gist/just eggcorn?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 22 04:04:27 UTC 2013

Erratum for the last line in my previous email:

In any case, I do think that substituting "just" for "gist" is an
eggcorn substitution for some people.

On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at> wrote:
> Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> Two problems with UD. First, as is the case with all UD entries, it is
>> unverifiable and undocumented. Second, it actually suggests that the
>> eggcorn interpretation is correct.
> Thanks for your responses Charlie and Victor.
> I agree with you, Victor, that the Urban Dictionary entry provides
> excellent evidence that "just" is an eggcorn for "gist" in the
> phrases: "the just of it" versus "the gist of it". I posted the UD
> entry to provide fellow list members with evidence supporting the
> eggcorn hypothesis.
>  After the text of the UD entry I included the following line:
> [Begin excerpt from previous post]
> Maybe the rationale for using the word "just" involves obtaining or
> imparting "just enough knowledge"?
> [End excerpt]
> My goal in writing the line above was to elaborate upon the definition
> given in the Urban Dictionary and further explain the nature of the
> eggcorn. I apologize for not communicating effectively.
> An alternative hypothesis would explain the use of "just" by saying
> that it is a spelling error. I attempted to provide evidence for this
> hypothesis also. The spelling of "jist" for "gist" would probably be
> accepted by most people as a spelling error. Yet, we also know that
> some individuals pronounce "just" as "jist". Hence, some people who
> hear the word "gist" spoken might believe that they are hearing the
> word "just". These people might write "just" for "gist".
> These people might make no attempt to connect the conventional
> definition of "just" to this new use of "just". They might view the
> new use of "just" as unrelated to the conventional definition. There
> are many words with multiple seemingly unrelated senses. For these,
> admittedly hypothetical, people "just" is not an eggcorn for "gist".
> In any case, I do think that substituting "just" for "jist" is an
> eggcorn substitution for some people.
> Garson

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list