Today’s Word: Mondegreen | WakaWaka Reporters

Today’s Word: Mondegreen

Mondegreen — \MON-di-green\


1. a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that has been heard, especially a song lyric.


One of the reasons that “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” substituted for Jimi Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” remains one of the most widely reported mondegreens of all time can be explained in part by frequency. It’s much more common to hear of people kissing guys than skies.
— Maria Konnikova, “Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy,” The New Yorker, December 10, 2014


Mondegreen is itself a mondegreen. The term was coined by Amercian writer Sylvia Wright in a 1954 article for Harper’s in which she explained that as a child, she’d misinterpreted a line of a Scottish ballad; instead of “And laid him on the green” she heard “And Lady Mondegreen.”