "black eye" coffee and when
> they announced the order as ready it sounded like "black guy" as if the
> order was for a black guy in the crowd. How true is this? Who knows, but I
> could see it happening.
> Scot

AFAIK "mondegreen" is used only to refer to mishearings of lyrics and other
texts ("I led the pigeons to the flag..."). The article I cited
earlier says

>  Coined in 1954 by the writer Sylvia Wright and later made popular by San
> Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll, a "mondegreen" is a word or
> that results from mishearing or misinterpreting a song lyric (or any other
text, for that matter).

as well as the dbs Ben Zimmer listed:

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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