Last week, Wordsmith featured one of our favorite words – mon•de•green (noun), the accidental mishearing of a word or lyric that gives it new meaning.
We love mondegreens, we do them all the time. They make us feel extra nutty, whether we’re the speaker or listener. They can lead to parallel conversations. You might hear the doctor say that you have “very close veins” instead of “varicose veins” and wonder about his concern.
Music lyrics lead to many mondegreens. In their song “Bad Moon Rising”, did Creedence Clearwater say “there’s a bathroom on the right” or “there’s bad moon on the rise”?
Speaking of music, there are at least two current bands named Mondegreen, one in Australia and the other in Illinois. We hope they deliberately use ambiguous lyrics as often as possible.
The late, wonderful Gilda Radner had some classic mondegreens as her character Emily Litella on Saturday Night Live.
“What’s all the fuss I hear about violins on TV” … or
“What’s all this I hear about endangered feces?”
Meg, the Domestic Diva MD and wonderful food blogger, recently wrote about a mondegreen that happened while working in the hospital.
[Doctor Meg to nurse]. So we’ll keep him on this form of oxygen now and then switch him later?
[Nurse]: Yeah, when my shift is done, I’ll switch him to rest him.
[Patient]: RECTUM? YOU AREN’T GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR MY RECTUM! NO MA’AM! NOT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW!!
Do you have a favorite mondegreen? Please share; we love them. And always … live well … and out of the shell.
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