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Word of the Day
Monday, February 01, 2010

Definitions for mondegreen

  1. a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that has been heard, especially a song lyric.

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Citations for mondegreen
One of the reasons that “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” substituted for Jimi Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” remains one of the most widely reported mondegreens of all time can be explained in part by frequency. It’s much more common to hear of people kissing guys than skies. Maria Konnikova, "Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy," The New Yorker, December 10, 2014
Probably the funniest mondegreens are from pop songs, like there's a bathroom on the right for "there's a bad moon on the rise," or baking carrot biscuits for "taking care of business." Ursula Dubosarsky, The Word Snoop, 2009
Origin of mondegreen
Mondegreen is itself a mondegreen. The term was coined by American writer Sylvia Wright in a 1954 article for Harper's in which she explained that as a child, she'd misinterpreted a line of a Scottish ballad; instead of “And laid him on the green” she heard “And Lady Mondegreen.”