November 21, 2004

I said a hip hop = asereje ja

I'm not sure whether this means that I'm completely out of it, or just Euro out of it, but I'll confess that I hadn't heard the Ketchup Song before reading about it in this post by Ray Girvan at the Apothecary's Drawer Weblog.

This is an impressive example of cross-linguistic eggcornage -- I especially like the way in which the flapped /d/ in "I said a hip" turns into the tapped /r/ in "aserejé" -- but my favorite in the Spanish-English category is still bebop-aroo.

[Update: David Landfair emailed to point out that "I said a hip hop" → "aserejé ja" assimilates the English phrase to the inventory of Spanish sounds and Spanish syllable structure (what linguists call phonotactics), but results in spelled-out gibberish rather than real Spanish words; and so it shouldn't really be called a "cross-linguistic eggcorn". Fair enough -- though not all the lyrics to Rapper's Delight were in the dictionary either, at least in 1979. ]

Posted by Mark Liberman at November 21, 2004 10:30 AM