Tuesday, September 16, 2008


What is a mondegreen?  It's not a literary problem, it's a speech problem.  It's a spoken phrase that can mean two different things depending on the way you hear it.  It comes from "She's Lady Mondegreen." or.  "She's laid him on the green."

There are simple mondegreens: "last train," or, "last rain," "that's no time," or,
"that's snow time," "he's in the Jewry room," or "he's in the jury room."  There's the infamous Shakespearean line that actors have to be careful of: "I hear his trumpet," instead of  "I hear his strumpet."

They can be complicated as in "She had a graded dress," or, "She had a great address."  And they can be very far afield, "This Malcom Eddy," or, "dismal comedy."

I wonder how many others there are.                                     DB


luvrte66 said...

It's pretty funny how various dialogue and lyrics can be misunderstood! I know that I'm guilty of not always enunciating properly.


valphish said...

Oh, this makes me think of lyrics in songs :-o!  Val xox

pharmolo said...

Oh my goodness lol
Pitfalls on the path of the unwary speaker...

helmswondermom said...

I enjoyed this.  I bet there are hundreds of them.  I think someone once wrote a book full of them, but I may be mistaken.  

penlady708 said...

How about the road sign: Stop Ahead~~~Stop!!!  A head!!!
or in the far afield category, my sister's hubby's priceless: "Male violence" for "malevolence".