chock/chuck (it) up (to)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Sep 3 15:44:14 UTC 2011

This is very interesting.  I hadn't encountered these reanalyses myself.  One point that's not mentioned in the write-ups at the Eggcorn Database is the possibility of reinterpretation due to the Northern Cities vowel shift, which notoriously affects vowels in words like "chock", "chuck", and "chalk".  While homophony is possible, as Arnold observes in the E.D. entry (sorry, but those are the initials!), but  there's also the clash (as we've discussed here) between the "before" and "after" dialects, those without and those with the Northern Cities shift, so that someone (non-shifted) saying "chalk" [COk] would be heard (by a shifter) as saying "chuck".  A very brief summary of such shifts is available at

where "stock", "stuck", and "stalk" are exemplified.  

(The wiki entry at
cites our Matthew Gordon as well as Labov, so it must be reliable too!)


On Sep 3, 2011, at 11:00 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> Two new entries in the Eggcorn Database:
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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