folk etymology


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folk etymology

n.
Change in the form of a word or phrase resulting from a mistaken assumption about its composition or meaning, as in shamefaced for earlier shamfast, "bound by shame," or cutlet from French côtelette, "little rib."

folk etymology

n
1. (Linguistics) the gradual change in the form of a word through the influence of a more familiar word or phrase with which it becomes associated, as for example sparrow-grass for asparagus
2. (Linguistics) a popular but erroneous conception of the origin of a word

folk′ etymol`ogy


n.
1. a modification of a linguistic form according either to a falsely assumed etymology, as Welsh rarebit from Welsh rabbit, or to a historically irrelevant analogy, as bridegroom from bridegome.
2. a popular but false notion of the origin of a word.
[1880–85]

folk etymology

the reanalysis of a word by native speakers into a new element or elements, e.g. hamburger (properly ‘from Hamburg’) being split into ham- and -burger; and the subsequent combination of -burger with a number of words in which it is used to mean ‘ground patty.’
See also: Linguistics
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.folk etymology - a popular but erroneous etymology
etymology - a history of a word
References in periodicals archive ?
Sign Language Archaeology" reveals the contrast between folk etymology and scientific etymology and allows readers to see ASL in terms of historical linguistics.
Simon thus joins those, most influentially the Triestine Claudio Magris, who locate a crucible of modernism in the city where Svevo took English lessons from Joyce, where Rilke translated the occult signs of "schreckliche" angels on the ramparts of Duino, and where inter alia Scipio Slataper, Bobi Bazlen, Carlo Michelstaedter, and the brothers Stuparich endeavoured to fuse the dominant cultural groups of Europe that folk etymology fancifully misattributes still to the city's name (Trieste as "three-east" eastern Italian nexus of Romance, Teutonic, and Slavic language groups).
Lexicographers explained Abarkawan as a corruption of Abargavan, (cow island); this is a folk etymology, which is reflected in At-Tabari's story of a commander in Khorasan who accused his soldiers of having ridden only cattle and donkeys before he turned them into competent cavalrymen.
charmingly transformed by Middle High German folk etymology into the personal name Tragemunt, lit.
Although a folk etymology combines the two Hebrew words shor (ox) and par (bull) to produce shofar, a horn from these animals is not permitted to be used for a shofar according to Jewish law (Mishnah Rosh Ha-Shanah 3:2).
These individual changes of names are called folk etymology (see also: Saar 2008; Kallasmaa 1995; Dalberg 1997).