New eggcorn

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Nov 4 19:35:43 UTC 2005

On Fri, 4 Nov 2005 09:05:21 -0800, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

>At least it was new yesterday, when I checked the eggcorn web site.
>There was a discussion of "kitty-/catty-cornered" on this list awhile
>ago, but I don't remember this variant being mentioned.
>>From an 11/3/05 e-mail message to the cfrnet listserv about a meeting
>between a group of university development officers and a foundation
>--------- Forwarded Message ----------
>i also managed to sit caddy-corner to the prez and
>could see some of his notes (aren't i awful?!) but
>then i could see what he liked and that was useful
>---------- End Forwarded Message ----------

DARE's got it in its entry for "catercorner".

I don't see anything particularly eggcornish about this, since "caddy"
doesn't add much to the semantic compositionality of the term. In fact,
shouldn't the far more common "catty-"/"kitty-" be considered an
eggcorning of the earlier "cater-"? Not sure what the feline reading
adds-- perhaps cats are seen as preferring to cross on the diagonal.

--Ben Zimmer

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