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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
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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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