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Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis

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THE BALLAD OF LADY MONDEGREEN


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Genie 10 Dec 08 - 05:49 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 10 Dec 08 - 06:36 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM
Micca 10 Dec 08 - 06:58 PM
quokka 10 Dec 08 - 08:14 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Dec 08 - 09:01 PM
Ebbie 10 Dec 08 - 10:41 PM
Mary Katherine 10 Dec 08 - 10:47 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 08 - 11:13 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 08 - 11:22 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 08 - 11:27 PM
katlaughing 10 Dec 08 - 11:29 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 08 - 12:13 AM
semi-submersible 11 Dec 08 - 12:18 AM
Nerd 11 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 11 Dec 08 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 11 Dec 08 - 01:26 AM
Anne Lister 11 Dec 08 - 02:40 AM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 02:51 AM
Declan 11 Dec 08 - 02:56 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Dec 08 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Elfcall 11 Dec 08 - 03:37 AM
pavane 11 Dec 08 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Dáithí 11 Dec 08 - 04:29 AM
Schantieman 11 Dec 08 - 04:30 AM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM
Barry Finn 11 Dec 08 - 04:53 AM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 05:02 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Dec 08 - 08:25 AM
Mr Happy 11 Dec 08 - 08:38 AM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 11:37 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 08 - 12:17 PM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 12:38 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 08 - 12:42 PM
Charley Noble 11 Dec 08 - 12:45 PM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 12:50 PM
Mr Red 11 Dec 08 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,PL 11 Dec 08 - 01:10 PM
peregrina 11 Dec 08 - 01:11 PM
Mr Red 11 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM
semi-submersible 11 Dec 08 - 01:56 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM
Jim McLean 11 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 05:08 PM
frogprince 11 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 05:31 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Dec 08 - 05:56 PM
Joe_F 11 Dec 08 - 09:21 PM
Genie 12 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM
Paul Burke 12 Dec 08 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,PL 12 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Dec 08 - 03:16 AM
Piers Plowman 12 Dec 08 - 03:24 AM
Piers Plowman 12 Dec 08 - 03:34 AM
Piers Plowman 12 Dec 08 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 12 Dec 08 - 03:46 AM
Artful Codger 12 Dec 08 - 04:13 AM
Paul Burke 12 Dec 08 - 05:18 AM
bubblyrat 12 Dec 08 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,PL 12 Dec 08 - 03:20 PM
Tootler 12 Dec 08 - 07:18 PM
Joe_F 12 Dec 08 - 08:23 PM
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Subject: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:49 PM

Wasn't sure whether to put this in Music or BS, but I think we'll find enough lyrical examples to make it fit the Music category.

I was wondering what you call it when a word or phrase means something quite different in another language than it does in the one in which it was written.

E.g., I understand that Chevy encountered problems marketing its "Nova" in Spanish speaking countries because "No va" in Spanish means "It doesn't go."

And unscented laundry products, even when marketed in the US, often have the Spanish phrase "Sin aroma" on the label.
Of course in English "sin aroma" conjures up all sorts of mental images that have nothing to do with being "unscented."

I'm wondering what song titles, lyric lines, or other phrases you folks can find that are "soramimis."


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:36 PM

Cona is a well-knaan make of industrial filtered/percolated coffee machine in UK

However, as aah found oot when working with a Portuguese lad, in his country it means c**t


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM

AMC once made a car called the Matador. To Americans, that conjures up the image of a bullfighter—a rather colorful, swashbuckling, romantic figure—but in Spanish, "matador" simply means "killer." The proper term for a bullfighter is "matador de toros" = "killer of bulls."

You might think it would be disastrous to call a car a "killer" but I understand that didn't bother Mexicans, who found it rather appealed to their macho sensibilities.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Micca
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:58 PM

Gift means poison in German!! so a Pharmacy with a sign saying "Free Gifts" had my German Pharmacist friend in hysterics laughing!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: quokka
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:14 PM

Ask a French person what the Russian Prime Minister's name means


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 09:01 PM

There was nearly a Rolls Royce called the Silver Mist - until they met someone who spoke German.

And I think there's a Japanese fizzy drink called "Sweat".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 10:41 PM

'Silver Mist' lol


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 10:47 PM

Sitting on my kitchen sink right now is a gift brought from the bazaar in Istanbul a few years ago by a friend; it's a box of laundry powder, brand name, BARF.
(I've been trying to think up a good slogan having to do with getting a little BARF on your clothes...)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:13 PM

Poppycock is the brand name of a confection made from popcorn and nuts, covered with a caramel glaze, somewhat like Cracker Jack.

In Dutch, "pappekak" means "soft shit", i.e. diarrhea.

I suppose "pappekak" or "poppycock" originally was exactly like "bullshit" today, that is, it had both a literal meaning and the figurative meaning of "foolish talk, nonsense."

Since most Americans didn't know the literal meaning, it could be printed at a time when "bullshit" could never be printed.

An early example of the word "poppycock" in print comes from the works of the American dialect-humorist "Artemus Ward."
    "I venture to say that if you sarch the earth all over with a ten-hoss power mikriscope, you won't be able to find such another pack of poppycock* gabblers as the present Congress of the United States of America."
The British edition of this book added an explanatory footnote which was absent in the American edition:
    *"All poppycock!" Anglicè, all sound and fury, signifyin nothing.
Artemus Ward (his travels) among the Mormons, by Charles Farrar Browne (London: John Camden Hotten, 1865)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:22 PM

The French word for "rubber stamp" is "tampon."

When we visited France, my wife was very surprised to see a neon sign advertising "tampons" in the window of an office-supply store.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:27 PM

And "sale" means "dirty" in French.

I suppose French tourists wonder why so many American (or British) shops advertise "dirty" goods.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:29 PM

Thanks for the link to that book, Jim. What treasures you all find!

In junior high we all thought it was hilarious, in a titivating way, when we learned "gross" supposedly meant "pregnant" in German.

I don't get the Silver Mist?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:13 AM

In the UK if you ask for a rubber you'll get an eraser which could be a disappointment. I like the brand of trainers I spotted called Athletes Foot and the shop in Poland called Fart Videos.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: semi-submersible
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:18 AM

kat: Mist = dung or crap


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM

I too have seen Barf detergent! A friend of mine bought some in Dubai.

Many of these, however, are sort of urban legends that grow up when people try to show how much cleverer they are than people who do marketing for a living. For example, the no va story is completely false, and is spread largely through marketing textbooks. In fact, the Nova did fine in both of its Spanish-speaking markets, Mexico and Venezuela. The mistake between "nova" and "no va" is one no Spanish speaker would make, for many reasons:

(1) in Spanish, "nova" means exactly the same thing it means in English: an exploding star that suddenly becomes visible and thus is a new star in the heavens. It's a perfectly viable word, and there's no reason to misconstrue it as anything else.

(2) Spanish is a Romance language, and the etymology of "nova" is even more obvious to the average Spanish speaker than it is to the average English speaker. Even if they didn't know the astronomical meaning, they'd guess it meant "new."

(3) "No va" does mean "no go" in Spanish, but Spanish-speakers don't use the word "go" to describe a car's operation; they would say "no camina" or "no marcha." "No va" suggests something that will not leave rather than something that does not work!

(4) The best-known brand of gas in Mexico, marketed by the state-run petroleum monopoly, is "Nova."

(5) People who speak Spanish are perfectly capable of distinguishing between "nova" and "no va," in exactly the way we English speakers can distinguish between a person who is is "notable" and a person who is "not able."

Similarly, matador does indeed mean killer, but "Matador de Toros" is a quite formal term is Spanish, like "race-car driver." In the context of the bullfight, he is always known simply as the "matador," just as in the context of a race, we speak of drivers, not "race-car drivers." Spanish-speaking people associate the word matador with bullfighting as well as with other kinds of killing, and Mexicans (as you say) would enjoy the macho connotations of both kinds of Matador.

I have a bottle of "Sweat" in my fridge. The name is not an unintentionally amusing mistake, but precisely an attempt to be amusing. The full name is "Pocari Sweat," and it is not a fizzy drink, but a sports drink with electrolytes, intended quite literally as a replacement for the sweat you lose during exercise.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:25 AM

There is a brand of condoms in Denmark called "Plan"
Hence the expression......
I have a great Plan for this evening!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:26 AM

Not very musical yet! But Hey....It's Christmas!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Anne Lister
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:40 AM

Not musical either, but we always appreciated the two soft drinks that used to be available in France - Pschitt and Sic. And then there were the snacks in Spain called Bums.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:51 AM

Actually Pschitt Cola is German, not French, but I'm not surprised the Germans market their Pschitt in France too.   
(This one, of course, is purely an auditory Soramimi, not a visual one. It's still pretty funny.)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Declan
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:56 AM

There was a licqueur called Irish Mist which I'm told was very popular with Germans who brought bottles home to show their friends.

A well known SUV is called the Mitsubishi Pajero, which I'm told has an unintended meaning in Spanish - one who masturbates.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:30 AM

There once was a well know French rugby player called ' Condom ' I wonder what that means in French.

eric


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:37 AM

Eric

Back in the 70s the Irish had a useful No.8 called Willie Duggan (who often had a crafty fag at half time - when they used to stay out on the field at h-t.) I once saw a banner at Landsdowne Road during an Ireland v France game with the words 'Our big ginger Willie is bigger than your Condom'

Elfcall


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: pavane
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:24 AM

A chocolate bar available in Europe is called "Big Nuts".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:29 AM

...and Toyota almost called their MR2 sports car the same name when they launched it in France - until they reralised what it sounds like phonetcially to a Francophone...
D


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Schantieman
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:30 AM

I believe (although I'm disinclined to trust my memory) that M Condom's two brothers were in the same team, and they were all forwards. So there was a pack of three.

And whilst on the subject, we're getting dangerously close to some of the many Colemanballs featuring unfortunately named sportsmen of which the most famous is probably, "The bowler's Holding; the batsman's Willey."

Steve


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:45 AM

Speaking of "having a crafty fag at halftime, Elfcall ... ; D

We Yanks might take that somewhat differently than you Brits do. LOL


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:53 AM

Snacks served at bars in Hawaii are called Poo Poos


Barry


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:02 AM

Now, Barry, cut out that talking dirty in Hawaiian! *g*


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:25 AM

You have to remember Elfcall and Schantieman, rugby is a game played by men with odd shaped balls.

eric


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:38 AM

The Renault car model Mégane means glasses in Japanese

Drive one & make a spectacle of yourself?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:37 AM

OK, here's a MUSICAL one! (Ta Da!)

Since the feminie article "the" in German looks like the English verb that means to shuffle off this mortal coil, before I knew any German, I would read the old German folk song title
"Die Lorelei" (which basically should be translated as just the nymph's name, "Lorelei")
as
"Die, Lorelei!"


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:17 PM

This doesn't quite fit the category, but it's amusing, nonetheless.

French Connection is a British company founded in 1972 that sells clothing and cosmetics. In 1997 they started marketing their products under the name "French Connection United Kingdom" so that they could label them

fcuk®

This was fully intentional. The brand is quite popular, and is prominently displayed in big chain stores such as Boots. Apparently you can get away with this sort of thing much easier in the UK than in the US.

Rumor has it that there is an American branch called fcuk us. I hope they open a store in Maine so they can call it fcuk me.

See Official web site - Wikipedia - Snopes


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:38 PM

Well, here in Portland we have a popular Chinese restaurant named
"Hung Far Lo"   (or "Hung Far Low")


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:42 PM

Snopes also has a page about the Nova/No Va story.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:45 PM

The startling word for morning in the national language of Ethiopia, Amharic, is "twat."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, reviewing Amharic for a return trip this winter


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:50 PM

A friend of mine used to teach school kids, many of whose first language was Spanish, in San Jose back in the 1950s. He told me the kids would often ask if they could sing "The Puta Song" in music class.

Turns out the song they were referring to was "Music! Music! Music!" - which starts out:

"Puta nuther nickel in ... "


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:06 PM

I'm told that a chewing gum in Turkey goes by the glorious name of Spank Balls.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,PL
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:10 PM

Re: FCUK. They sell T-shirts in Ireland with the irish version of the company : FCEK


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: peregrina
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:11 PM

Where does this name soramimi come from? Is it a soramimi? of which words?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:16 PM

We had some visitors from Hungary or Poland at the Somers TFC (Fri, Albion, Worcester) and they sang folk songs.

One, sung by a lass who did not speak English much, had a chorus "Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick" and she was amused by the enthusiam of the audience until her friend tried to point out the situation, not an easy task from behind while in full song.

False Friends (faux amis) are worse because you think you know and are more cocky with it. eg pardon in English & French.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: semi-submersible
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:56 PM

The musical connection is in the thread title: Soramimi means "misheard lyrics" in Japanese, according to the Wikipedia page, but refers specifically to lyrics which make entirely different sense in a different language, such as Genie's "Die, Loreli!"

One of many examples on the Wikipedia page is a familiar Beatles refrain.
"I wanna hol' yo' han'" sounds like a Japanese phrase:
Aho na hōnyōhan meaning
Idiotic public urination ("hōnyōhan" is a legal term for the crime)

(Italic text borrowed from the Wikipage.)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

I suppose they could start a European branch called

fcuk eu


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:57 PM

And if they open a store in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they could call it

fcuk up


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jim McLean
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:00 PM

When I was in the Swedish navy, my fellow jungman thought a Snack Bar in England was a place where people met for conversation as 'Snacken' means to chatter in Swedish.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:08 PM

Think of all the fun the porno folks have with all those Latin titles, lyrics, and phrases that include the word "cum" ("with").


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: frogprince
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:20 PM

I can't even remember what country the fellow student was from. I just remember the day when, hoping to meet a coed in the student lounge, he asked if she would meet him later "in the rest room". He had a fairly large audience at the time, at a very conservative "Bible School".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:31 PM

As I recall, the word "douche" in French just means "shower."   We Yanks have given it a bit more specialized meaning.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:56 PM

WEll, back when the UN was started (it was the UNO then), some Arab delegates were upset by gas station signs for SUNOCO and AMOCO, both of which are phonetically equivalent to unconventional sexual practices. And the Nobel company had a monumental commercial flow when they trued to export a chimney-cleaning product--one you just tossed into a coal or wood-burning stove. The labled it with their company trademarked name:


















dynamite.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:21 PM

Because of the long & complicated history of French in English, there are thousands of English words & phrases that are obviously of French origin but have dangerously different meaning. They are called faux amis (false friends), and whole dictionaries of them have been published. They sometimes trip up even people who are fluent in both languages when they are translating something and the tempting mistranslation is right in front of them.

demander, not demand but request
en effet, not in effect but indeed
librairie, not library but bookstore
morale (n.), not morale but moral (of a story)
moral (n.), not moral but morale (of troops etc.)
enfant, not infant but child

The divergences between British & American English can also sometimes cause embarrassment: Look up "table (a motion)", "knock up", "screwed" (slang), & "post" (verb).


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM

And "vomit" has entirely different meanings in German and English.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:02 AM

Beware in Ireland, public toilets are labelled "Mna"- but that's the ladies. Gents is "Fir". And in Italy, the tap labelled "caldo" is hot.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,PL
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM

On another forum, 'Chiff & Fipple' an American lady recently remarked about a teacher at horse riding classes who used to remark that not relaxing 'while riding will give you a sore fanny'. She got somewhat huffy when I remarked she'd try say that wit ha straight face in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:16 AM

When touring the good old USA, world famous Black Dyke Mills Band were asked to change their name in case people though they were a negro lesbian band.

eric


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:24 AM

From: Nerd - PM
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM

"[...]
Many of these, however, are sort of urban legends that grow up when people try to show how much cleverer they are than people who do marketing for a living. For example, the no va story is completely false, and is spread largely through marketing textbooks. In fact, the Nova did fine in both of its Spanish-speaking markets, Mexico and Venezuela. The mistake between "nova" and "no va" is one no Spanish speaker would make, for many reasons: [...]"

Killjoy!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:34 AM

From: Genie - PM
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 12:57 AM

'And "vomit" has entirely different meanings in German and English.'

There is no word "vomit" in German. "Womit" means "with which" and is pronounced "Voh mit" with a long "o" as in "woe".

However, English-speaking students of German are often amused that the word for "trip" or "journey" is "Fahrt" (with a long "ah" sound, however) and especially by the expression "gute Fahrt" for "bon voyage".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:37 AM

Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Joe_F - PM
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:21 PM

"The divergences between British & American English can also sometimes cause embarrassment: Look up "table (a motion)", "knock up", "screwed" (slang), & "post" (verb)."

And British people often find it terribly amusing when Americans use the terms "toss off", "tossed off", etc., which don't have the same connotation in the US.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:46 AM

Stop it always gets a laugh in Sweden.
Sounds very similar to their "Stora Pitt" (sp) which means Big Penis...apparently!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:13 AM

Mozart (to make this thread more musically relevant) was well-known for making bilingual puns and scatalogical jokes. A famous example of combining the two is his canon "Difficile lectu mihi Mars" (Latin: the study of history is difficult); in German, "lecht Du mich im Arsch" means "lick my ass".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 05:18 AM

Ah, scratcher arses!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:13 PM

I remember that Cliff Richard had a hit with "Travelling Light".....when it went on sale in Spain,they took it literally and renamed it "The Light That Travels "...really !
A French friend of mine assures me that "Zizzi", as in the pizza restaurant chain, means,when spoken anyway, "pussy " ( as in pussy),and I remember her children always having fits of laughter when seeing the English motorway sign "Soft Verges",as Verges would be an Old French word meaning "Cock" (as in dick).My local pub in Bournemouth had a wine bottle displayed behind the bar,proudly sporting the label "Quita Penas".....
"You can" in Dutch is " U Kunt"....although the word itself is "Kont ".....maybe I'll just stop now...


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,PL
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:20 PM

"You can" in Dutch is " U Kunt"....although the word itself is "Kont ".....maybe I'll just stop now..

Actually 'Kont' refers to your arse.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:18 PM

When I was working in the UK patent office many years ago, I came across an application from Japan in which a piece of equipment was referred to as a "water sheep". What they actually meant was "hydraulic ram"!

In IKEA, in the UK at least, you can buy marshmallow sweets called "Skum". A Swedish friend told me that "Skum" simply means "foam" in Swedish and the word does not have the connotations it does in English.

(For those across the pond, IKEA is a Swedish store that has shops in many European countries and mainly sells furniture.)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Joe_F
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 08:23 PM

Tootler: IKEAs are all over the US as well.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 01:47 AM

Back in the '60s, my mom and dad had a VW that was made in Germany. All the labels (this was before the days of digitized icons) were "auf Deutsch," of course.   The windshield wipers were "der Drizzleflippen," the ignition was "der Puttersparken," ( I hope I didn't spell those wrong), but my favorite was the starter.

It simply said "Fahrt." (Pronounced just as we Americans would expect.)

We kids got lots of laughs over that!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM

One of the funniest things on last night's Have I got news for you was a question involving US politician Randy Bumgardner. They didn't make any jokes about the name - they didn't need to. By the time they'd said it four or five times I was in stitches, and the panellists were struggling to keep a straight face themselves. It helped that the host for that week was an American (Jerry Springer, in fact) and could read the name loud and clear without cracking up - I don't think a British host would have been able to.

(Rough translation into USEng: Horny Assgardner.)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 06:00 AM

The most worrying faux amis I have experienced (I am sure there are worse like fanny - English/American)

is
Eventually.

We Anglophones know what it means don't we?

well in Eurospeak it means "depending on events".

imagine the lawyers revenue when that gets put in a contract.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Newport Boy
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 06:25 AM

We had one night in a scruffy Spanish resort called Peniscola. I was OK - I never drink cola without a large measure of rum.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Genie
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:08 AM

From: Paul Burke "Beware in Ireland, public toilets are labelled "Mna"- but that's the ladies. Gents is "Fir". And in Italy, the tap labelled "caldo" is hot.

Thanks for the ol' memory jog, Paul. Ah, yes, I remember well my time in Italy, noticing that one - among other - "soramimis."


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Semiramide
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 10:48 AM

Another musical one is the tune "Cock up your beaver", which in rather antiquated English means simply "tilt up your hat, rakishly" but of course in American is rather more explicitly physical. And I read of someone working for (or, at least, paid by) the British Council who was surprised when his every hesitation during a speech in Ankara gave rise to not-quite suppressed giggles in the Turkish audience. Like many English politicians, commentators, etc, he had a habit of filling these pauses with the sound "um".   That, locally, is the indelicate word for female genitalia.




I'd love to hear a politician get up to speak, and begin with, "as I was saying to the honourable member... cunt ... only yesterday I spoke to the... cunt ... Secretary of State for.. cunt..."


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:44 AM

One that always appeals to me, an example purely for the eye, while watching the French Open tennis with French screen captions: the French for Women's Singles is Simple Dames.

Names can be difficult, with such different connotations. That Russian footballer can't help having a name so unfortunate to our ears: Zhirkov.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:08 AM

Anyone for a nice serving of spotted dick?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:36 AM

Turkish for "cunt" is "am", not "um". It's pronounced the same as "arm" in non-rhotic English. Me and my girlfriend were once in north-east Turkey, staying with a family whose little girl was keen to learn some words of English. Marion tried to show her the words for parts of the body. She wanted "arm" repeated over and over again.

I saw a shop window in Prague about 20 years ago (a pharmacy, I think) which had dozens of posters stuck randomly all over the window, black lettering several inches high on a yellow background, just advertising the one-word name for a product:

WANK WANK   WANK WANK   WANK

   WANK WANK WANK WANK WANK

WANK WANK   WANK WANK   WANK

WANK   WANK WANK   WANK   WANK

WANK WANK    WANK    WANK   WANK


I never did find out what it was. (Nowadays with the British stag party industry, it would be advertising exactly what it said in English).


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: harmonic miner
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:58 AM

Must be difficult for the very small number of countries where English is spoken with rhotic accent.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM

Another "false friend" is Italian 'abusivo', which = illegal or unauthorised ~~ so you get multilingual notices in Autostrada services car-parks warning patrons not to deal with unauthorised salesmen, in which the English element says

"Avoid abusive retailers"

~~ something I certainly ever endeavour to do!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:58 PM

When I was in Scotland in 1958, there was a brand of dates (that's the fruit of the palm tree) called Eat Me.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: treewind
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 06:43 AM

Nice to see this thread back after all these years.
"Black Dyke Mills Band were asked to change their name in case people though they were a negro lesbian band."

In similar vein, when Pig Dyke Molly went to New York a few years ago they had to keep explaining that they WEREN'T a gay policewomen's dance group.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 07:14 PM

When I was in Scotland in 1958, there was a brand of dates (that's the fruit of the palm tree) called Eat Me.

Still exists.

Dozens of false cognates in Spanish.

Try "constipado"


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,silver
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 06:24 AM

Micca:

"Gift" means "poison" in Swedish, too. The same word, curiously enough, also means "married".

I remember strolling through Stanley Park in Vancouver in 1971, happening upon the word "restroom", which, literally translated into Swedish, would mean "vilorum" which implies "final resting-place".

In Iceland, the word for toilet is "Snyrtingar". Might be useful to know.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,PHJim
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 05:52 PM

I haven't read the whole thread so someone may have already posted that the mention of "fanny packs" and even the tune "Fanny Power" seem to elicit giggles and/or blushes from my British friends. It seems that the word "fanny" has a different meaning in Britain than in Canada.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Nov 13 - 04:16 AM

We just refer to it as the Women's Liberation Planxty.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 06 Nov 13 - 07:49 PM

and did you hear about the fellow whose wife sent him out to get Cif from the lady in the corner-shop


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Nov 13 - 08:42 PM

A rather more elaborate one I heard in a radio interview with the composer Fela Sowande: British missionaries tried translating the hymn "O Come All Ye Faithful" into a tonal West African language (Yoruba, I think). Their translation was fine, if you just read the text. If you sang it to the standard "Adeste Fideles" melody, the pitch pattern of the tune threw all the tones off and changed the meaning of the opening line to "go out and dig for groundnuts, you who are fond of pissing".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Bert
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 08:49 PM

French for roof is toit pronounced twot.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 09:44 PM

Red Dwarf cornered the term smeg, an abbreviation for smegma - and then the Italians started marketing white goods under the name...


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 12:59 AM

When I was a teenager in Japan (ca. 1968) the leading brand of coagulated coconut turds (what in the US we call Coffeemate™) was one called Creap.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 03:13 AM

French for roof is NOT pronounced "twot". The final "t" is not promounced at all. More like "twa".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 03:36 AM

ANd the cheap white bread sold in Mexican supermarkets is branded "Bimbo".


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 05:30 AM

A Latin lesson at Hendon County School comes back to me from about 1946. We were learning how to tell the date in Latin from a dear old soul called Miss Weavers. This involved, I recall, use of the Accusative Plural of the name of the month, and dear Miss W for some reason pitched on May, which in Latin is Maia, and whose Accusative Plural is Maias -- whose pronunciation, in Standard English anyhow, is identical to "my arse". We all found it difficult to keep a straight face as she gave us several examples of dates in Latin, all involving her walking around the classroom, repeatedly exclaiming "my arse!"

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 08:13 PM

Hee hee, I grew up bilingual in French and English, and the line in Woody Guthrie's DoReMi I only just found out, like a few years ago, well, realized, goes

California is a garden of Eden, and a paradise to live in OR SEE

I had always heard it as "a paradise to live in AUSSI" which still made total sense...

In a mondegreen in French (needs a word, folks), in one song a sorrowful family at dinner went from accablee (burdened) to attablee (seated at the table) - and they all straightened up, sitting around the table in my mind's eye!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 11:16 PM

I may be wrong (what's new?) but I was told the word for 'however' in Gaelic sounds like Ar fuck....is this correct?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 12:48 PM

Then there were us kids growing up in Ivory Coast with people named, to our ears, Cocoa and Coffee, so it was no surprise to hear a kid being called Haricot Vert (string bean)... who turned out to be Eric d'Auvergne.

And in the same time frame the guy I thought for years was named Homard (lobster) was actually named Omar. This realization hit at about the same time as the "aussi" from the Woody Guthrie song.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Bert
Date: 15 Feb 14 - 02:45 PM

Twot was how I heard it pronounced in France. Maybe GUEST's Frenchman was a Cockney.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 08:12 PM

Depends where the speaker was from. The African stereotype of thick-lipped muddy pronunciation has become almost racist, whereas a Belgian will also use a muddy "two". A Parisian or Tourangeau will use the sharper "twa" and from the far south they'll even hint at an n in it.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 07:46 PM

After the recent innundations in the UK, the Grauniad bloggers have started an informal debate as to which politician attempting to hold the water back by the force of his press image most deserves the title Cnut of the month. That being the correct spelling of King Canute, who seems to have tried the same with the tide around a thousand years ago.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 01:28 AM

Though one must remember that Canute [or Cnut] was in fact demonstrating to his flattering courtiers, by making them all get their feet wet, that his powers were not, as they had obsequiously assured him, infinite, but that a king had no more power over the physical world than anyone else and so couldn't hold back the tide. Seems unfair on poor old Canute that he should be remembered as a personification of overweening pride, when the reality was the exact opposite. My late wife Valerie put it rather well IMO, in a novel of hers, Culture Shock (Duckworth 1988): "History has given Canute the wrong footnote".

~M~


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 10:14 AM

Yes, Guest Dave -in Irish, the word for however is áfach, pronounced ah-fuckh! ;-) D


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: BobL
Date: 08 Jan 17 - 04:31 AM

Seems like an opportunity to mention a company I used to work for, GEC Plessey Telecommunications, or GPT for short. Except in France where it would sound like "j'ai pêté" = I've farted.

And BTW, the Irish toponym Lough Head sounds in English too much like "loghead", hence the Americanized spelling - Lockheed.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 08 Jan 17 - 04:59 AM

I remember reading somewhere that the word "photo" can be confused for the Zulu "foto", a penis.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 04:44 AM

An English friend of mine went into a fast food place in Canada and said "Do you do Coke?" and was thrown out.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 05:31 AM

in OZ & NZ they refer to Barn Dances/Ceilidhs as Bush Dances.

Perpendicular expression?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 09:38 AM

A popular bring-home-a-present-for-your-friends present for Irish gay people visiting France is a nice little wine called Derriere Les Fagots.
Friend called Malachi, a common enough name in Ireland, couldn't understand why Greek people fell around laughing every time someone said his name on a holiday to Greece. Apparently it means 'Wanker'.
And an American taking a language-learning holiday in Glencolmcille was enraged when she was wandering around the bookshop and she was helpfully approached by the proprietor asking "are you looking for a focloir?" (pron: fucklore; meaning: dictionary)
By the same token, I was visiting Irish friends in Paris and they were talking about making a visit to what I thought was the Árd Fheis (annual convention of whatever political party you're into), but turned out to be the Ardèche, pronounced more or less the same.
Another French one: visiting Paris with a fluent friend, and she was admiring a public garden to the municipal gardener who was working in it. I was surprised that she described his work as "genial" - well, it was fairly cheery looking - but she later explained to me that "genial" in French relates to genius, and is the equivalent of saying something's "brilliant" in English.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens' cousins: Soramimis
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Jan 17 - 01:50 PM

I always wonder when non-Hebrew speakers are attending a Shabbat service if they wonder as the liturgical line including "doing wonders" comes up:


Doing Wonders -sounds like- Oh-Say' Fel-leh'

I've been noticing that since I was elbow high.


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