Love for Words – Malapropism

October 15, 2013

___ A Malapropism is using the wrong word for something, especially by using a word that sounds similar, oft resulting in a silly quote.

Jacquee T. 'Love for Words'Referenced via a Wikipedia article.
“The word is named after a character named “Mrs. Malaprop” in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 play The Rivals. Mrs. Malaprop frequently misspeaks (to great comic effect) by using words which don’t have the meaning she intends, but which sound similar to words that do.”

For example, Mrs. Malaprop says, ‘He is the very pineapple of politeness!” That’s one of her many malapropisms during the play.

Archie Bunker from the television show “All in the Family” commits many malapropisms. One example, he says “Patience is a virgin,” when he meant “Patience is a virtue.”

While Mrs. Malaprop was endearingly fumbling, and Mr. Bunker a bit bumbling,  some people intentionally use a malapropism. For example, during an election campaign, after George Bush stated that Texas was important to the election, Yogi Berra said, “Texas has a lot of electrical votes.”

Have you ever caught yourself speaking a malapropism?


This Jacquée T. Writer in Residence Word of the Day is brought to you by supporting sponsors including Zen Zero Asian Shop and Noodle Restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas.

*** Jacquée T. selects and schedules each featured Word in the spirit of writing, reading, and of improved expression. Love for Words (formerly titled “Word of the Day”) sponsors support her schedule and selection as a whole, and the and fun spirit of this series. Please check out the links to sponsor websites, one link provided per word, and see how they may add pizzazz to your day.

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