Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Nov 20 00:10:33 UTC 2008

On Nov 19, 2008, at 11:24 AM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 2:12 PM, Chris Waigl <chris at lascribe.net>
> wrote:
>> On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 10:58:18 -0800, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
>> >
>> wrote:
>>> caught this (spoken) in an episode of Matlock.
>>> not in OED, NOAD2, or AHD4 as a variant of "cummerbund".  is in
>>> Merriam-Webster Online as a variant (without further comment).  the
>>> two spellings are listed as variants (with "cumberbund" first) in
>>> Q&A
>>> Times.
>>> but the Wiktionary just labels "cumberbund" as a misspelling of
>>> "cummerbund".  Brians doesn't mention it.
>>> plenty of sites treat "cumberbund" as the spelling.
>> This is a very interesting one - a good example for folk etymology in
>> German ((der) Kummer = sorrow, but that's not where it's derived
>> from).
>> Should definitely go into the ECDB illico presto.
> But what makes it an eggcorn and not just a case of anticipatory
> assimilation?
> Do people think they're encumbered by the article of clothing, or
> that it hails
> from Cumberland?
> --Ben Zimmer
I thought it was cumberbund, but how many times does this word come
up? I probably heard it seven times just before high school
graduation, and then probably once or twice since. I don't know if the
people around me said "cumberbund," but regardless, for a new word you
don't see in print, "cumber" is a more obvious choice because of
"encumber" and perhaps others. BB

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

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