Pullet surprise

If you feel that your question or comment doesn't fit into the categories above, feel free to post it here.
Post Reply

Pullet surprise

Post by Phil White » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:36 pm

Apparently, this is a term coined by Gyles Brandreth and used by presumably-less-than-serious linguists. It is also more rarely termed an "oronym".

It is a magnificently self-referential term for a phrase misinterpreted with humourous results ("Pulitzer Prize").

A new one on me. Just wanted to share it.

Sick squid for the best suggestion.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Pullet surprise

Post by russcable » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:27 pm

I believe that Gyles Brandreth coined the word "oronym" in the 1980 book "The Joy of Lex". An oronym is an alternate reading of a phrase using the same sound (sort of like a homonym for more than one word), e.g. beer dripped and beard ripped.

For me personally, pullet surprise is more a mondegreen (mis-heard or mis-read phrase) as I don't pronounce Pulitzer as puh-litser but pYOO-litser, but some people do.

I think most oronyms can be mondegreens but not vice versa. Mondegreens usually involve people substituting words that make sense to them moreso than words that actually fit the sound, e.g. "bingo jet had a light on" for "big ol' jet airliner" is a mondegreen but not an oronym, while "kiss this guy" for "kiss the sky" is both.

Before I could read the hymnal, I used to sing "Up from the gravy, a rose..." instead of "Up from the grave, he arose".
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Pullet surprise

Post by Shelley » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:35 pm

. . . ‘mondegreen,’ a word or phrase resulting from a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that has been heard – ‘Our Father, which art in Heaven. HAROLD be thy name’ . . .
The above from a discussion of "skinnymalink" introduced by Ken Greenwald. I was unfamiliar with the term and I thought Ken had made it up to refer to words that he, himself, had misheard as a child: "mon (mot) de green(wald)! Of course, I realize Ken would never mistake mon for mot.
I'm so glad to know (two, count 'em, two) names for these funny things.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Pullet surprise

Post by Phil White » Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:50 am

How magnificent! I had misread the mail I received from a colleague.

"Oronym, usually known as 'pullet surprise', a term coined by Gyles Brandreth....", although I think I may be excused for that. Russ is, of course, correct.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Pullet surprise

Post by Phil White » Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:32 pm

A propos hymnals, there's the well-worn "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear".
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Pullet surprise

Post by kagriffy » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:01 pm

I seem to recall that "mondegreen" is a mis-hearing of a line of poetry (but I can't think of the poet or the poem). It was something to the effect that some one had died, and they "laid him on the green," which was mis-heard as "Lady Mondegreen." Now it's bugging me: what is the poem, who is the poet, and what is the entire line? Anyone?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature:
K. Allen Griffy
Springfield, Illinois (USA)

Pullet surprise

Post by Phil White » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:17 pm

A traditional Scottish song: The Bonnie Earl Of Moray

"Ye Hielan's an' ye Lowlan's
O, where have ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Moray
And laid him on the green.
..."
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Pullet surprise

Post by Shelley » Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:18 pm

This Hugh, the Earl of Moray
Was a laidly worm indeed.
The doublet Hugh wore on 'im
Had Red Herring i' th' tweed.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Pullet surprise

Post by kagriffy » Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:34 pm

So was the Earl a social eel or an antisocial eel? *G*
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature:
K. Allen Griffy
Springfield, Illinois (USA)

Pullet surprise

Post by Shelley » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:30 pm

"Och and aye, 'e was a real 'eel, tha one", said Lady Mondegreen, "but verra social as I recall. Tho's why I kilt 'im."
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Pullet surprise

Post by pingpong fan » Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:50 am

Methinks the Rev. Spooner and the great Hoffnan superceded the less illustrious Brandreth. Famous quotes such as; "The queer old dean" and: "There was a French widow in every room" come readily to mind. Frank.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply