Monday, June 28, 2010

Word of the Day - Mondegreen

I seriously have NEVER heard this word before - and I am a card carrying member of the word nerd club.  How does this happen?  I'll tell you how - it is a dumb word.  Okay, that's oversimplifying the point... the point is that Mondegreen IS a Mondegreen (as a child Sylvia Wright misheard the line "and laid him on the green" and "and Lady Mondegreen")

What does it mean you ask???  It describes exactly what happened to young Sylvia Wright -  those times when you're singing along to Creedence Clearwater Revival radio and YOU say "There's a Bathroom on the Right" when quite clearly the lyrics are actually "There's a Bad Moon on the Rise".  You know what though - I like the mistaken lyrics better sometimes... they certainly keep it interesting!

If you would love a good laugh - or 17 good laughs - run over to and check out some of their misheard lyrics.

So, now the REAL story - the explanation of WHY on EARTH such a word would come to my attention 38 years into my existence!!!  Now, I am going to use a little bit of an excuse here because after some extensive research (okay... wikipedia) I found out that Webster himself didn't even know the word until 2008 - so I'm technically just 2 years behind the times... we certainly won't mention that the word was coined back in the fifties, because THAT has no bearing on this story and doesn't make me look brilliant at all.

So...  My eldest son - who is a genius in ALL ways at ALL times - and whom I would never laugh at - gave me a little blog fodder the other day as we were listening to a Disney CD...

The song was from Beauty and the Beast - the one where they're all singing about how peculiar Belle is as she walks through town reading a book... I find it a little peculiar that she didn't belt someone for talking about her so rudely - but that's just me!

The words? ... "Bonjour"
                    "Good Day"
                     "How is Your Wife?"
                     "I need Six Eggs"
                     "That's Too Expensive"...

Only the T-boy misheard it just a TAD - because he sang out loud in his beautiful Bass Voice... "My maid, she's Dead - that's too expensive"

(me being a SUPER mom and not laughing too loudly)

and when I corrected him by saying "I need six eggs" - he had gotten all the way to the refrigerator before realizing what I meant

(okay - now I'm laughing... long and hard... unable to breathe...)  It's a good thing he's not only a genius but a VERY good sport :)

So... now that you feel educated and edified... tell me the worst (best?)  Mondegreen you've ever heard (misheard?) - because we ALL know we've done it, right???


Kristina P. said...

I had never heard this either.

Mario and Lopez are the worst two words I have ever heard.

One Cluttered Brain said...

Hmm. Oh I have TONS of things I have misheard...
I just can't think of any right now.
*thinking, thinking*

Sorry. If I think of any mondegreens later I'll let you know.

hilarious story of your son though..And he gets you 6 eggs???
ROFL!!! on that one.

Thanks for the blog fodder....from your son...

T said...

oh phew - glad Kristina came back... I was starting to think she'd stopped reading my last post BEFORE I'd owned up about my little white lie...

The son says "you're welcome" :)

Barbaloot said...

My maid is dead? I love it---way better than the six eggs line. I mostly mock my cousins because they seem to get movie quotes wrong. In Seven Bride for Seven Brothers there's a part when Adams says, "Got any ketchup handy?" Well, three of them were debating what he said:
-Got any ketcuppatty (she thought it was a patty of ketchup! ew)
-Got any ketchup, Patty?
-And one of them just thought ketchuppetty was something they ate and we don't now. There have been many, but that's my favorite:)

Garden of Egan said...

That's hilarious.

I'm off to think about this now. Thanks for making me have to think about something. I was hoping not to think about anything today!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I keep think of anything right now... but I do that all of the time. My husband is always laughing at me because I hear the wrong words for songs.

It's awesome.

The thing is I SWeAR they are what I hear!!! But then he always proves me wrong.

Sheri said...

lol mishearing things is sometimes better than hearing the correct things. I can't think of anything too funny of the top of my head right now. Too many writing assignments and anatomy and physiology hw going on right now, but I'll think about it for later... :)

Lisa said...

"Pay the rent collect"~"Little Red Corvette." (Prince)
"Boo Boperetta"~"Smooth Operator." (Sade)

Several thousand more~those were just on the tip of my tongue.

Great topic!

Annette Lyon said...

I learned that one not too long ago when I did a Word Nerd post that required the definition.

Now I just like saying the word because it sounds cool.

(My maid is dead . . . hah!)

Cheeseboy said...

Ha HA! Dead wives can be quite expensive on the open market, I would imagine. Especially dead Disney wives.

LC said...

Very funny story!
I'm afraid I've misheard lyrics more than once. One that I remember from high school was that AC/DC "Thunderstruck" song they always played at football games
original lyrics: THUNDER! nananan
I sang: SHOT GUN! nananan...

Charlotte said...

The real question for me would be, "Have you ever gotten any lyrics correct?" And I think the answer would probably be no.