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Play it By Ear or Year?

Jack in Spokane, Washington, wonders which phrase is correct when talking about improvising: play it by ear or play it by year? Although play it by ear is the original version and by far the most common one, play it by year sounds plausible enough...

Mind-Boggling vs. Mind-Bottling

The term mind-boggling describes something that has a powerful effect on the mind. Sometimes it’s misunderstood as mind-bottling, an eggcorn popularized by a Will Farrell movie. This is part of a complete episode.

Rabble Rouser vs. Rebel Rouser

Which is it: rabble rouser or rebel rouser? It’s rabble rouser, rabble meaning “a confused collection of things” or “a motley crowd.” Rubble rouser is an incorrect variant listed in the Eggcorn Database. This is part of...

Pantywaist

If someone’s called a pantywaist, they’re being disparaged as weak or timid. The term refers to a baby garment popular in the early 20th century that snapped at the waist. Some people misunderstand the term as pantywaste, but...

Brown as a Berry

It used to be that you called any mixed-breed dog a mutt. But at today’s dog parks, you’re just as likely to run into schnugs, bassadors, and dalmadoodles. Also, if someone has a suntan, you might say he’s brown as a berry. But...