Thursday, March 08, 2007
malapropism noun [mal-uh-PROP-iz-uhm] An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
Definitions for malapropism
- An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
- An example of such misuse.
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Citations for malapropism
At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who "cares for naught but appearances," can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, machine-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken "for granite."
He also had, as a former colleague puts it, "a photogenic memory"--a malapropism that captures his gift for the social side of life, his Clintonian ability to remember names of countless people he has met only briefly.
Origin of malapropism
A malapropism is so called after Mrs. Malaprop, a character noted for her amusing misuse of words in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy The Rivals.