Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Possible eggcorn hits close to home

Seen in a comment from a social networking site:

"Your alive ? I thought this was a line through a wishyboard...."

I wouldn't have understood what this meant without the context. But it's pretty clear that "wishyboard" is being used here instead of 'ouija board'. So we have the alteration/substitution necessary for an eggcorn. Do we have a reasonable semantic reanalysis?

It's a tough one. Is it likely that "wishy" refers to the divining, eking, asking, and pleading that might accompany a ouija board session? Is there wishing involved in the typical seance? Wishing upon a pentagram?

And beyond the possibility of a reanalysis here, this is nonce term with extra weight on the "once". I couldn't find any relevant hits in a quick search on Google™. This might be a true one-off. But there's just something about it…


  1. As well as the primary sense — that a ouija board user wishes for communication from spirits or whatever — there might also be a slight correspondence with the wishy in wishy-washy, which could reasonably describe the nebulous, indeterminate realm of occult entities. But probably not. The wishing suffices, I think, for eggcorn status, and it's certainly an interesting one.

    [Word verification: panic]

  2. Wishyboard, love it! What about a "Whishyboard" from scotland.


Thanks for reaching out.

You can also contact me at wishydig[at]gmail[d0t]com.