A word or a phrase resulting from mishearing another word or phrase (especially in a song or poem) is a common phenomenon known as a mondegreen. A mondegreen typically sounds like the original phrase, (i.e., they’re homophonous) but the meaning is often entirely changed—with presumably amusing results.
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Mondegreens are not to be confused with malapropisms, “the act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.” One ready example is to “dance the flamingo” instead of “dance the flamenco.”
Nor should mondegreens be confused with eggcorns, “a word or phrase that is a seemingly logical alteration of another word or phrase that sounds similar and has been misheard or misinterpreted.” Where malapropisms tend to be obviously ridiculous, an eggcorn can be a plausible variant of the original phrase, often working in the same context. A common eggcorn is “old wise tale” for the more canonical “old wives’ tale.”
Link to the rest at Dictionary.com
Here are additional examples of mondegreens:
|Led Zeppelin||and there’s a wino down the road – I should have stolen Oreos||and as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our souls||Stairway to Heaven|
|Van Halen||Running With my billfold||Running With the Devil||Running With the Devil|
|Steve Winwood||bake me a pie of love OR bring me an iron lung!||bring me a higher love||Higher Love|
|Steve Winwood||I can light bananas with my nose on fire!||I can light the night up with my soul on fire|
|ZZ Top||Everybody’s crazy ’bout a shot glass man||Everybody’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man||Sharp-Dressed Man|
|Elvis Presley||Everybody in a wholesale frock||everybody in the whole cell block||Jailhouse Rock|
Link to the rest at UH.edu