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Please remind me of a word...

Suzanne in ABQ

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Mellifera's got it - it's a Lady Mondegreen.


I don't have a cite for this, but:



A mondegreen (also sometimes spelled "mondagreen") is the mishearing (usually accidental) of a phrase, such that it acquires a new meaning.

The word "mondegreen" is itself a mondegreen. The American writer Sylvia Wright coined it in an essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen", which was published in Harper's Magazine in Nov. 1954. She wrote:

    When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy's Reliques. One of my favorite poems began, as I remember:

        Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
        Oh, where hae ye been?
        They hae slain the Earl Amurray, [sic]
        And Lady Mondegreen.

The actual line is "And laid him on the green", from the anonymous 17th century ballad "The Bonnie Earl O' Murray".


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Thank you!  my 20yodd and I were laughing at some common mondegreens, and wanted to look up more, but I couldn't remember that word.  She didn't even know there was a word for it.  I knew you wouldn't let me down.  I even got a history lesson!  Maybe that will help me remember the word.  


Yay!  I'm off to look up some mondegreens to show dd.


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