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 ?
proper names are covered by common noun meaning designated by them, significant nicknames, folk etymologies related to a name, etc.
1) But if light is to be thrown on the Peninsula's social and cultural history, folk etymologies are no substitute for linguistically sound etymologies.
1) This traditional category proved to be often based on folk etymologies, and most examples of it can be demonstrated to contain a phonetic component, in contrast with the traditional view that saw them as purely semantic combinations.