There's a word for this....

Is there a word to describe what a friend of mine does? He constantly uses the wrong word, which sounds very much like the right word. He’s a college educated fellow who is quite successful in business (his checkbook makes mine look like a wastrel on a life raft).

And when he proffers these wrong words is usually when he’s thinking big thoughts. That’s something I like about him - he has these big thoughts, that he offers up. Observations about life, human interaction, etc. Sometimes good thoughts, sometimes, whoops, Mike, let me get ya another drink…

So, when he uses the wrong word it is usually a polysyllabic antonym, or near-to, and I get the gist of his message.

So, a word for that?

Malapropism.

How about malapropism?

Thanks, but I’m not sure that’s quite right. Strictly speaking, that would be using the wrong word.

What my friend does is describe abstract ideas using words that sound similar to the words he really means to use.

Malapropism is the appropriate word in this case.

Which is exactly what a Malapropism is.

[malapropism

n : the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar [syn: malaprop]](http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=malapropism)

Thanks, but I’m not sure that’s quite right. Strictly speaking, that would be using the wrong word.

What my friend does is describe abstract ideas using words that sound similar to the words he really means to use.

No, strictly speaking, a malapropism is using a wrong word that sounds similar to the word you’re looking for.

Your friend uses words that sound similiar to the word he means to use, which is the dictionary definition of “malapropism”.

Maybe if you gave us some examples we could put this puppy to bed. Is it like comedian Norm Crosby, who speaks from his ‘diagram’ and drinks ‘decapitated’ coffee? He is known as the “King of the Malaprop”.

Spoonerism is another possibility, right?

Not exactly. A spoonerism is a swapping of sounds in two different words, like “come here and give me a hig bug!”

Spoonerism is mixing up the sounds in the words–“Mardon me, padam, this pie is occupewed. May i sew you to a sheet?” That’s a spoonerism.

Malapropism is right. In high school, a friend of mine was in our production of “The Rivals.” She was Mrs. Malaprop, who mentioned such things as “The allegories on the Nile.”

(My personal favorite malapropism was a former landlord who told me he was once neighbors with a symphony repercussionist.)

:smack:

Preview!

:smack:

Archie-isms.

Well, if your friend is successful in business, just tell him to be careful of inter-orifice affairs.