ghost word


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ghost word

n.
A word that has come into a dictionary, grammar, or other scholarly work as a result of a misreading or misinterpretation, as by mistaking a typographical error for an actual word.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ghost word

n
(Linguistics) a word that has entered the language through the perpetuation, in dictionaries, etc, of an error
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

ghost′ word`


n.
a word that has come into existence by error rather than by normal linguistic transmission.
[1885–90]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ghost word - a word form that has entered the language through the perpetuation of an error
descriptor, form, signifier, word form - the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something; "the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
This 'ghost word' as it was called, was defined as a chemical term.
In any case, the Massoretic 'Eqrdn is nothing but a ghost word. The non-biblical attestations all confirm that the original was *'Aqqaron as evidenced by the Akkadian (especially (URL) Am-qar-ru-na and (URU) Am-qar-ru-u-na= Amqaruna = *'Amqarona < *'Aqqarona) and Greek (Akk[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] = Akkaron) transcriptions.
Indeed, the Invisible Man ultimately coins his own, hybrid vocabulary, comprised of what I call "ghost-words." A Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines ghost word as "a word form never in established usage." The OED traces the term's origin to an 1886 journal report that proclaims them words with "no real existence." This same report declares, "We should jealously guard against all chances of giving any undeserved record of words which had never any real existence, being mere coinages due to the blunders of printers or scribes, or to the perfervid imaginations of ignorant or blundering editors." Ghostwords are marginalized words, words that appear in no dictionary of "established," or white, usage.
It is probably a ghost word and should therefore be omitted from dictionaries of medieval Latin.
Andreas Fischer's contribution even suggests that OE bedbur (or rather *bed(d)-bur) is a ghost word: essentially, one of the scribes of the Bodleian MS Digby 146 may have 'corrected' this [Greek Text Omitted] of the Brussels MS of Aldhelm's De Laudibus Virginitatis where his colleague had possibly miswritten, or misinterpreted a Kentish (?) form *bred-bur (for bryd-bur, 'bride-bower').